Toughest offensive matchups

Graham, Sproles, Cruz among hardest players to scheme against

Updated: August 7, 2013, 9:38 AM ET
By Herm Edwards | ESPN Insider

Jimmy GrahamDerick E. Hingle/US PresswireSaints tight end Jimmy Graham had 85 receptions for 982 yards and 9 touchdowns last season.

It's no secret that success in the NFL is about finding and exploiting matchups. On offense, if you can get a tight end split out wide and matched up on a safety or linebacker, he'll have an advantage. If you can have your running back run an option route out of the backfield against a linebacker, he'll probably win most of the time. If you have an elite slot wideout who has quick-twitch speed and is given a two-way go, it'll be very difficult for a cornerback in single coverage.

When a defensive coach identifies what likely will be a mismatch on game day, he plans a specific scheme to stop that offensive player. But some guys can beat even the best schemes on a consistent basis.

Let's take a look at the five players on offense who are the toughest matchups in the NFL.


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