Brandon Thorn, from The Football Educator, and Duke Manyweather guest write on Inside the Pylon to release their 2015 All-Underrated Offensive Line Team and to hand out awards for excellent blocks executed this season.
Offensive linemen are the most overlooked and important position group on the football field. The general public typically notices offensive line play only when there is a glaring mistake or a big-time block. But offenses don’t succeed in spite of offensive lines, they succeed because of them. With that in mind and the 2015 regular season now in the books, Brandon Thorn and Duke Manyweather teamed up to present their 2015 All-Underrated Offensive Line Team and offensive line Awards.
In our collaboration for the selection of our starting five, our process emphasized:
- Players from obscure backgrounds (No 1st Round picks)
- Least talked about among the general public
- Not selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl
- Players who got the job done regardless of style points
Former Pro Bowl OL LeCharles Bentley came on the TFE podcast early in the season and had an in-depth discussion regarding line play and evaluation. He discussed the key trait he looks at when examining a player’s game tape.
“At some point, you are going to have to be willing and able to put your hands around another grown man’s throat and choke him to sleep,” Bentley said. “That’s the job requirement. It’s not getting out there on screens, it’s not the backside cutoff, its not if you can get to the 2nd level. What matters is if you are going to work your ass off when it’s time to work and if I can trust you to choke a man to sleep when it matters most.”
With that being said, Duke and I selected the five players across the NFL in 2015 who most embody this philosophy. We used the film as our sole determining factor, and provided a scouting report of each player.
Left Tackle – Donald Penn
Honorable Mention: Panthers LT Michael Oher
Left Guard – Gabe Jackson
Honorable Mention: Steelers LG Ramon Foster
Center – Cody Wallace
Honorable Mention: Broncos C Matt Paradis
Right Guard – Larry Warford
Honorable Mention: Jets RG Brian Winters
Right Tackle – Bobby Massie
Honorable Mention: Eagles RT Lane Johnson
OL of the Year – Carolina Panthers
Honorable Mention: Cincinnati Bengals
Finish of the Year (Run) – Browns LT Joe Thomas vs Broncos LB Danny Trevathan
Finish of the Year (Pass Pro) – Panthers RG Trai Turner vs Texans DL JJ Watt
Reach Block of the Year – Broncos C Matt Paradis vs Steelers DL Stephon Tuitt
2nd Level Block of the Year – Redskins RG Brandon Scherff vs Cowboys LB Sean Lee
Double Team of the Year – Giants RG Geoff Schwartz & C Weston Richburg on Cowboys DE Greg Hardy
Pull of the Year – Cowboys LG La’El Collins vs Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner & S Earl Thomas
“Look for Work” Block of the Year – Lions LG Laken Tomlinson vs Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin
Follow Brandon on Twitter @VeteranScout.
Follow Duke on Twitter @BigDuke50.
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Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.
All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.