Pro Football Reference Blog

12 Best Right Tackles of All Time

Posted by Darin Hayes on April 19, 2024

In the gladiator arena of the NFL, the quarterback reigns supreme. But without his loyal guardian on the right side, his reign can be short-lived. Enter the offensive right tackle, a stalwart warrior tasked with a singular mission: protecting the quarterback’s blindside.  These titans of the offensive line excel in the trenches, wielding their strength, technique, and unwavering focus to neutralize some of the league’s most ferocious pass rushers.

Today, we embark on a journey through gridiron history, unveiling the legendary right tackles who kept quarterbacks upright and paved the way for offensive dominance.  From the immovable mountains who anchored rushing attacks to the nimble technicians who neutralized elite speed rushers, get ready to be introduced to the pantheon of the NFL’s most dominant right tackles.  Who will claim the top spot?  Let the debate begin!

How to Recognize the Best Right Tackles in the NFL

The statistics and measurables for right tackles in the League are few and far between. After all, what these men in the trenches do goes almost unnoticed unless they do something wrong or blow an assignment. It is often a thankless job, but as the NFL has progressed over the years, the accolades for offensive linemen, in general, have given us some tangible metrics to see the success of the offensive tackle and the men who have staffed the position.

We will look at Pro Bowl selections, All-Pro counts, and Hall of Fame inductions as tangible evidence of the blindside guardians, Games Started, and years played in the NFL at the position to help us along the way.

Those RT’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

What higher honor can a professional football player have as a reward for their hard work and dedication to the sport than to be enshrined in Canton? This honor is bestowed to an elite few, especially when offensive linemen like right tackles are concerned. Here are the elite tackles to the right of the center who have a bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Forrest Gregg

Alvis Forrest Gregg

Position: T-G-DT

6-4249lb (193cm, 112kg)

Born: October 18, 1933 in Birthright, TX

Died: April 12, 2019 (Aged 85-176d)

College: SMU

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 96 (190th overall since 1960)

High School: Sulphur Springs (TX)

Draft: Green Bay Packers in the 2nd round (20th overall) of the 1956 NFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 1977 (Full List)

As Coach: 11 Yrs (Full Record)

As Exec: 3 Yrs (Full Record)









Forrest Gregg, a versatile lineman, dominated the NFL for 15 seasons. Starting as an offensive tackle with the Green Bay Packers, he earned eight Pro Bowls and helped them win four NFL championships under Lombardi. Later, he transitioned to coaching multiple teams, even leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl in 1981. It was Gregg’s amazing, consistent play, though, that earned him a place in the Hall and in the NFL right tackle rankings.

Photo of Bob Brown

Bob Brown

Robert Stanford Brown  (The Boomer)

Position: T

6-4280lb (193cm, 127kg)

Born: December 8, 1941 in Cleveland, OH

Died: June 16, 2023 (Aged 81-190d) in Oakland, CA

College: Nebraska  (College Stats)

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 83 (366th overall since 1960)

High School: East Tech (OH)

Draft: Philadelphia Eagles in the 1st round (2nd overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft., Denver Broncos in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1964 AFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2004 (Full List)









Bob Brown was a stonewall on the right side for the Eagles, Rams, and Raiders during an NFL career that spanned through the early 1960s and early 70s. This former Nebraska Cornhusker appeared in six Pro Bowls and was selected as an NFL All-Pro five times for his fine play.

Bob St. Clair

Robert Bruce St. Clair  (The Geek)

Position: T

6-9263lb (206cm, 119kg)

Born: February 18, 1931 in San Francisco, CA

Died: April 20, 2015 (Aged 84-061d) in Santa Rosa, CA

College: San Francisco, Tulsa

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 28 (4126th overall since 1960)

High School: San Francisco Polytechnic (CA)

Draft: San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd round (32nd overall) of the 1953 NFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 1990 (Full List)









San Francisco legend Bob St. Clair dominated the trenches for 11 seasons with the 49ers. The towering tackle (6′-9″) earned a trip to the Pro Bowl five times. St. Clair served as a reliable blocker for legendary quarterback Y.A. Tittle and company, making the team a formidable offense and one of the best right tackles in NFL history.

Ron Mix

Ronald Jack Mix

Position: T-G

6-4250lb (193cm, 113kg)

Born: March 10, 1938 in Los Angeles, CA (Age: 86-006d)

College: USC  (College Stats)

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 87 (311th overall since 1960)

High School: Hawthorne (CA)

Draft: Boston Patriots 1960 AFL Draft., Baltimore Colts in the 1st round (10th overall) of the 1960 NFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 1979 (Full List)









Ron Mix, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, carved a unique path in the NFL. Drafted by both the NFL (Colts) and AFL (Patriots), Mix ended up latching on with a different team in the Los Angeles Chargers, becoming a dominant tackle and guard for a decade.  He was an eight-time AFL All-Star, renowned for his durability and exceptional blocking, and he was flagged for very few holding penalties in his career.  A late-career trade brought him to the Oakland Raiders, making him part of the only offensive line in NFL history composed entirely of Hall-of-Famers. Though his career spanned just 11 seasons, his impact as a relentless blocker and a leader solidified his place among football’s elite.

Willie Roaf

William Layton Roaf

Position: T

6-5320lb (196cm, 145kg)

Born: April 18, 1970 in Pine Bluff, AR (Age: 53-333d)

College: Louisiana Tech  (College Stats)

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 111 (73rd overall since 1960)

High School: Pine Bluff (AR)

Draft: New Orleans Saints in the 1st round (8th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2012 (Full List)









Can you imagine the challenge for a defender to see a 6′-5″ 320-pound monster wearing number 77 coming around the corner looking to consume them? That is precisely what the scene was like for opponents of the Chiefs and Saints on both sides of the New Millennium. Willie Roaf was an offensive lineman who dominated the NFL for 13 seasons. Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1993, he spent nine years protecting their quarterbacks, earning seven Pro Bowls and All-Pro selections. Renowned for his power and agility, Roaf was a vital piece of the Saints’ early success. After a 2001 injury, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he continued his dominance, adding four more Pro Bowls to his resume. Renowned for his work ethic and leadership, Roaf’s 11 Pro Bowls tie him for most by an offensive tackle. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, a testament to his lasting impact on the game.

Larry Allen

Larry Christopher Allen

Position: G-T

6-3335lb (190cm, 151kg)

Born: November 27, 1971 in Los Angeles, CA (Age: 52-110d)

College: Butte JC (CA), Sonoma St.

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 101 (143rd overall since 1960)

High School: Centennial (CA), Vintage (CA)

Draft: Dallas Cowboys in the 2nd round (46th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 2013 (Full List)









Larry Allen was a dominant offensive tackle who redefined the position in the NFL. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. He anchored their offensive line for 12 seasons, protecting quarterbacks like Troy Aikman and the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher Emmitt Smith’s dominant ground attack.  He earned 11 Pro Bowls and 2 All-Pro selections, paving the way for multiple Super Bowl appearances. Known for his strength, agility, and nasty streak, Allen revolutionized how tackles approached run blocking, becoming a key figure in the Cowboys’ offensive dynasty. The talented big man took his services to the San Francisco 49ers in his final two seasons of NFL play.

Mike McCormack

Michael Joseph McCormack

Position: T-DG-DT

6-4246lb (193cm, 111kg)

Born: June 21, 1930 in Chicago, IL

Died: November 15, 2013 (Aged 83-147d) in Palm Desert, CA

College: Kansas

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 28 (4126th overall since 1960)

High School: De La Salle (MO)

Draft: New York Yanks in the 3rd round (34th overall) of the 1951 NFL Draft.

Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 1984 (Full List)

As Coach: 6 Yrs (Full Record)

As Exec: 8 Yrs (Full Record)









When the NFL’s New York Yanks selected a tackle from Kansas named Mike McCormack, they hoped they would find a stalwart in the trenches. They hit the nail right on the head with the pick, and though the franchise didn’t survive, McCormack was picked up by the Cleveland Browns a few years later to enjoy a fruitful career. Mike anchored a line that helped the Browns earn two NFL Championships and collected personal accolades of six Pro Bowl appearances in nine seasons with the franchise blocking for offensive legends like Otto Graham and Jim Brown.

Frequent Pro Bowl Visits of Non-HOF Right Tackles

You just read the list of the Offensive Right Tackles in Canton, but there are some other studs who aspire to be there someday, too, who have made multiple Pro Bowl appearances. Here are some players at the top of the list in this category.

Marvin Powell

Marvin Powell Jr.

Position: T

6-5268lb (196cm, 121kg)

Born: August 30, 1955 in Fort Bragg, NC

Died: September 30, 2022 (Aged 67-031d)

College: USC

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 78 (470th overall since 1960)

High School: 71st (NC)

Draft: New York Jets in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1977 NFL Draft.









Powell’s career spanned from the late 1970s through the mid-80s, when he played on the O-lines of the New York Jets and later the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His five Pro Bowls, including three seasons as an NFL All-Pro, qualify his play for this list of all-time greats.

George Kunz

George James Kunz

Position: T

6-5257lb (196cm, 116kg)

Born: July 5, 1947 in Fort Sheridan, IL (Age: 76-255d)

College: Notre Dame  (College Stats)

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 77 (499th overall since 1960)

High School: Loyola (CA)

Draft: Atlanta Falcons in the 1st round (2nd overall) of the 1969 NFL Draft.









Notre Dame standout George Kunz made his presence felt in the NFL, blocking on the right side of the early Atlanta Falcons teams and later for the Baltimore Colts. Kunz played in the NFL for eleven seasons and was rewarded with six Pro Bowl invites and a first-team All-Pro season in 1975.

Russ Washington

Russell Eugene Washington

Position: T-DT

6-6289lb (198cm, 131kg)

Born: December 17, 1946 in Kansas City, MO

Died: August 5, 2021 (Aged 74-231d)

College: Missouri

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 86 (325th overall since 1960)

High School: Southeast (MO)

Draft: San Diego Chargers in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1968 NFL Draft.









San Diego Chargers stalwart Russ Washington dominated for 15 seasons. Drafted 4th overall in 1968, he transitioned from defensive tackle to become a five-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, protecting quarterbacks for over a decade.  A key part of the Air Coryell passing attack, Washington anchored the line and helped the Chargers reach the playoffs in his final four seasons.

Doug Smith

Carl Douglas Smith

Position: C-G-T

6-3259lb (190cm, 117kg)

Born: November 25, 1956 in Columbus, OH (Age: 67-112d)

College: Bowling Green

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 69 (703rd overall since 1960)

High School: Northland (OH)









Doug Smith, a stud offensive tackle, anchored the Los Angeles Rams offensive line for 14 seasons (1978-1991). Replacing Rich Saul in 1982, he earned 6 Pro Bowl selections, protecting quarterbacks like Eric Dickerson for a potent Rams offense that reached the playoffs six times during his tenure.

Photo of Lane Johnson

Lane Johnson

David Lane Johnson

Position: T

6-6325lb (198cm, 147kg)

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Born: May 8, 1990 in Groveton, TX (Age: 33-313d)

College: Kilgore College, Oklahoma  (College Stats)

Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 79 (451st overall since 1960)

High School: Groveton (TX)

Draft: Philadelphia Eagles in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Twitter: @Lanejohnson65













Lane Johnson was drafted #4 overall in 2013 and solidified the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line for a decade. A dominant run blocker and reliable pass protector, he earned All-Pro honors twice and helped the Eagles win Super Bowl LII. Injuries hampered him later in his career, but his impact on the team’s success remains undeniable.


There you have it—a dozen of the best right tackles in NFL history. Their success is documented by the great plays they recorded on film and the hardware and accolades each received.

Who is the best right tackle in the NFL?

There are many to choose from based on the 2023 season, but one that jumped off the charts was Rookie Broderick Jones. He may not always be on the right side, but in 2023, he was one of the top right tackles in the NFL.

Who is the best tackle in NFL history?

There would not be much argument to say that Larry Allen, Willie Roaf or Forrest Gregg could claim this title.

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