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NFL draft: Top 10 offensive tackles

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    NFL draft: Top 10 offensive tackles
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    Posted: March 10, 2009
    A quick look at the top 10 draft prospects at offensive tackle:

    1. Jason Smith, Baylor (6-5, 309)


    Not only is Smith the best athlete among offensive line prospects in the 2009 draft, he also is a tireless worker who wants to be the best player on the field. There are not many negatives to his game. He will be a starter from the day he is drafted and has a strong chance to be a Pro Bowler by his second NFL season.

    2. Eugene Monroe, Virginia (6-5 1/4, 309)

    Monroe emerged as an anchor for Virginia's offensive line as a junior, and his play continued to improve his senior season, causing him to rise on draft boards. He already is a solid pass blocker and strong run blocker, and he simply needs consistency in his technique to become an elite offensive tackle. Overall, he must have done something right to keep the left tackle job at Virginia when Branden Albert (Chiefs) was relegated to playing left guard. Monroe hasn't received the hype of Andre Smith and might not be as talented, but when it comes to overall consistency and a safe bet with a high draft pick, Monroe is the winner.

    3. Andre Smith, Alabama (6-4, 332)

    Smith has the talent to be an elite offensive tackle in the NFL but will struggle to attain that level unless he can keep his weight under control and play with consistent technique.


    4. William Beatty, Connecticut (6-6, 307)

    Beatty jumps out on film because of his quick footwork and all-around athleticism. If he improves his strength and learns to use his hands more aggressively, Beatty has the tools to become a solid starting left tackle. An impressive Senior Bowl performance really helped his draft status, as he has jumped into first-round consideration.

    5. Eben Britton, Arizona (6-6, 309) Britton, a junior, definitely could have returned to school to help his draft status. There's no doubt he has the size, strength and athleticism to become a solid tackle in the NFL, but his tendency to block upright and high leads to ineffectiveness in that area. With improvements in his blocking, he could start at either side at the next level.

    6. Jason Watkins, Florida (6-5 5/8, 318)

    Watkins' athleticism jumps out on film, but so does his lack of consistency. He has the physical talent to be a premier NFL left tackle, but his technique allows shabby defensive ends to beat him too often. Watkins regressed when he switched from left tackle as a junior to right tackle his senior season. He had fallen more than almost any player over the last year but had a strong week of work at the Senior Bowl. While the ability is there, players with his inconsistencies are not worth gambling on Day 1.

    7. Michael Oher, Ole Miss (6-4 1/2, 309)

    Oher has the size, strength and athleticism to be an elite left tackle but sure didn't play like it in '08. If he does not greatly improve his technique, footwork, consistency and intensity, he'll struggle to make it in the NFL. Although the book The Blind Side has given him a tremendous amount of positive publicity, details about Oher's learning struggles have hurt his draft stock because coaches are concerned about whether he can handle the mental side of the game. Some less-gifted offensive tackle prospects will be drafted ahead of Oher because of that.

    8. T.J. Lang, Eastern Michigan (6-4 1/4, 312)

    Lang received marginal evaluations two seasons ago, but his play in '08 took him to a new level and put him in elite company. He has the ability to play all along the offensive line and will rise up draft boards because of his athleticism and versatility. Lang still must get stronger, but he shows the work ethic to be drafted in the first two rounds.

    9. Troy Kropog, Tulane (6-5 3/8, 309)

    Many thought Kropog would move up draft boards this spring, but he didn't start out well with a bad week at the Senior Bowl. He looked out of place in Mobile, was pushed around at the point of attack and couldn't pass block consistently. Kropog has the athleticism coaches covet, but he must greatly improve his strength and become more consistent with his technique to develop into an NFL starter.

    10. Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma (6-7 3/4, 332)

    Loadholt has all the physical tools to develop into a productive NFL starter, but to make it happen he must play a lot better than he did in college. He needs major improvement in his technique, which was exposed at the Senior Bowl, where Loadholt was consistently beaten by just about anyone who lined up against him. He's a major risk if drafted before the fourth round.

    Russ Lande founded GM Jr. Scouting LLC, a football scouting service that analyzes NFL draft prospects for Sporting News.

    SPEAK OUT
  2. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    dumb list, 2 of his top 10 OTs will be better fits at OG

    Lang and Kropog
  3. Avery

    Avery The Dog that Saved Charleston

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    Loadholt is a guard or RT - he's to slow to handle any speed rushers.
  4. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Oher stock has really plumeted. I'd love to see him in big D.:confused:
  5. 28 Joker

    28 Joker 28 Joker

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    If you put some weight on Jamon Meredith's lower body and gave him a redshirt, I bet he could play LT for the Cowboys.

    He's the only guy I see that might be available, for Dallas, that could be a LT. If you can't get Beatty, I would think Meredith would be an alternative.
  6. dasander

    dasander Member

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