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NFL draft: Top 10 guards
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NFL draft: Top 10 guards
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Posted: March 11, 2009
Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts take a quick look at the top-10 draft prospects at guard:
1. Duke Robinson, Oklahoma (6-3 1/8, 329)
Robinson has received a ton of national attention, and though he's not a superstar prospect, he should become a good NFL starter. For such a massive offensive lineman, he is a surprisingly good athlete and moves his feet well. He has the size and strength to be a dominant blocker but must become more consistent and improve his technique to capitalize on his talent.
2. Greg Isdaner, West Virginia (6-4, 315)
Many of our scouts were surprised when Isdaner announced he was declaring for the draft early, but then saw why after evaluating him on film. He had an impressive college career and projects to do the same at the next level. Though he hasn't received much media attention and won't wow anyone with his physical ability, people around the NFL know and like him. Isdaner has all the tools to become a long-term starter in the NFL.
3. Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin (6-5 3/8, 323)
Urbik, a four-year starter with the Badgers, was one of the nation's top linemen last year, but his skills don't translate to tackle in the NFL. He is better suited to guard, where he can use his size to his advantage. His frame will have many line coaches wanting to mold him, but there are some important concerns.
Will he be able to make the transition to guard, and can he improve his footwork to make up for his lack of quickness? After cleaning up his technique for a year, Urbik should become a solid starting guard.
4. Louis Vasquez, Texas Tech (6-4 3/4, 330)
Vasquez displays a toughness that isn't seen much in the NFL. Players like him often end up doing better in the pros because of their physical style. He probably won't be drafted as highly as we have him rated, but within a season or two he will become a starter in the NFL and have a long career.
5. Andy Levitre, Oregon State (6-2 3/8, 306)
Levitre played left tackle at Oregon State but lacks the speed, height, arm length and athleticism to play that position in the NFL. On film, he shows all the traits to make the switch to guard in the pros, but concerns have mounted after a disappointing performance during Senior Bowl week. Levitre has the talent to become a solid starter in the NFL but will need to improve his playing strength.
6. Jaimie Thomas, Maryland (6-4, 331)
Few guards with Thomas' strength display the quick footwork and overall athleticism he possesses. He could be productive in any offensive scheme because of his physical style. He has the athleticism to handle all the blocks speed-based teams like the Colts and Broncos require their linemen to make.
7. C.J. Davis, Pittsburgh (6-1 3/4, 313)
If Davis is drafted purely for his production, he could come off the board as early as Round 2. However, his lack of height will hurt his chances of being drafted higher than the fourth round. He is a hard-nosed player who should have a solid NFL career.
8. Travis Bright, BYU (6-4 3/8, 316)
Bright is a solid player who understands how to play the game. He is a good run blocker but needs some work on pass blocking. Still, there's little doubt he'll be playing on Sundays next season.
9. Trevor Canfield, Cincinnati (6-4 1/2, 311)
He was one of the most overhyped prospects entering the 2008 season. After Canfield's solid junior year in 2007, many scouts had him listed as a second-rounder, but he failed to play at that level as a senior. He is a much better run blocker than pass protector. Although he is a powerful lineman, his lack of flexibility and athleticism will cost him in the NFL. Canfield has the talent to start for a team like the Steelers that values size and strength over athleticism in its linemen.
10. Maurice Miller, Mississippi (6-3 1/8, 341)
Miller lacks speed to lead block on outside runs, looks soft and won't impress anyone during predraft workouts, but he's a legitimate prospect. He stops pass rushers in their tracks and pins them on the line. With improvement in his leverage and technique, Miller can be a productive NFL player.
For more than 450 in-depth player scouting reports and updated Combine and pro day data, go to warroom.sportingnews.com.
Russ Lande founded GM Jr. Scouting LLC, a football scouting service that analyzes NFL draft prospects for Sporting News.