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Thread: Grading the OT class of 08

          
   
   
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  1. #1
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    Grading the OT class of 08

    NFL Scouting Combine Preview: OTs
    By Chris Steuber
    NFL Draft Analyst
    Posted Feb 13, 2008


    The 2008 offensive tackle draft class is led by Michigan's Jake Long, who is destined to be a top-five selection. With the Scouting Combine right around the corner, Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber previews and ranks the offensive tackles who will perform in Indianapolis.


    1. Jake Long, Michigan

    Long is the best offensive tackle available this April and is a sure top-five selection. He’s a durable, versatile lineman who can line up at left or right tackle. He will be drafted as a left tackle and anchor an offensive line for many years to come. Scouts will monitor Long’s lateral movement and explosion off the line in Indianapolis.

    2. Ryan Clady, Boise State

    Clady is the second best tackle in the nation next to Long. He has a world of potential and is still developing his game. Entering the NFL after his junior season, Clady faces a major learning curve. But he’s a mature individual and should handle the transition well. His aggressiveness is questionable, and he has to be quicker off the line in running situations and initiate contact. Scouts want to see a mean streak out of Clady at the Combine.

    3. Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh

    Otah is a massive tackle who has a huge upside. He has freakish strength and is surprisingly mobile for a man of his size. He uses his hands well and delivers a vicious punch. He has to continue developing his lateral mobility and will have to lose some weight. But he has good athleticism, and that’s what will stand out to everyone in attendance.

    4. Chris Williams, Vanderbilt

    Williams really improved his draft stock in Mobile. He moved extremely well and displayed excellent technique. He played inside and outside but appeared uncomfortable when he played at guard. He even showed a mean streak when he got into a scuffle with Texas A&M DT Red Bryant. That aggression wouldn’t be applauded in a game, but it scored points with team personnel and scouts because it showed his passion. Williams will continue to shine at the Combine.

    5. Sam Baker, USC

    Baker is a savvy veteran who knows how to play the game, but doesn’t possess great athleticism. He’s dealt with some injuries during his career at USC, and that will be a concern as he moves forward. He played well at the Senior Bowl, but didn’t stand out during practices or in the game. He will have to show better mobility and strength at the Combine.

    6. Gosder Cherilus, Boston College

    In his first three seasons at Boston College, Cherilus started every game at right tackle. He switched to left tackle this past season and was good, but didn’t have the same success as he did on the right side. However, Cherilus played well in Mobile and shined against some of the top DEs in the country. Cherilus will have to continue to show that he can play on the left side at the Combine, because if he projects as a right tackle that will hurt his draft stock.

    7. Carl Nicks, Nebraska

    Nicks is an enormous tackle who has tremendous strength. He really impressed scouts in Mobile with his instincts and leg drive. He can completely knock defenders out of a play and he finishes hard. Nicks has to improve his quickness. He looked slow and winded on occasion at the Senior Bowl, and teams will address his conditioning with him during interviews in Indianapolis.

    8. Anthony Collins, Kansas

    Collins is one of the nations more polished tackles. He had an outstanding season for Kansas and helped the Jayhawks to an incredible 12 – 1 record, which included an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. Collins has good technique and moves well laterally, and he is an intriguing prospect heading into the Combine.

    9. Oniel Cousins, UTEP

    Cousins is a versatile lineman who didn’t play particularly well at the Senior Bowl. He got overpowered inside when he went up against the likes of Sedrick Ellis and Trevor Laws. And when he played outside, his short arms didn’t help him against fast DEs. But he’s very nimble on his feet and moves well laterally. He will have to improve his strength and show scouts that he can handle bigger, faster defenders.

    10. Heath Benedict, Newberry

    Benedict surprised a lot of scouts in Mobile with his nasty style of play. He has great strength and is quick off the line. He can play inside and outside and has the ability to dominate. He has to improve his footwork, and that will be monitored at the Combine

    Chris Williams is still my first choice in this years draft. I think he is even better than Jake Long but gets knocked down a few slots because of where he plays. I know he played in the SEC, but he played for a team that is not known as a football powerhouse. I believe Long playing at Michigan helps his draft placement. There are two things that really standout to me about Williams. First off, he is a lean 315lbs. unlike some of the others on this list who look like lardasses. Williams looks like he could be a defensive end. Second, because he is lean he has incredibly quick feet which is paramount at LT. I don't like that Clady doesn't show much aggression. I don't like that Otah is fat and slow. Long will be long gone by the 23rd. Cherilus has potential but some think he might be a better RT. Williams is the guy I want. I watched him a lot at the senior bowl and I was impressed!

    Cousins sounds like he might have some potential to be our next center.
    Last edited by BlackGold4vr; 02-14-2008 at 09:36 AM.
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    We need to trade up to get on of the top 5 guys (switch Baker for Cherilus), I hope and pray that we don't reach for the sake of just getting anyone of the other OT's. I'm still waiting on our signings, that would effect our day 1 picks.


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    give me williams or cherilus and move heath benedict to guard

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    Chris Williams all the way.....Thats who I want also....

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    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_558864.html

    By Scott Brown
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    The biggest attraction, literally and figuratively, at Pitt's Pro Day wasn't exactly a no-show.

    But Jeff Otah merely joined the NFL scouts and coaches in watching Pitt prospects run, jump and do anything they could to improve their standing in next month's draft.

    Otah, a projected first-round pick, decided not to work out Monday for the estimated 15 teams that were represented on the South Side because the mammoth offensive tackle still is nursing an ankle injury.

    Otah said he sprained his left ankle before the start of his senior season at Pitt and never got the chance to rest it enough so it could heal. He wants to be at full strength when the 6-foot-6, 322-pounder stages his own pro day April 9.

    "I definitely wasn't 100 percent at the (NFL Scouting) Combine," Otah said.

    A gimpy ankle may have hindered Otah the past couple of months, but he's still expected to be one of the first offensive tackles taken in a draft that is flush with talent at that position.

    Given that he didn't start playing offensive tackle until his senior year of high school, Otah has a considerable upside. He also has good feet, a quality that is required of a tackle and one that is a product of all the time Otah spent playing basketball while growing up.

    "He's got a lot of things that you like, and it starts with (his being) 6-6, 330 (pounds)," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after watching the workouts at the indoor facility that his team shares with Pitt. "I'm sure everyone's aware that he's a capable guy."

    Offensive line is arguably the Steelers' biggest area of need heading into the draft, and they have met with Otah and Panthers tackle/guard Mike McGlynn.
    The dude hasn't worked out for anybody this year but everybody still thinks he'll go in the 1st round. Obviously workouts aren't everything but you'd sure like to see where a potential player you want is at conditioning wise, skills, etc. before you go making a 15 million dollar investment in him.

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    I would pass on Otah in the first myself....

    Williams, Albert or Groves in the first....

    hen I say we make a move for Kendall Langford in the 2nd...Since I don't think he falls to our pick in the 3rd....If the Steelers don't take Langford in the 2nd and if he is still there in the early part of the 3rd...I hope we trade up to draft him then in the early third...

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    Texans hot for Williams

    Was watching the NFL network and they were talking about the Texans draft needs. The sportswriter from Houston said the Texans are really high on Williams and if he is available they will take him. They are trying to build a strong run game and they love Williams strength, footwork and ability to get downfield and get those 2nd and 3rd blocks. No way he slides to 23rd. I would still be happy with Albert or Groves with our first pick.

    Agree Otah is a fat pig and will probably eat his way out of the NFL. I have heard several scouts say that Otah is a coach killer because he has 1st round bust written all over him!

    DE 193 Kendall Langford SR 6-5.5/297/5.03 Hampton Petersburg, VA

    He is currently projected by scout.com to be a 6th round pick. If the Steelers are that high on him they should grab him in the 4th but not on day 1.

    C 327 Doug Legursky SR 6-3/311/- Marshall Beckley, WV

    Legursky is projected at #327. In other words don't draft him when you can grab him for nothing as a URFA.
    Last edited by BlackGold4vr; 03-25-2008 at 09:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGold4vr View Post

    Agree Otah is a fat pig and will probably eat his way out of the NFL. I have heard several scouts say that Otah is a coach killer because he has 1st round bust written all over him!

    Kinda remind you of one....Jamain Stephens ? Dude had the chance to do so much in the NFL but as u mentioned he ate his way out of the league and is still probably trying to finish that run test

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    SA's #1 Pirates Fan Tetris Champion Black@Gold Forever32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGold4vr View Post
    Was watching the NFL network and they were talking about the Texans draft needs. The sportswriter from Houston said the Texans are really high on Williams and if he is available they will take him. They are trying to build a strong run game and they love Williams strength, footwork and ability to get downfield and get those 2nd and 3rd blocks. No way he slides to 23rd. I would still be happy with Albert or Groves with our first pick.

    Agree Otah is a fat pig and will probably eat his way out of the NFL. I have heard several scouts say that Otah is a coach killer because he has 1st round bust written all over him!

    DE 193 Kendall Langford SR 6-5.5/297/5.03 Hampton Petersburg, VA

    He is currently projected by scout.com to be a 6th round pick. If the Steelers are that high on him they should grab him in the 4th but not on day 1.

    C 327 Doug Legursky SR 6-3/311/- Marshall Beckley, WV

    Legursky is projected at #327. In other words don't draft him when you can grab him for nothing as a URFA.
    Most draft pundits have Langford going in the 3rd round....I saw one site have him going in the fourth.....I'm not trying to start an argument but I havn't seen Langford anywhere sniffing the 6th round...I have seen Legursky going as early as the 4th round to being undrafted....Strange things happen always on draft day so who knows....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
    Most draft pundits have Langford going in the 3rd round....I saw one site have him going in the fourth.....I'm not trying to start an argument but I havn't seen Langford anywhere sniffing the 6th round...I have seen Legursky going as early as the 4th round to being undrafted....Strange things happen always on draft day so who knows....

    I am not going to argue over sources, but scout.com is a network that uses inside sources from all the teams. Not that they are never wrong but I have found their free agency and draft rankings to be fairly reliable sources in the past. There are players who can slip through the cracks. Example: I saw that they didn't have Philip Merling ranked in the top 100. I emailed them with a WTF??? They moved him to 27th shortly thereafter. Could be Langford has been overlooked. I like him too but don't want to see us over-reach and pick him before we have to. They currently have Langford ranked 18th amongst the DE's.
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