As the calendar winds down to the start of the 2020 NFL season, football analytics site Pro Football Focus has been releasing rankings of the NFL players they consider to be the best at their position. PFF’s Anthony Treash wrote up the league’s top offensive tackles — and this time, Kansas City Chiefs fans have no argument with his top player.
1. Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs
While Schwartz wasn’t named a top-10 offensive tackle by coaches, executives and his peers across the NFL, numbers never lie. And for that reason, Schwartz rings in at the top spot in our eyes.
He’s been durable throughout his eight-year career, logging over 1,000 snaps in every season and providing consistency in pass protection. Schwartz has earned an above-average pass-blocking grade in every single season of his career, with his worst mark being 73.8 in his 2012 rookie campaign — which still ranked 35th among 76 qualifying tackles. The past two years, specifically, are the key reason why he ranks atop this list. Schwartz has ranked in the top three in PFF WAR in each of the past two years. Only six other tackles in the PFF era (since 2006) have had back-to-back seasons in the top three of WAR at the position.
Ryan Ramczyk of the New Orleans Saints, David Bakhtiari of the Green Bay Packers, Ronnie Stanley of the Baltimore Ravens and Terron Armstead of the New Orleans Saints rounded out the top five offensive tackles. And then...
24. Eric Fisher, Kansas City Chiefs
Fisher might have been a Super Bowl champion last year, but it was the worst season of his career in regard to PFF WAR. He battled an injury that took him out in Week 2; once he made his return in Week 11, he had the worst single game of his career (29.5 PFF grade). That said, he’s poised for a bounce-back year with a clean bill of health. He showed that in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run by earning a postseason PFF grade of 80.5.
Great teams need a pair of bookend tackles on their offensive line — and there’s no doubt that the Chiefs have exactly that in Schwartz and Fisher.
While in the eyes of some, Fisher may not have lived up to his billing as the first player selected in the 2013 NFL draft, he’s still been a solid player throughout his Chiefs career — and his disappointing 2019 will now be followed by a contract year.
As Treash notes, Schwartz has never received the recognition he has likely deserved during his career in Cleveland and Kansas City, but the data Treash has highlighted here certainly makes a strong argument that Schwartz should be considered the league’s best offensive tackle.
That is not to say that PFF thinks it’s all sunshine and roses along the Chiefs offensive line. The site has also recently released a list of the players they consider the league’s best interior offensive linemen — and not a single Chiefs player made the top 25.