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Surprise! Guess who the Panthers best O-lineman is in 2017

In the offseason I called him the biggest question on the offensive line. He’s now the #5 graded OT in the league

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NFL: Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight game Panthers right tackle Daryl Williams was Pro Football Focus’ highest graded Panther.

Refocused: Carolina Panthers 17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 | NFL Analysis | Pro Football Focus

OT DARYL WILLIAMS, 87.0 OVERALL GRADE

Williams was perfect in pass protection as he surrendered no pressures on 34 passing snaps. Williams also produced some nice run blocks in Carolina’s power blocking scheme. Carolina was content playing conservative with the lead in the second half.

In fact my contact at PFF says this of Williams overall grade for the season to date:

Williams is the top OL for the Panthers and the No. 5 tackle in the league at 85.1. He's the No. 3 active tackle when considering Joe Thomas and Jason Peters are tied for second at 86.4. Norwell has also fared well, registering a grade of 82.5 (9th among guards). ~ Sam McGaw, Pro Football Focus

So there you go, the guy I was most worried about this past offseason has not only earned his starting spot but he has secured it for the foreseeable future. Let’s hope rookie Taylor Moton can play left tackle because it looks like free agent signee Matt Kalil might be a bust. . . or is he? Here’s more from PFF Elite on Kalil, who has struggled at times this season:

PFF Edge

Daryl Williams and Matt Kalil were among the highest-graded tackles in Week 8. Williams ranked second with a mark of 87, while Kalil was sixth at 82.2. Both were solid in pass protection, as neither allowed a single pressure. Williams also excelled in the run game, registering a run block grade of 80.

Williams is excelling in both phases of the game. Kalil on the other hand I will chalk up to the Buccaneers not being very strong at the defensive end position. Of course, that could change if Ryan Kalil could somehow get back on the field. Until then we’ll have to be happy with finally having the RT position finally solved for the near term at least.

I have to close with a hat tip to offensive line coaches Ray Brown and John Matsko. They took a fourth round draft pick and in his third season have him playing at a top 5 level.

Keep pounding!