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.