Other than order, the top three are the top three. I would consider Smith at #1, but have no problem with him at #2. Beyond that, it is the shoulda woulda coulda game. Had Ryan Bates stayed inside at guard, I think he probably would be a lock for top two, maybe top three. He was solid outside but way better inside. Mahan was moved around too much to really settle in stunting his development. Andrew Nelson is another candidate for honorable mention. When healthy, we was a solid tackle but would have been better served playing inside.
Success with honor
Both Bates and Mahon were "victims", in a sense, of a line that had a lot of imperfect parts. I agree that Bates was better as a guard, but Mahon really struggled inside. It was his move to tackle that really allowed him to blossom into a better player.
Nelson was as talented as most of these guys, but those two serious knee injuries really impacted his ability. Watching him vs. Iowa in 2017 was depressing, seeing he just didn't have it anymore after the injuries.
Founding Member & Senior Editor - Roar Lions Roar
Support RLR via Store Lions Store
Agree on all accounts. Mahon was much better at tackle but got caught up in Donovan’s incompetence like so many others early in his career.
Seeing how much better Mahon was at tackle was mind-bending.
But hey, good luck with Dononvan, Washington fans!
Senior Editor, Roar Lions Roar
"I mean, I know that I'mma get got. But I'mma get mine more than I get got, doe." - Marshawn