Ranking the NFL's top 10 offensive tackles for 2020: Best of the league's bodyguards

Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire

To preview the 2020 NFL season, we asked more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players to help us stack the top 10 players at 11 different positions (sorry, special-teamers). The results might surprise you. They surprised me.

Here's how it worked: Voters gave their best 10 to 15 players at a position, then we compiled the results and ranked candidates based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, interviews and research. We had several ties, so we broke them by isolating the two-man matchup with additional voting and follow-up calls. Each section is packed with quotes and nuggets from the voters on every guy -- even the honorable mentions.

The objective is to identify the best players right now for 2020. This is not a five-year projection or an achievement award. Who's the best today? Pretty simple.

We'll roll out a position per day over the next 11 days. Here's the schedule:

Week 1: tight ends (July 7); quarterbacks (July 8); running backs (July 9); wide receivers (July 10); offensive tackles (July 11)

Week 2: interior offensive linemen (July 12); edge defenders (July 13); interior defensive linemen (July 14); off-ball linebackers (July 15); cornerbacks (July 16); safeties (July 17)

Judging good offensive tackles isn't as simple as who gives up sacks or commits penalties. There's playcall context, pre-snap protections, elite quarterbacks who can escape traffic, schemes that mask blocking deficiencies. There's good pressure and bad pressure, five blockers who must work in unison.

The truly good ones stand out. That's why a 38-year-old free agent (Jason Peters) got a No. 1 vote from a veteran pass rusher out of sheer respect.

Other big-name players at the position haven't lost their fastball just yet, fending off ascending players from taking their spot.

We asked execs, coaches and players from around the league to sort it all out.