Seahawks Insider

Weeding through the top OT prospects

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm with 34 Comments »
February 25, 2010 5:09 pm

With the focus on offensive linemen today during the opening media session of the NFL Scouting combine, this year’s top prospects set out to distinguish themselves from the competition.

Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga and Indiana’s Roger Saffold got points for having the most polished interview skills among the offensive tackle elite, as both were well-spoken and communicated effectively during their interview session.

Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis, who at one point had ballooned to 360 pounds during his college career, came in at a svelte-for-him 323 pounds, and has perhaps the most potential of becoming an elite pass blocker

Oklahoma offensive tackle Trent Williams’ arm length of 34 ½ inches solidified his candidacy as a left tackle in the league.

And Oklahoma State Russell Okung’s no-nonsense approach to answering questions during his interview session mirrored the tough and sometimes-nasty way he plays on the field, providing further evidence of the reason some draft experts think he’s the best tackle of the bunch.

It will be up to the Seattle Seahawks to wade through all the measurables and during the interview process figure out what offensive tackle will be the best fit for their team, with Walter Jones contemplating retirement and the Seattle sitting with the No. 6 and No 14 pick overall.

Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis

Or perhaps the Seahawks, with Alex Gibbs as the offensive line coach having a history of developing productive lines without a first-round pick, pass on a first-round tackle and selected someone like USC’s Charles Brown in round 2.

Here’s what Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, had to say about the top offensive tackle prospects.

“I think Bulaga is the safest out of the five prospects, regardless of the system or scheme,” Rang said. “If you’re looking for a left tackle that isn’t necessarily going to be a Pro Bowler ever, but is going to be a very solid player for a long, long time, I think he’s a great fit for just about any club that is looking for something like that.

“But if you’re looking for upside as far as being a great, pass-blocking left tackle that potentially can be a Pro Bowler, then Anthony Davis from Rutgers is probably your guy. He has incredible talent, he just more of a risk because he’s struggled with consistency throughout his career. He’s been benched at times because he hasn’t necessarily shown the work ethic. He’s struggled with his weight in the past, things like that.

“For my money, one of the safer picks is Russell Okung. This is a kid that played in the spread offense, so he certainly has experience pass blocking. He gave up one sack his entire senior year. But at the same time when you watch him on film he’s very physical in the run game. For Seattle in particular, I still think that Bulaga of those five is probably the safest bet.”

And here are the offensive tackle measurables for those five players. Remember, scouts generally like offensive tackles to have a 33-inch reach on their arms.

Charles Brown, USC
HT: 6-5
WT: 303
Arm length: 35 ¼
Hand size: 11 3/8

Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
HT:6-5
WT:313
Arm length: 33 ¼
Hand size: 9 ¼

Anthony Davis, Rutgers
HT: 6-5
WT: 323
Arm length: 34
Hand size: 10 1/8

Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
HT: 6-5
WT: 307
Arm length: 36
Hand size: 10 ½

Trent Williams, Oklahoma
HT:6-5
WT: 315
Arm length: 34 ½”
Hand size: 9 ¾

Categories:
NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 34
  1. That’s very well said by Rob Rang. Do you go for elite talent or safe talent? I think a lot of Anthony Davis’ problems were due to youth and immaturity as he played at a young age and is still fairly young.

  2. freedom_X says:

    I don’t know that a team should spend the #6 pick on a player that doesn’t project to ever become a Pro Bowl player. Unless everyone on the board is a boom-or-bust type, I would think that’s a bad value.

    Of course, Dallas did take Russell Maryland #1 overall once, and as far as I recall he didn’t make any Pro Bowls (and that team did very well.) I can’t recall if Dallas was in as bad a shape as Seattle was when they made that move though.

    If Seattle were already a playoff team, I could see them having the luxury of making a safe and solid pick @6 with a limited upside.

  3. Any #6 will expect to get paid like a future star, so whoever we choose better have some potential star power, or we’ll have another overpaid, underachieving player, which means he’ll have a short career in Seattle, and everyone here will consider him a bust. If Spencer was a 4th round pick, he would have a lot more fans around here.

    Since the Lions are shopping their #2, I’m hoping we can work out some way of moving up for Suh. Maybe Leroy Hill and Branch and our #6 or some such thing.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    I agree with that. If the concerns are work ethic and character regarding that sort of thing, by all means, steer clear. But overall, you’ve got to select the player with the greater upside. And I would think that is the safer play, on many levels. In any case, I’d be very happy if they ended up with either Okung or Bulaga. I’d prefer Bulaga at 14. Although I do like the idea of Brown at 40, too.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that a player selected at 6 is an under achiever if he fails to make a pro bowl. To paraphrase Bill Walsh here; he felt that the perception a player selected in the first or second round should meet Pro Bowl standards was unreasonable. He felt a more realistic approach was assessing value by that players specific effect on the team. Meaning, does he contribute in a measurable way for at least 2 years. He also felt that no matter how capable and efficient a personnel department was in acquiring talent through the draft and / or FA, a 20% “failure” rate was to be expected. In any case, food for thought.

  6. Eric,

    Is Casey Knips at the combine as an offensive tackle (South Dakota State)?

  7. no more safe picks for awhile that is not working out so well. This team needs some stars which means we might have to live with a bust or two if it means we get a few pro bowlers. I like Okung But really i have no idea who is going to excel at the next level. That guard from Idaho also looks great. go hawks

  8. Consider him a ‘dirt bag’. I’ll go along with Anthony Davis for no other reason then Mora Jr. just endorsed him on Total Access.
    Rang now has Okung to TB and Bulaga to KC, Sea taking Berry 6 and DE Jason Pierre-Paul.
    Reuter has the Hawks taking LT Davis 6 and Spiller 14. I would take Iupati, Griffen, Thomas or Mays 14 over Spiller who I think can be bettered at 40 with either Best or Mathews.

  9. If Mays is there with our 2nd round pick, I’ll still be pissed if we take him.

  10. williambryan says:

    I agree BobbyK. We need playmakers. Look at the saints this last year, with there bend don’t break defense that was all about creating turnovers (Sharper). The cardinals in there SB run created turnovers in a bend but dont break fashion as well and when the hawks went to the SB they also had a famous bend but don’t break defense that wasn’t too shabby at creating turnovers. I think if Berry is there at 6 the team has to take him. And maybe the guy from texas(at 14 even though mayock likes him better than berry) if Berry is gone. Alex Gibbs lines have had a lot of success without first round talent and his line in Texas this last year helped lead a prolific offense even though they weren’t the best rushing team once Slaton went down (insinuating, perhaps, that not any old RB can succeed in Gibbs’ zone scheme). I say pass on any OL in the first round and go for playmakers.

  11. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a top 10 pick to be a pro bowl caliber player.

  12. hawkforever21 says:

    Berry and the best OT available at 14. Iupati with our 2nd maybe??

  13. I know Mays has coverage issues but 8 time pro bowler Steve Atwater wasn’t known for his coverage skills. Both look to have come from the same mold at 6-3 220 4.44 40 Mays 6-3 230 4.47 40 and Mays will fit Carrols defense having played for USC. He is a hometown boy who will dismiss the soft label attached to the Seahawks. Total upside.
    I’ve searched the highlights of 5-11 203 4.4 40 Berry and haven’t found him to be a ball hawk either.
    Houston will not tag CB Dunta Robinson having F-Tagged him a year ago. He is 5-11 4.34 40 and only 27. What is the status of 30 year old Lucas?

    Alex Gibbs ZB o-line in Denver originated with 3 time all pro 7 time pro bowler LT Gary Zimmerman, 2 time pro bowl RG Mark Schlereth, 2 time all pro 5 time pro bowler C Tom Nalen. They were blocking for pro bowl RB Terrell Davis and the blocking scheme has really nothing to do with pass blocking.
    Most run blocking is man up. ZB requires to clear a lane for the cut back and uses the cut block opponents frown upon.

  14. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the updates!!!!

    Thanks!!

  15. Bruce Campbell, Maryland ?
    Kyle Calloway, Iowa ?
    Sam Young, Notre Dame ?
    Alonzo Durham, Nevada ?

  16. CDHawkFan says:

    Hope it works out this way,

    OT or S at #6
    S or OT at #14
    OG at #40 or trade down to pick up a late 2nd and 3rd round pick

    RB and WR in later rounds

  17. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – We all have different expectations from players selected at different points in the draft. Yours however, do not mesh with Bill Walsh’s. I only put that up to temper some of the claims that if the player they select at 6 isn’t a 10-12 year vet with multiple prow bowls etc… then it was a bad pick. That would be great, but wildly unreasonable. My hope is that Walsh could help give a more realistic approach to measuring a picks worth. Bascially, the label bust gets hung on players far too easily.

  18. Dukeshire says:

    prow? lol, PRO…

  19. I can see it now. Gibbs ego prevents the Hawks from taking an O lineman before the fourth round and …..surprise! The Hawks RB has no place to run and the QB has no time to pass.

    Sorry for the negative post but after two years of the O line being a total train wreck I want to see a huge upgrade.

  20. The difference with Atwater was that he made plays at Arkansas, while Mays did not make plays like he was supposed to at USC based on his abilities. I’m not just talking about INTs either, but an all around game. Atwater didn’t have near the speed of Mays, but he was a football player, whereas it seems Mays is a workout warrior who doesn’t have the “football player” gift of an Atwater. And we can’t argue that coaching will get more out of him because he’d have the same head coach. There’s too many players who have had all the tools in the world, but couldn’t translate it onto the football field and I think Mays is another example. That’s why I want to stay away from him. I’m not in love with Berry either. I want big uglies. I know an Okung/Iupati at 6/14 wouldn’t be sexy, but we’d be well on our way to actually having a team identity. Ideally, I want to trade down though to get younger at other positions, too (assuming there’s no Suh scenario) because I’d like to address an offensive playmaker, DL, and S, too, and we’d need more than one 2nd round pick to address them (not to mention the QB stuff we’ve been talking about on the blog lately).

  21. Duke… I’m with Audible, I think Walsh has it skewed…. Perhaps put another way, in our drafts this year, …. OUR #6 pick needs to be a Pro Bowler… I don’t feel that’s ‘wildly unreasonable’ to expect… Our #14 pick needs to ‘contribute in a measurable way’, for sure, but I would hope more than 2 years… I feel it’s a copout not to expect this… Just making excuses for poor leadership…..

  22. Dukeshire says:

    Of course I said “10-12 year vet with multiple pro bowls” was unreasonable. Please at least quote me correctly. And I’m not going to defend Walsh, he of all people doesn’t need me for that, and understand those aren’t my opinions exactly. But you stand alone is you think Bill Walsh is making excuses for poor leadership.

  23. Hawks need help on both sides of the line badly.

  24. I didn’t say hall of fame caliber; I said pro bowl caliber, and I don’t really care what Walsh’s opinion is on the matter, with all due respect. When you get one of the top ten best college players in the country, it’s not unreasonable to expect him to develop into a player who can be one of the top several players in the league at his position. That’s why teams are willing to pay them so much money. The reason those guys get drafted so high often has a lot to do with their freakish athletic ability. Barring injuries, that kind of talent should translate at the next level.

  25. Palerydr says:

    I would love to see the Hawks pick up Dunta Robinson or Leigh Bodden to add some more depth to the secondary. I personally hope they are able to trade down and add picks in the first 3 rounds as there is tremendous depth in this draft. Every talking head expert seems to agree on that especially the defensive side. If they were able to trade down at 6 and 14, I just hope they choose the “right guys” with those picks. ie good solid players who help a team win. I also would at least talk to Julious Peppers agent and see what kind of number they are looking for. I would think that Daniel Snider might try to secure Peppers with a big number, as he did last year with Haynesworth, on the first day of FA signings.

  26. Palerydr says:

    Audible you should amend your post to say your “expectation” of a top 10 pick = a Pro Bowl talent. It’s a fact discussed many times on these boards that after all the testing, evaluations and gut feels of the guys making the picks players just don’t live up to that “expectation” for any number of reasons.

  27. Palerydr says:

    oops sorry audible you did say that.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – I know what you said. And with due respect, I think you’ve missed the point entirely. A lot of people would argue that Tim Tebow was one of the top 10 college players but not many expect him to have anywhere near that level of success in the NFL. The contribution to the team a player makes is far more important than individual awards, or what outsiders think. Sometimes they align but not always. I do think it’s reasonable to believe a player taken at 6, as an example, should have a significant impact on a team or a particular units success. A greater role in that than say an undrafted FA of mid to low round pick. But pro bowls and the like are secondary or at least a byproduct, not a measure.

  29. BobbyK – I’m not sure I’ve seen FS with the size/speed of Mays often. Very few hit with reckless abandon as seen done by him, Berry included. But I was only claiming that I would prefer him over Spiller.
    Not sexy? Okung/Iupati, not sexy! Surely you jest! But Okung is taken so how ’bout the brides maid, Davis, Williams or Bulaga?
    Watching Iupati throw college DT’s around makes me drool. I think with him between Davis and Unger his work ethic would mold one of the most cohesive left side units in football. Sims and Locklear on the right would be solid as well. Big Ugly ~~ Regurgitaters, mount up!

  30. seahawklovertoo says:

    Again and again the Sheep speak. Berry, Berry, Berry BAAAAH !!! How many of you out there has seen a whole game (maybe one ; none most likely) in which Berry played???????
    I’ve wasted my time at least 5 times trying to see HIM play. The Vols lost every one of them and he wasn’t anything worth watching either ( just like your home boy Mays). ARGHHHHH, all the hype b/c Monte Kiffen said he was great player….maybe the old man is getting Alzheimers, maybe he is trying to solidify some kind of legacy for his idiotic son’s time at Tennesee by running his mouth and the morons are buying it….or, maybe he is seting for his future commentator job after he retires from coaching : if Berry turns good—it will be i told you so–if not…oh well, not my fault there is one more bust at top 10.
    We need two safeties—-YES WE DO !!! But, not with our #6. Longhorns’ Thomas, LSUs Jones and FSUs Rolle will be better choices.
    Trade SIX with the Lions and take Suh (+ a player or, two) or, trade down for more picks. Same with FOURTEEN.
    If we weren’t going to run ZBS, I’d say go for Okung & Iupati ( I’m not overly sure on him, I’d rather take Mike Johnson) and be happy for the next 6 – 10 years. But, it is ZBS , and there are no need to waste 1st round picks to get ZBS tackles.

    0

  31. Dukeshire says:

    I like Earl Thomas too, but I’m not sure he’ll get out of the first either.

  32. If you look at tackles where Gibbs had the most success (Denver) you will see his LTs were Gary Zimmermann, a player in the Hall of Fame (who had a Hall of Fame career before being coached by Gibbs), and Tony Jones, who had a very good NFL career in Cleveland first, and Denver knew he was good. I don’t want to hear, nor will I accept, that anyone thinks some chump in the 849,394th round can come in at LT for us. Maybe the other OL positions, but not LT. Not at a high level, at least.

  33. I’m with BK, I’m tired of people saying “don’t waste a pick on OL, we got Gibbs”. Who F’n cares. We need a quality LT and G period, no matter what scheme we are running. If Gidds is a difference maker, than these players will end up being that much better. I don’t think we can chance waiting for the latter rounds to draft them. Every year it seems people make excusses not to draft any OL and obviously it has worked out great for us, hasn’t it.

  34. tp10super10 says:

    The real reason to watch out for drafting a Safety in the top 15 is it’s just not a position you get alot of value for. If you’re taking a Safety with a top 15 pick he better be an absolute monster and instantly one of the best players at the position. Ed Reed, universally thought of as the best S in the game and the best S/playmaker in the secondary of the decade, was taken with the 24th overall pick and he had 21 INT’s in his 4 year career with the U. 2th overall? He was dominant in college.

    Sorry to disappoint seahawklovertoo but I watched Berry play 3 games this year mainly because of the talk about him in the offseason and an article I read in ESPN Magazine before the season started. This isn’t just some one year wonder, and he’s not a creation of Monty Kiffen. Berry was the SEC Defensive player of the year who in 3 years had 14 INT’s, 497 INT return yards (2nd all time in NCAA), 3 TD’s, 17 pass defended, and my favorite stat about him..he averaged 79 tackles a year. He actually took a step backwards playing for Kiffen and was much more productive playing the “rover” type like Reed does. He is dynamic, a ball hawk, and is probably the best safety prospect since Sean Taylor…is he worth taking him at #6? If he had the fluid hips to play CB I’d say yes..in a heartbeat. But in my opinion..if I’m picking at #6 and want a Defensive Back, I’m taking Joe Haden from Florida..again..getting more value where we pick.

    As for Mays..I’m not sure what you guys are watching alledging he’s not a “football player” and he’s “not worth watching”. Mays single handedly changed games. The problem with his senior year (other than being a little stiff in pass coverage…alot of SS’s are) was he was surrounded by the youngest defense in the Pac-10. He was playing a deep half with responsibility to play everything in front of him evidenced by his 88 tackles last year. He did only have 4 career INT’s, but also averaged 7 pass deflections a season in his 4 years. Considering he is a once in a decade athletic talent mixed with a lifetime of being around football (father played in NFL) makes him nothing but a great value for someone who takes him in the 15-25 range. Bob Sanders is always hurt..and in his 6 years in the NFL has played 47 games (the equivelant of 3 years).. He only has 5 career INT’s and only 15 PD’s yet makes an impact every single time he’s on the field. Tough to compare a college kid to an All-Pro SS, but the point is it’s not all about the INT’s and stats..it’s how the player impacts the game and If you watched the 2008 Rose Bowl against Illinois then you would be an idiot to insinuate Mays isn’t a football player. Again, if the Hawks took him at #14 I wouldn’t be upset at the player, but at the value of where they are picking.

    Based on reading mock after mock and presuming before we pick at #6 Suh, McCoy, Okung, Berry, and 1 QB will be off the board, I would love to see this scenario..
    #6- Joe Hadden (Value position, normally high pay scale, elite talent)
    #14- CJ Spiller (most dynamic offensive player at need position. Would need to pair him with another back… Chester Taylor/LenDale White/Marshawn Lynch wouldn’t be bad options in a platoon but would be able to dangle Forsett at a “sell-high” time for possible extra pick(s))
    #40- Charles Brown- (6’5 308, huge reach, played in the offense already)
    #102- Mike Johnson- (Dominating in run game, would balance Unger perfectly, can play other positions other than LG, started 40 games in 4 years 54 overall..never injured.., 4.0 student with 27 on ACT’s).

    Mike Johnson is the reason I would do just about anything to trade up into the 3rd round to get him. Should be easy for all the Hutchinson dick suckers out here to remember that one of the reasons Hutch was so dominant was his intellegence. All the stories of him fully completing crossword puzzles before games in the locker room. Getting these Chris Spencer/Rob Sims bozos out of here so they can go back to their power lifting and suck somewhere else. A line of Brown, Johnson, Unger, Willis, and Locklear suddenly doesn’t look too bad…unless PA wants to throw 50mil at Jarhi Evans which I have NO problem with. Building an O with that young/hungry line throwing screens to the fastest player in our division or controlling tempo with Housh and WR X is a lot more of a sunny thought than the crap sandwich we watched the last 32 games.

    Here’s some fun viewing for the ignant folk who run their mouth without paying attention or doing anything resembling research…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWroHILuG-I

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-PG04d4-sI&feature=related (This one’s for you seahawklovertoo…watch what Berry does to Knowshon Moreno and then write something close to “he wasn’t anything worth watching either”. If you’re going to spend your time watching football games waiting for a Safety to make plays..you’re a moron. Eric Berry will be a player in this draft people look back on and wonder why they didn’t take him earlier..but as I said..it’s hard to pull the trigger on a player that plays that position.)

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