Terron Armstead Amongst Honorable Mentions in ESPN top 10

After a league wide survey, ESPN ranks NFL tackles. See what they say about Miami's Terron Armstead.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

We’re weeks away from the start of training camp and there is looming anticipation to finally see guys suit up in pads. Months removed from actual contact, it will be interesting to see how players fare as they gear up towards the regular season.

As is customary in this dead part of the offseason, the major media outlets are already sizing up the players - ranking and projecting their worth before any meaningful practice has taken place. ESPN is leading the charge with their top 10 lists: A ranking of the top 10 players at 11 different positions. 

This isn’t a criticism of the meaningful work ESPN has done. We just want to point out that there is a flaw in evaluating players after a 7 month absence of football. A gap during which players could have drastically changed for better or for worse. With that being said, credit goes out to Jeremy Fowler and the folks at ESPN for comprehensively surveying execs, coaches, players and scouts and extracting a list that give us a pretty good idea of who the top NFL players are. 

Today the list for top 10 offensive tackles came out. And unfortunately, our very own premier left tackle Terron Armstead did not crack the list. He was however placed in the honorable mentions section. 

As per the ESPN article, his evaluation reads:

“Armstead posted a career-best 75.1% run block win rate last season. "A year or two ago, he was definitely in the elite," a veteran AFC scout said. "But the injuries he's had over the course of his career. ... He's still tough as nails, but injuries have showed up on him with his anchor and bend.””

This seems like a pretty fair evaluation especially considering which other players were placed in this category. Amongst him in the honorable mentions are the likes of Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari, Minnesota’s Brian O’Neill and Dallas’ Tyron Smith. All of who are highly regarded, highly skilled but have missed games due to nagging injuries.

At the age of 31, Dolphins fans are surely wondering whether or not Armstead will be able to crack the top ten list ever again. Perhaps in 2023, despite a long injury history we could see a rebound which would warrant top ten consideration. 

Looking at the top of the list, at the tender age of 34, Trent Williams is still rated as the number 1 tackle. This isn’t to say that Armstead is on the same level, but maybe another year in a Shanahan-like system could also give him a similar rebound. Williams was riddled with injuries towards his end of tenure in Washington. Once he was traded to San Francisco he was able to reach new heights despite many thinking he was already passed his prime. 

Fortunately for the Dolphins, at an average of 15 million per year Armstead’s is only the 20th most expensive tackle in the NFL. That places him alongside the likes Taylor Decker and Jack Conklin. Without raising his level of play, if Armstead is able to just stay healthy, he’ll have exceeded the value the Dolphins are paying for him.