NFL's newest left tackle won't easily fill shoes of Walter Jones

The premier position in the NFL is, and has been for some time, left tackle. The foundation of every offense starts with blindside protection, and then comes the trigger man. Walter Jones has been that man with the Seattle Seahawks for 13 seasons.

Every April, you can count on about a half-dozen left tackles going in the first round of the draft. Two of the top six picks and three of the first 11 in last April’s draft were left tackles.

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But like quarterbacks, only a few of them reach an elite level. The NFL lost an all-time great two years ago when Jonathan Ogden, a Pro Bowler for 11 of his 12 seasons with Baltimore, hung up the cleats.

It lost another one last week, when Walter Jones announced his retirement from the Seahawks after 13 seasons, nine Pro Bowl berths and four All-Pro nominations.