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RealSport NFL top 100: Marshal Yanda blasts his way to #14

RealSport's countdown to the number one player from 2015 continues with Marshal Yanda coming in at fourteen.


With the NFL’s top 100 well under way, we here at Real Sport thought we would give you our own version; The RS 100. Every writer here had the chance to vote for the 100 best players from the 2015 season. This ranking was done regardless of position value or salary cap cost. It was simply based on who had the best 2015 season. As a result you won’t see quality players like Jordy Nelson anywhere on our ranking as he didn’t play a single snap in the 2015 season.

Voting panel: Toby Durant, Remy Cabache, Cameron Tennyson, Rebecca Rennie, Daniel Hernandez, David Pruett, Ryan Tolster

 

Marshal Yanda, Guard, Baltimore Ravens

(TD: #9, RC: #28, CT: #19, RR: #11, DH: #19, DP: #26, RT: #19)

 

Our number one offensive lineman is the incomparable Marshal Yanda.

 

If you’re the best at something, people will often use your film as a teaching point for others. There are few exceptions in the NFL, but one of them is Marshal Yanda. He is capable of making blocks that no one else should even consider. Here is my favourite play of his (albeit from 2014):

 

 

 

Yanda goes out to the right to shove the DE out of the play with one arm, then comes back to hip check the nose tackle before finally getting up to the linebacker. 3 defenders removed from the play by one guard. No wonder Justin Forsett just follows #73.

 

In 2015 he didn’t have any plays quite that good, but he was still a monster in the middle of the line for Baltimore. Here he is defending an absolute acre of space and just locking down a bull rush:

 

 

 

There is so much space there but Yanda just locks his hands in and does not allow even a momentary disengagement. It’s really spectacular for a guard to defend.

 

Here he is again, just dominating the defensive tackle and not allowing any penetration. There is a whole world of space in behind Yanda if Flacco wants to step up.

 

I could keep posting gifs of Yanda forever. He is all I watch when Baltimore are on because he’s always doing something that no one else can do. I understand some will be amazed that a guard could be so high in our rankings, after all the NFL.com Top 100 rarely has linemen this high. Yanda was ranked 37 by them this year, which was actually an increase of 42, but for us his sheer brilliance deserves more, even if he never touches the ball.

 

Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

RealSport NFL top 100: Marshal Yanda blasts his way to #14

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