Texans LT Laremy Tunsil makes ESPN list of top-10 tackles

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Laremy Tunsil may have played just five games in 2021, but the Houston Texans’ left tackle is still regarded as one of the best blockers on the edge.

According to Jeremy Fowler from ESPN, the two-time Pro Bowler managed to land at No. 6 on their list of tackles. For the list, ESPN polled a range of scouts, front office personnel, and coaches across the league.

Tunsil made back-to-back Pro Bowls before missing most of 2021 with a thumb injury. He played in just five games last season and posted an 83.8% pass block win rate, which would have been outside the top 50 had it qualified. But his pass block win rate in the two prior seasons was 90.6%.

“He’s maybe not as good as he was, but I give him a pass because of the conditions,” an AFC scout said. “That’s not a good team. I’d still take him ahead of most.”

Tunsil’s 76.1% run block win rate since 2019 ranks 16th among tackles. And many evaluators say you can’t replace his power and range.

“He’s still a high-level athlete to me,” an AFC executive said. “Plays with violence.”

Although the 6-5, 313-pound tackle held out of organized team activities, coach Lovie Smith wasn’t concerned. When Tunsil appeared at mandatory minicamp, Smith mentioned that it was “no time lost” once Tunsil took over at first-team left tackle.

“He came in with a really solid feel of the playbook and I thought he stepped in today and performed extremely well,” Smith told reporters on June 14 at Houston Methodist Training Center. “We’re excited to have him back.”

While Tunsil was limited to five games due to a thumb injury, the expectation is the former Miami Dolphins 2016 first-round pick will be ready for a full slate of games in 2022. The Texans will need his elite pass blocking to give second-year quarterback Davis Mills time to go through his progressions and lead the offense.

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