Nick Mangold has been one of the best center's in the league since we drafted him 29th overall in 2006 out of Ohio State. However even he won't deny that last season he was under-performing. He was rated as the 19th best center last year, which marked his lowest position since the PFF stats became available in 2007.
For example, lets have a look at how he has ranked over the course of the last 7 years.
With Mangold going from 1st to 2nd, to 6th and then to 19th, you would be forgiven for thinking that he was hitting the inevitable decline. He's recently turned 30 and the offensive talent around him as progressively got worse over the last few years.
Thankfully, so far in 2014, Mangold has been superb. He has not allowed a sack, a hurry or even a hit on his QB who sometimes has a tendency to hold onto the football for too long. This is even more impressive when you consider he has come up against some very dangerous opponents.
I' decided to watch him closely against the Lions and what is a dominant defensive line. Not only did he hold his own, but he also dominated at the point of attack, coming out with his best grade of the season. His pass blocking remains consistent but it's his run blocking that really excels.
It's a shame that he has two of the worst rated guards either side of him, because he anchors this unit so well. If we can get even decent guard play the rest of the way, this could be a dominant unit once again. Mangold has been a career Jet and I hope he ends his career here. We often don't give a hat-tip to the players who do their job without getting much glory, but I wanted to highlight just how good Mangold has been this year.