Ranking the 10 Best Players in the NFL

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8. Duane Brown, LT

September 23, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Houston Texans tackle Duane Brown (76) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Duane Brown is the type of player who improves every year that he is in the NFL.

Brown, a 2008 first-round pick, was not as highly regarded coming out of college as other offensive tackles selected in the same draft, such as Jake Long or Ryan Clady, but he is most likely the best offensive lineman selected.

Brown’s athleticism makes him a great fit in Texans zone blocking scheme and a great anchor for a very solid offensive line. His agility allows him to get to the second level of the defense on stretch plays and coincidentally a star out of Arian Foster.

In pass protection, Brown is equally impressive. In 2012 Brown surrendered 22 total pressures, including sacks in 579 pass blocking snaps. In comparison to D’Anthony Batiste(started for the Arizona Cardinals in 2012) who surrendered 54 pressures in 404 pass blocking snaps. I’m not trying to bash Batiste, just trying emphasize how good a player Brown is and recall one of the reasons the Cardinals where a bad team in 2012(stats via Pro Football Focus).

Brown might not be a game-changer considering he is a left tackle not a wide receiver, but he is a difference maker and the best offensive tackle in the NFL.