In the past week, two of the Patriot's starting offensive lineman have made impressive lists over at ESPN.com. First off, John Clayton came up with his "All Underrated Team" which included one Patriot -- right tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
Vollmer, who came out of the University of Houston in 2009, was drafted in the second round by New England with the 58th overall pick. He has started 24 of the 30 games that he has appeared in for the good guys. Originally went to Houston as a tight end and was named to the first-team All-Conference USA at left tackle.
At 6'8, 315 pounds, and only 26 years old, Vollmer has been a monster for the Patriots. It's only a matter of time before Vollmer is off the 'underrated' list and gets the recognition that he rightfully deserves.
There were no other AFC East players on Clayton's list. The Philadelphia Eagles had the most players on the list with three -- tight end Brent Celek, running back LeSean McCoy, and safety Nate Allen. The only other teams with multiple players were the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers, and the St. Louis Rams. The one player who I'd say who didn't deserve to be on the list is Charger's OLB Shaun Phillips.
In other offensive line news, ESPN used eight analysts to rank the top left tackles in the league in a point system. When all was calculated, Matt Light made the top ten with a total of 15 points. Joe Thomas of the Browns was ranked first with 76 points, well above Light's total. Jake Long of the Dolphins was second, just one point behind Thomas. Jets' tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson was fifth overall.
For Light, he was ranked as good as fourth overall by James Walker. Paul Kuharsky had him at sixth, Kevin Seifert had him at ninth, and Dan Graziano had him 10th. The other four didn't even rank Light in the top 10.
Over on NFL.com, Pat Kirwin ranked all of the offensive lineman and put Logan Mankins in his 'Group C.' Here is what Kirwin had to say about Mankins.
"Logan Mankins, G, Patriots (>): He held out last year and only played in 9 games but made the Pro Bowl anyway. He never missed a start in the five years prior to the holdout. He has given up just 16 sacks in 89 starts. He is a complete player, and it's obvious why the Patriots have franchise tagged him twice."
Mankins was the only one who made that top 25 list, bur Kirwin did list Vollmer as an up-and-comer.