Top 10 Centers in NFL
Friendly Disclaimer: The following list is influenced largely — but not strictly — by film study of all 32 teams from the 2009 season. It is not a prediction for the 2010 season, though the future isn’t utterly ignored. Vague enough for you? Top 10 lists tend to be. That’s why most of you will have no trouble finding ways to gripe over what you’re about to read.
10. Jason Brown, St. Louis Rams
Smart and fundamentally sound, but failure to win power struggles in the box made his debut season as the league’s highest paid center a disappointment in ’09.
9. Ryan Kalil, Carolina Panthers
Excellent pass-blocker against opponents who are stronger than him.
8. Shaun O’Hara, New York Giants
The type of grainy veteran that opponents hate but teammates love.
7. Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis Colts
Good enough for Peyton Manning, right?
6. Kevin Mawae, Tennessee Titans (currently a Free Agent)
Could be the craftiest player in football.
5. Matt Birk, Baltimore Ravens
Virtually never loses a fight in the phone booth. More importantly, has always made the players around him better.
4. Andre Gurode, Dallas Cowboys
Classic downhill power blocker.
3. Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns
Looked like a 7-year veteran by the end of his rookie campaign. Sustains well in pass pro despite questionable strength, and is a portrait of athleticism in the run game.
2. Olin Kreutz, Chicago Bears
These days, struggles occasionally with initial quickness. But overall, still gritty and mobile.
1. Nick Mangold, New York Jets
Has become the fulcrum of the NFL’s best offensive line.
Wait, What About….
Jeff Faine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Paid like a top-flight player but is used only as a cog.
Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers
Serious injuries have cost him 16 games over the past two years.
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