When it comes to left tackles, the NFC South is taking things lightly.
It’s likely three of the division’s four teams will start some of the lightest left tackles in the league. The New Orleans Saints are still determining who will start at left tackle, but the winner of that competition will join Carolina’s Jordan Gross (305 pounds) and Atlanta’s Sam Baker (301 pounds) among the league’s lightest left tackles.
The Saints list Charles Brown at 297 pounds, rookie Terron Armstead at 306 and Jason Smith at 310. Outside of Gross and Baker, the league's only other projected starters at left tackle that are listed at less than 310 pounds are Indianapolis’ Anthony Castonzo (305), Dallas’ Tyron Smith (308) and Minnesota’s Matt Kalil (308).
It’s not a bad thing the NFC South is going light at left tackle. The Saints, Panthers and Falcons all throw the ball a lot and they want left tackles that are quick enough to match up with speed rushers.
The one NFC South exception to this trend is Tampa Bay, where Donald Penn is listed at 340 pounds. Penn’s weight sometimes has escalated in the past, but a team official recently told me that Penn showed up for the offseason program in the best shape of his career.