Analysis

NFL Summer Games, offensive line: Tyron Smith > Joe Thomas

American football isn't an Olympic sport -- yet. But with the world's best athletes set to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, we thought we'd get in on the fun by holding a medal competition at nine key positions. NFL Media analysts ranked the top three players at each spot, with points assigned accordingly -- three points for each first-place ranking, two for each second-place ranking and one for each third-place ranking. The points were totaled, resulting in final gold-, silver- and bronze-medal finishers. Below, you'll find the results -- and each analyst's individual ballot -- for offensive line.

The Offensive Line Podium

GOLD MEDAL:Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys (40 total points)

SILVER MEDAL:Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns (27)

BRONZE MEDAL:Trent Williams, Washington Redskins (13)

Analyst Ballots

Whitworth is probably one of the best offensive linemen -- if not the best -- and he's received far less in the way of accolades than his play merits. Thomas hasn't missed a game -- or a Pro Bowl -- in his nine-year career. The only question with these three is if the awards stand will be strong enough to hold them.

Willie McGinest: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Joe Thomas 3) Trent Williams

Smith is extremely athletic and the most in-shape O-lineman in the league. He is very patient and has great footwork. Thomas is a technician, which is why he's so consistent. Williams is tenacious and very agile for his size. I wouldn't want to line up across any of these guys.

Gregg Rosenthal: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Joe Thomas 3) Zack Martin

I'm looking forward to the rest of the analysis here, as everyone pretends to be offensive line experts. Smith is the prototype of the new age left tackle, while Martin has been a huge difference maker since he joined the league.

Charley Casserly: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Joe Thomas 3) Zack Martin

Remember when the Cowboys' offensive line was a weakness and Tony Romo had to run for his life? Not anymore!

Nate Burleson: 1) Joe Thomas 2) Maurkice Pouncey 3) Alex Mack

These three offensive linemen are extremely consistent, and it is noticeable when they aren't on the field. They are anchors and lead their respective position groups.

Elliot Harrison: 1) Marshal Yanda 2) Andrew Whitworth 3) Joe Thomas

All three of these choices are listed for mastery of their respective positions. Yanda is a well-known commodity across the league and tops the list for his consistency. Whitworth doesn't seem to receive the national acclaim, yet continues to deliver. And Thomas ... Well, tell me a better player on a crummier team in league history.

Michael Robinson: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Kelechi Osemele 3) Alex Mack

Smith is the anchor of one of the best O-lines in the NFL. Osemele's versatility makes him a dangerous player. Mack is tenacious and one of the best centers in the league.

Marcas Grant: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Joe Thomas 3) Andrew Whitworth

Being the anchor to the best offensive line in the NFL makes Smith the top option here. If that's not enough, let me remind you that Darren McFadden ran for nearly 1,100 yards last season.

Shaun O'Hara: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Jason Peters 3) Trent Williams

Smith is the best offensive lineman in the game right now and makes the position look easy. I haven't seen someone play tackle that effortlessly at times since Jonathan Ogden and Tony Boselli. Peters is one of the most athletic tackles in football. When Peters is healthy, there isn't a pass rusher that he can't handle one-on-one. Williams is just a mauler.

Bucky Brooks: 1) Trent Williams 2) Tyron Smith 3) Maurkice Pouncey

Williams is a unique find at the position as an athletic pass protector with outstanding feet and a nasty demeanor. He mauls rushers at the point and finishes like a mad man. With few rushers capable of cracking the code against Williams, he deserves the top spot on the podium.

Conor Orr: 1) Joe Thomas 2) Tyron Smith 3) Terron Armstead

Thomas is the best around, but Armstead is part of the next wave of athletic, versatile offensive linemen who will soon rule the league.

Solomon Wilcots: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Maurkice Pouncey 3) Kelechi Osemele

Smith is the heart and soul of the best offensive line in the league. That unit needs him. Pouncey is the most athletic center and protects a future Hall of Famer at quarterback. Osemele is athletic, tenacious and nasty, which is what you want in a guard.

Dave Dameshek: 1) N/A 2) N/A 3) N/A

Instead of pretentiously weighing in on something most humans (including NFL players who don't play OL, QB or RB) don't honestly understand, I'll defer to O'Hara and Baldy here.

Ike Taylor: 1) Maurkice Pouncey 2) Trent Williams 3) Tyron Smith

Pouncey's aggressive playing style and skill set make him the best center in the game. Williams is a nasty player, while Smith sets the tone for a great Cowboys O-line.

Adam Schein: 1) Joe Thomas 2) Ryan Kalil 3) Andrew Whitworth

Thomas plays for the worst team in football, but don't let that distract you: He's still the best in the business.

Alex Gelhar: 1) Joe Thomas 2) Tyron Smith 3) Josh Sitton

Joe Thomas is the gold standard among linemen, and Tyron Smith is his heir apparent. Rather than just showering tackles with medals, though, I gave the bronze to Sitton, one of the NFL's most consistently excellent interior lineman over the last several years.

Brian Baldinger: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Trent Williams 3) Marshal Yanda

Smith is the best left tackle in the game. He is durable and plays the entirety of every play. Williams is a monster for the Redskins. And Yanda is a tremendous run blocker -- he can line up against any tackle and hold his own one-on-one.

Kevin Patra: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Marshal Yanda 3) Terron Armstead

Armstead should finally start to gain the praise he's earned the past few years.

Eric Davis: 1) Joe Thomas 2) Trent Williams 3) Marshal Yanda

Thomas is the best tackle in the league and Williams is right there in the discussion. As far as guards, Yanda takes the cake for me.

Jamie Dukes: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Trent Williams 3) Ryan Kalil

Smith blocks out the sun and dominates as a pass blocker and run blocker. Williams and Kalil are tough, tough players.

Adam Rank: 1) Tyron Smith 2) Zack Martin 3) Joe Thomas

Oh man, the Cowboys come so close to just sweeping this competition because Travis Frederick is a damn good center. That's the one thing you have to love about Jerry Jones The GM: He's done a pretty great job of building a solid offensive line. The group is like an underappreciated indie rock band that is very popular in its hometown and with hipsters. This is the season everybody comes to recognize this line. Which seems weird to say about the Cowboys when you consider every fourth fan you meet is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. But still.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.