Ranking the OGs: Mankins is No. 1
Patriots' Logan Mankins is the top guard in the league
After watching games and breaking down film, Scouts Inc. has evaluated and graded more than 2,500 NFL players heading into the 2011 season. Here's how the guards stacked up.
Let's face it, guards aren't always pretty and are perhaps the easiest position to overlook on the field. But they too need to be both agile and extremely powerful.
Mostly, I want toughness and attitude from this position.
These are the guys that you want to have your back in a bar fight.
In looking at the grades, we honestly could rearrange the top five in almost any way, but Logan Mankins is the best.
Mankins has a good combination of size, athleticism and strength. He is quick to gain leverage with proper hand use and technique. He has strong hands to lock on and stay connected.
Mankins will get overextended at times in the run game but does have the ability to recover with good athleticism. He's not an overpowering player. He's struggled versus power rushers. He has been remarkably durable throughout his career.
Since being drafted by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, Evans has been a fixture at the guard position. He has started all 16 games in each of the five seasons he has been in New Orleans and has done a consistent job of getting his game to a new level each and every year.
He has prototypical dimensions for the position with very good initial quickness and agility. He is quick to react and adjust to movement in space and does a good job of getting in front of the play when pulling.
He is a natural knee bender that will keep his pad level down to leverage blocks and can get push or movement on drive blocks. He keeps his feet alive and active to sustain and finish his blocks off.
Nicks is a massive guard with long arms and above-average agility and body control. He took over the starting job early in his rookie season and has played in and started all 16 games both in 2009 and 2010.
He is not a natural knee bender but generally manages to play under his pads and over his feet and does a good job of sustaining his blocks. He flashes the ability to roll his hips to drive opponents out of the hole and keeps his feet alive after initial contact.
He has gotten a lot better about finishing his blocks off, and does a good job of using his hands and steering opponents on by the hole or the pocket.
Sitton is a short, thick lineman with good power and limited athleticism. He is a tough player who locks on and works to finish as a run blocker.
He has decent initial pop with his hands but needs to stay connected with more consistency. He lacks quickness and agility in space to make blocks on the second level. He can anchor well versus powerful bull-rushers but quick interior defenders can give him problems.
Snee plays bigger than his dimensions would indicate due to toughness and natural power at the point of attack. He has strong hands to grab and control defenders quickly.
He shows excellent initial quickness off the snap to gain leverage. He can get into position quickly and does a nice job of keeping his feet balanced to cut off the defender.
He can find the moving target when pulling. He plays with good leverage and pad level throughout the entire play. He shows excellent vision in pass protection.
He reacts well to changing fronts, stunts and twists. Snee is another consistent performer along the Giants' offensive line who should continue to play at a high level in 2011.
To see the rest of the rankings for offensive guards -- and to have access to the rest of the Top 200 -- you must be an ESPN Insider. Sign up today!
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