April 12, 2011

Right Tackle Prospects

Well the machine moves on, the league and players seem to be talking again and the Broncos are working out draft prospects (Ellis, Moch and Coulson). Last week we took a look at the running backs and tight ends we could be going after in the draft. This week we take a final look at draft prospects as we will be looking at Tackle prospects. These Tackle prospects I have slated for Right Tackle, this would be an area of need if Harris is let go. Here we go...

Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Height: 6-5. Weight: 310.
Hand Size: 11 in.
Pro Day 40 Time: 4.93.
Bench: 31. Arm Length: 36 3/8 in.
Projected Round (2011): Top 15 Pick.
Date of birth: December 12, 1990 (age 20)
Grade: 8.3

Smith is one of the best prospects on the hoof in this class. Blessed with an ideal NFL frame and has the outstanding feet and athleticism necessary to be a starting left tackle. Does a great job staying in front of speed rushers, locks on and sustains, and can anchor against the bull rush. Shows solid power in the running game and is really productive out in space. Football IQ is lacking. Fails to find his target at times in the running games and is a tick slow recognizing blitzes. Smith could come off the board early in the first round due to his rare physical gifts.

Smith possesses ideal height and length combined with rare speed and mobility for an offensive tackle. Can sink his hips to counter the bull rush. Moves his feet really well to shadow quicker speed rushers. Very comfortable blocking in space pulling on the perimeter and getting to the second level. Has a mean streak.

Would benefit from adding more bulk to his frame. Does not have natural football instincts. Overall awareness is lacking. Can be baited by stunts and twists. Does not recognize the blitz as quickly as you'd like to see. Can be beat by speed-to-power pass rushing moves.
He had a 29 vertical and 9-1 broad jump. He posted a 4.68 short shuttle, 7.48 three-cone drill and did 31 bench reps (which is insane with his arm length).

Pass blocking: His best trait. Flashes very good initial quickness and gains good depth with his initial kick-slide. Plays on the balls of his feet with good forward and lateral balance. Shuffles his feet laterally to mirror the defender. Has the long arms and strong hands to lock onto the defender. Loses focus and relies too much on his agility to remain in front of the pass rusher. Becomes susceptible to swim moves when he doesn't use his hands aggressively. Has the agility to handle converting to the left side.

Run blocking: Good positional blocker. Quick off the snap and can catch and turn his opponent away from the play. Does a nice job of walling off his target, but needs to get stronger and keep his feet churning to drive his opponent out. Too often gets stood up by defenders, creating a pile that the ballcarrier must run around, rather than clearing a hole for the play to run through. Isn't afraid of contact and can drive the defender off the ball in short-yardage situations with his initial push, but isn't yet strong enough to finish blocks consistently.

Pulling/trapping: Good mobility to pull and lead the toss-sweep. Good balance and straight-line speed getting to the second level. Struggles to hit the brakes and re-direct and allows his arms to flail at the defender, which could draw holding calls at the next level.

Initial Quickness: Inconsistent with his initial get-off. Capable of being the first off the snap, as he often is when he anticipates a blitz to his side or has to get out in front of a sweep play, but can also be among the last off the snap.

Downfield: Good athleticism and effort to make downfield blocks. Looks for someone to hit and will peel back if necessary to pop a defender giving chase. Good overall athleticism, but struggles changing direction and therefore must do a better job anticipating where the defender is going to be, rather than allowing him to rush past.

Intangibles: Only three years removed from high school. Occasionally moved to left tackle during games, but all 24 of his career starts were at right tackle. Missed the Boston College game in 2009 due to an academic suspension. Missed the 2010 Notre Dame game with a sprained knee. Played on special teams, blocking two kicks in 2010 (Washington State, Arizona State). Not yet a finished product. Turned 20 on Dec. 12.

In 2010, he was first team All Pac-10 and won the Morris Trophy award as the conference's top offensive lineman.

My Take: Smith is a freak athlete, he has size and speed, freakishly long arms and huge hands. I think his current ability, his technique and footwork, limit him to a RT role. He would need a lot of work to play on the left side. But we have Clady there so Smith could play for us on the right side which would become Tebow’s blind side if he plays. To pick Smith we would have to trade down at least once to the 5-10 area. The Cowboys seem to really like him though. Seems to cut a surprising lot, but when he doesn’t he can stand up defensive ends because of his long arms and stop them dead in their tracks. Also very young. Me likey...

Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
Height: 6-6. Weight: 330.
Hand Size: 9 ¾ in.
Arm Length: 33 ½ in.
Combine 40 Time: 5.43 unofficial, 5.46 official.
Bench: 30.
Projected Round (2011): 2-3.
Grade: 6.4

Gilbert has the height, length and athleticism NFL teams are looking for in an offensive tackle. Could become a quality starter with some added power and attitude. Does a really good job in pass protection getting set, engaging with his long arms, riding ends past the launch point, or mirroring inside moves with his feet. Gets out of his stance quickly and can seal and wall off defenders when run blocking but isn't a mauler. Not going to blow defenders off the ball and is susceptible to the bull rush. Awareness is adequate but still improving. Gilbert's a mid-round prospect with upside to start.

Gilbert has great size, length and mobility. Displays a quick set, can mirror speed rushers, and can push them past the pocket with his long arms. Comfortable moving laterally when run blocking. Can get out on the edge and pull. Has the athleticism to get to the second level. Solid instincts.

Can be pushed into the passer by the bull rush. Doesn't get too much movement off the ball in the running game. Fails to keep driving legs after initial contact. Takes poor routes to targets in space and at the second level. Doesn't play with tenacity until the whistle.

Pass blocking: Solid pass protector with a quick set, fluid lateral movement and willingness to go out and punch his man off the snap instead of waiting for the rush to come to him. Usually keeps his feet active and arms extended while engaged. Sustains after initial contact and can anchor against most ends. Good balance to protect the inside lane. Reacts quickly to late blitzers on most plays, escorting them around the pocket with his length. Must become more consistent picking up linebackers off the edge against 3-4 fronts. Gets down well to cut block on quick throws, but needs to get more of his opponent to take him out. Will lunge while recovering from strong initial contact.

Run blocking: Effective size and mobility to be an extremely effective positional blocker at the next level. Anchors against strong defensive ends well, resets his hands to sustain the block. Moves his feet to wall off backside run support and sustain until the play is away. Also has quick feet to the second level; does more than get in the way, will extend his arms to fully negate linebacker (raises them off the ground at times). Good drive-blocker, churns forward after engaging and will usher his man downfield for seven to 10 yards. Could potential turn defenders out of the hole. Athletic and long enough to block down on tackles and still push blitzing linebackers out of the play. Body control and posture must be more consistent; loses his balance when leaning forward against defensive ends or lunging towards linebackers at the second level. Will get tripped up in trash.

Pulling/trapping: Effective trapping inside and getting out in front of plays run to side because of his quick feet. Moves around the guard or tight end well for his size, is flexible enough to turn the corner and find a target. Takes out linebackers in space by latching on or laying out his tall frame on cut blocks. Needs to use his hands to get through trash and will get tripped up at times because he leans too far forward. Does not always adjust well to inside defenders; can get a hand on smaller defenders but is best when heading straight for his target.

Initial Quickness: Gets off the snap very well for his size, gets into his opponent if man-up on the outside or tries to get to the linebackers in a hurry. Strong punch and arm extension to pass protect or lock up his man on run plays. Quick kick-slide to mirror most strong-side ends, though not elite in this area; his length allows him to compensate against quicker college defensive ends.

Downfield: Has the mix of hustle and athleticism to get a hand inside on the tackle, push aside a linebacker and reach a safety ten yards downfield on a single run play. Does not always hit inside defenders or other intended targets, however, as quicker defenders will sidestep him because he runs upright. Can be too satisfied just getting in the way, needs to sustain downfield blocks longer to prevent his man from chasing down plays.

Intangibles: Reliable, durable player who consistently gives good effort. One of the team's senior leaders for 2010. Mature, well-liked player with no known character issues. Studies his playbook and constantly looks to improve. Father is a retired Secret Service agent.

My Take: Gilbert is versatile. He played guard then RT and then LT last year. Solid kid, doesn’t have the huge muscularly physic of Smith but is a solid dude. Surprisingly short arms for a guy his size which means in the NFL he will be a RT only. Also a former teammate of Tebow so he knows his style. Is technically very sound and could be a good pick in the second or third round.

Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 325.
Hand Size: 10 in.
Combine 40 Time: 5.33 unofficial, 5.38 official.
Arm Length: 36.
Bench: 29. Vertical: 29 Broad: 8’7.
3 – cone: 8.27 secs.
Date of birth: January 1, 1989 (age 22)
Projected Round (2011): 3-4.
Grade: 4.9

Barksdale's a backup right tackle prospect with exceptional size but less-than-adequate athleticism for the next level. Uses his strength to stop the bull rush in pass protection, but has a difficult time dealing with double-moves or edge rushers. Can create some running room by walling off defenders but doesn't fire off the ball, get a ton of movement, or excel locating targets at the second level. Has good football IQ, picking up blitzers and staying home against stunts, but limited athleticism still causes him to be a step late at times. Developmental prospect worthy of a late-round pick.

Barksdale has ideal size for the tackle position. Capable of thwarting power pass rushers and using his windspan to push rushers past the pocket. Does a good job getting into position while running blocking and letting his size take over. Can picks up blitzing linebackers and stays home against stunts. Experienced and durable.

Not a great overall athlete. Lacks some quickness and flexibility. Speed rushers give him problems in pass pro. 3-techiniques can beat him to the point in the running game. Not overly comfortable blocking in space. Not a true road-grader. Has natural strength but doesn’t doesn't play with nastiness.

Positives: Ideal size. Long arms with an even distribution of weight. Versatile player who has only four years of experience at tackle. Came to LSU as a highly touted defensive tackle prospect and that defensive mentality is occasionally seen on tape. Gains good depth on his kick-slide and has the lateral agility and balance to mirror the defender. Long arms and strong hands to control. Can turn and seal off defenders in the running game, giving backs an easy lane to run through. Shows some athletic ability getting to the second level and, while not nimble, can get in the way of the linebacker, essentially making the block. Legitimate upside. Might just be scratching the surface of his potential and could wind up a better NFL player than he was in college.

Negatives: Lacks the elite athleticism necessary to remain at left tackle in the pros -- though he started and earned second-team All-SEC honors as a senior. Has a troubling tendency to drop his head and bend at the waist on contact, which puts him off-balance. Can be overwhelmed when he gets lazy and doesn't keep his feet moving. Remains a technically flawed prospect who has been able to get by on only his natural ability.

My Take: There are a lot of good words out there about Barksdale, he has all the measureables you look for in a tackle prospect. I prefer him on the right side but he has played most on the left so the transition may be hard for him. Limited knowledge of the position (came to college as a DT but played tackle for 3 years) and with work could improve greatly. But that depends on his effort. Would need to take his game to the next level if he wants to be a starter. He would be could value in the 4th.

Jah Reid, OT, Central Florida
Height: 6-7. Weight: 327 combine, 321 pro day.
Hand Size: 10 ¼ in.
Arm Length: 34 3/8 in
Combine 40 Time: 5.26 unofficial, 5.4 official.
Pro Day 40 Time: 5.29 and 5.32.
Bench: 28. Vertical: 29.5 in. Broad: 9’3.
3-Cone: 7.73 secs, 7.59 at pro day.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.
Grade: 5.0

Reid's a physically gifted prospect who needs some technical refinement and to improve his recognition skills but has a chance to become a starter down the line. Good pass blocker who uses his size well, forcing rushers wide past the pocket. Has pretty good feet and flashes the ability to slide back inside and get to the second level to pick off linebackers. Main issue is he plays high. Doesn't jar defenders off the ball and can be knocked backwards by the bull rush. Has proven to be very durable and has a solid work-ethic. Reid's a potential Day 2 pick with upside.

Reid has great size and length. Comes out of his stance quickly and uses long arms to push ends past the launch point. Slides his feet well, agile. Wall-off run blocker who gains initial position. Can block out in space. Very durable and has a lot of starts under his belt. Hard-worker.
Struggles with his pad level due to natural size. Vulnerable against bull rushers who get into his chest. Loses the low-man battle in the running game. Doesn't drive legs and get much movement off the ball. Leans and lunges at times. Awareness is below average. Doesn't play with much of a mean streak.

Strengths: Has a long frame with above-average athleticism. Has no injury concerns and has strong experience as a three-year starter. Shows ability to ride rushers past the pocket with long arms. Possesses adequate quickness and gets into position on time. Controls college defensive linemen when he locks on due to decent upper-body strength. Flashes the awareness to help out inside when necessary and is a tough player who worked hard to lose weight after enrolling. Is athletic enough to find linebackers and engage targets at the second level.

Weaknesses: Does not possess a mean streak, lacks violent punch at the point of attack. Plays very high and back on his heels, allowing defenders to gain early leverage and get under his pads. Waist-bender who allows his height to work against him, top-heavy when engaging quick rushers. Awkwardly attempts to sit into his stance and often loses balance when trying to mirror opponents. Lean into targets. Struggles with hand placement, allows rushers into his body. Lumbers in space at times and does not consistently break down when asked to make a block at the second level. Gets lost looking for blitzers and possesses below average awareness when facing added pressure from the defense.

My Take: Of the tackle prospects that I have here Reid is my favourite. He is a big guy, has good arm length but his arms are a little small for a guy of his size, you would expect them to be bigger. Hasn’t had any injuries, and played for 3 years on the right side. I think he has a lot of upside and can start in the league. Has to work on technique but he has the work ethic to get it done. And if he is available in the 5th round I say jump all over him.

Jarriel King, OT/G, South Carolina
Height: 6-5. Weight: 317.
Hand Size: 10 ¾ in.
Arm Length: 36 3/8.
Combine 40 Time: 5.03 unofficial, 5.06 official.
Bench: 23. Vertical: 30. Broad: 9’6.
3-cone: 7.6 secs.
Projected Round (2011): 4-6.
Grade: 3.3

King has a great frame and the athleticism to be a reserve left tackle at the next level. He excels in pass protection, as he can sink his hips to thwart the bull rush and also locks out his arms effectively to push edge rushers past the pocket. He is naturally strong, but his slow first step prevents him from getting a strong initial position and consistently generating a good push. He has missed time due to an irregular heart beat that may end his chances at an NFL career, but he has enough talent to be a later round pick.

King is tall with a thick muscular build. Shows good awareness recognizing stunts and blitzes and has the foot quickness to mirror defenders in pass protection. Strong kid with a good power base that has the agility to make blocks in the second level.

Slow off the ball and will struggle to block quicker edge rushers. Does not always play with sound leverage which neutralizes his strength. Takes poor angles at times in the running game. Lacks the mean streak to dominate an opponent. Has a serious heart condition.

Positives: Ideal body type to play offensive tackle at the next level -- long, solid frame, broad shoulders, long arms. Raw athlete with upside and significant room to develop as an offensive lineman after being converted from a junior college defensive end. When able to get off the line quickly and extend his arms, King shows "shutdown" type flashes in pass protection. Showed some versatility at South Carolina, starting two games at left guard in 2009. Possesses the athleticism to be an effective blocker in the run game with the ability to get downfield ahead of the run and engage defenders at the second level. Struggles to get leverage against opposing defensive linemen when run-blocking, often coming off the line too upright and getting pushed into the backfield. Similar problems when run blocking downfield, not getting low enough to properly use his legs and drive defenders backward.

Negatives: An alarming list of off-the-field struggles and run-ins with the law including a trespassing conviction, a theft charge, and an assault and battery charge stemming from an altercation with a former girlfriend. Inconsistent timing of first step off the line often leaves him beat to the edge by opposing defensive ends, resulting in poor footwork and inability to establish proper position. Has a tendency to over-anticipate and "reach" for the defender off the line rather than slide-stepping into a solid stance, extending his arms and allowing the defender to approach him. This overpursuit often results in bending at the waist with a subsequent loss of balance, forcing him to have to "chase" down defenders who beat him to the edge. Absorbs too much of defender's initial punch by bending his back rather than bending his knees; relies too heavily on arm and upper-body strength for proper extension. Lack of quickness off the line leads to inconsistent hand placement inside the shoulders of opposing pass rusher, making him vulnerable to strong initial punch and bull rush. Lacks consistent footwork and slide-step technique to handle change-of-direction, fake and spin moves by pass rushers at the next level.

My Take: Has the measureables that you look for in a tackle prospect. But I think he is a grade A asshat, in other words an idiot. Has a lot of character concerns, I can see the Raiders drafting him late.

Other than the guys listed there are a lot of OT prospects that could go real late in the draft if not undrafted. Would not surprise me to see us draft a guy late and get another in the undrafted crops.

Well that is it for the draft prospects, I have enjoyed looking at all the prospects over the last few months and hope I unearthed a few that you may not have heard of. Next week I will post up my Mock Draft which I have been working on for what seems like forever. But it is close to being finalised. After that, to finish off our count down to the draft we will be commencing the mock draft competition. I wonder if 80# and Doc will be back to defend their crowns? I will have more on that in the coming weeks. ~ Aussie


  1. Well despite the horrifying thought of no season, they give us hope with a preseason schedule. At least its something to look forward to. Better than nothing I guess.

    Looks like we play at Dallas, then home against Buffalo & Seattle, then away at Arizona. At this point, I'd take any preseason game they throw at us. So long as I get to watch football.

    Preseason Schedule

  2. I will read this new article tomorrow but I happened to glance at the last person you talked about, aHAHA, I take it you kinda, sorta, maybe don't like Jarriel King.

    This is all I read and I burst out laughing.
    "But I think he is a grade A asshat, in other words an idiot. Has a lot of character concerns, I can see the Raiders drafting him late." And at 6'5", 317 I would LOVE to see you say that to his face. Would probably snap you like a chicken. LOL I had to say it... made me laugh. ha

  3. Yes it is good to know that things like Preseason may happen but that is still a long shot.

    What news article are you writing?

    Also I say that about King because you need to read his rap sheet. "An alarming list of off-the-field struggles and run-ins with the law including a trespassing conviction, a theft charge, and an assault and battery charge stemming from an altercation with a former girlfriend"

    Plus I would tell him that to his face...but then bail out of there like I stole something. I doubt a 6'5 lineman could catch me wahaha.

  4. LOL LOL, I have no doubt you could out run him... its more of a matter that he'd probably grab you around the neck and pick you up off the ground attempting to choke you as you try to say all that. ahaha, just admit it, you would need Hurricane Ashley by your side for when he flips out at you. AHAHAHAHA

    Oh and that's enough info to know about King & his rap sheet. I believe it... with that said, he'd be a perfect fit for the Faiders as you had mentioned. Either way, I'd bet a million bucks (that I don't have) that in his rookie year, he'd get in some big trouble, possibly a suspension of some kind. I wouldn't put it past him.

    I guess their supposed to have mediation talks tomorrow... maybe I will get my birthday wish! HA

    Articles, eh? Don't really have anything in mind right now. Nothing to really write about unless you guys have ideas. I saw one of Tebow's Jockey commercials the other night, that would be the easiest article I ever wrote, not to mention the shortest. Here goes: "YUMMY!!!!" LOL

  5. Haha maybe, but with Hurricane Ashley backing me up I will be sweet as haha.

    I read your last post wrong, thought you were writing an article? Maybe on the new rooks we get after the draft?

    As for Tebow, that is too funny, yummy? Haha if you go to Training Camp this year Tebow will need to get a restraining order on you haha.

    And is it your Birthday tomorrow??