Let’s face it, bloggers have to pick their spots. My OCD mandates that I cover every position in this ongoing series of rankings, but the readership for a post ranking the league’s top guards just isn’t where it is for quarterbacks and receivers. So I’m just going to keep this short and sour.
1. Carl Nicks, New Orleans Saints: The 26-year-old supplanted teammate Jahri Evans to become the best guard in football in 2011.
2. Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers: He’s the diamond in the rough that is Green Bay’s traditionally shaky offensive line. In fact, the only sack Sitton surrendered all year was in the Super Bowl. At 25, he’s only going to get better.
3. Brandon Moore, New York Jets: I still don’t understand why he gets so little credit as part of such a great line. The hugely underrated right guard should have made a Pro Bowl by now.
4. Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints: The NFL’s highest-paid guard earned it all in 2009 before falling off just a tad in 2010. He and Nicks make up one of the best guard duos I’ve ever seen.
5. Kris Dielman, San Diego Chargers: His pass-blocking took a bit of a hit in 2010, but he’s still a monster run blocker.
6. Logan Mankins, New England Patriots: Simply dominant in the running game after sitting out the first half of the season.
7. Mike Iupati, San Francisco 49ers: The guy was phenomenal in his rookie season and is expected to become a star in 2011. He’ll be a fixture in Hawaii for many years to come.
8. Chris Snee, New York Giants: He’s the closest thing to a perennial All-Pro who actually deserves to be a perennial All-Pro.
9. Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The lights-out run blocker would be higher on this list had he not lost a good chunk of the 2010 season due to a foot injury.
10. Wade Smith, Houston Texans: The primary reason why Arian Foster led the league in rushing in 2010.