2012 NFL Draft - The Offensive Tackles
Troy OT James Brown
Troy OT James Brown
Posted Apr 16, 2012

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top OT prospects.

2012 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Offensive Tackles

By Pete Fiutak

- 2012 NFL Offensive Tackles Rankings - No. 11-25

- Offensive Guards
- Defensive Tackles
- Inside LBs
- Outside LBs
- Cornerbacks
- Safeties


2011 NFL Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs | Ss

2011 NFL Post-Combine Draft Rankings
- Top 32 Talents
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders & Top Free Agents  


2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs
This Class Is … Okay, not great. Matt Kalil is a special prospect who'll be the star of almost any line from Day One, and Riley Reiff has a world of upside and could become a major talent with a little bit of work. From then on there are question marks, but it's a class full of very tall, very big right tackles. Unfortunately, there are few sure-thing left tackles to build around.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … James Brown, Troy
Most Underrated … Nate Potter, Boise State
Most Overrated … Mitchell Schwartz, California
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Larry Wriedt, West Liberty

1. Matt Kalil, USC (Jr.) 6-7, 306
There's a case to be made that a top-shelf left tackle is harder to find than a good quarterback, and while Kalil isn't the overall prospect that Andrew Luck is, he's a special prospect who is every bit as safe. When trying to put together an NFL offensive tackle, Kalil has tools and the talent to be in the Jake Long/Joe Thomas franchise-making mold.

If there were any question marks about his ability, they were all answered at the Combine with a nearly-perfect workout. He broke the 5.0 barrier in the 40; flew through the short drills; and coming up with an excellent 30 reps on the bench, even though he's not quite built for the drill with his long arms. Not only does he have all the raw tools, but he also has the work ethic and the drive to continue to improve and continue to make himself into a star.

A fit for any system, he's a good run blocker, great at getting to the second level, and a peerless pass protector; it's all there. If there's a downside, he's not massive and he'll always be more lean than thick. He's not going to destroy his man as a power blocker, he might have a few problems against the bull rushers, and there's nothing flashy about his style, but like all great tackles he goes long stretches without being noticed. Be shocked if he's not a perennial Pro Bowl performer and the star of a line for at least the next decade.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Riley Reiff, Iowa (Jr.) 6-6, 313
Upside, upside, upside. With a nice frame and more bulk added, to go along with good athleticism and great feet, he has turned into the hot prospect who flew up draft boards all off-season. He still needs to get a bit bigger, stronger, and better, and he'll do all the dirty work needed to become special. With tight end smoothness and good functional strength, he's a pure left tackle who can start out on the right side before eventually being an anchor. However, he's more of a top prospect than a proven performer with a big need to hone his technique and to become more of a mauler. He's not a finesse blocker, but he doesn't stand out as blocker who'll destroy the man in front of him. With his size and pass blocking potential, he's going to be in a Pro Bowl at some point, but it might take a year or three to get where he needs to be.
CFN Projection: First Round

3. Jonathan Martin, Stanford (Jr.) 6-6, 312
He'll be one of the biggest calls of the early part of the draft. The size, tools, and talent are all there to be a franchise pass blocker on the right side of the line for the next decade, but he's probably going to be asked to be a star on the left side. However, he still needs lots of work and he looked great being next to guard David DeCastro, possibly the best blocker in the draft. While he needs refinement and he has to prove he can hold up against the flashier speed rushers, he's ready to be thrown to the wolves after spending his career protecting Andrew Luck in a pro-style offense. Can he be a power blocker? Is he a good enough athlete to work on an island against the star speedsters? There are major question marks and there's bust potential for where he'll be drafted, but there's also tremendous upside depending on the scheme and the work he puts in.
CFN Projection: First Round

4. Mike Adams, Ohio State 6-7, 323
Every NFL offensive tackle prospect is big, but Adams just looks really, REALLY big. He stands out size-wise on a tape, and then he showed up at the Senior Bowl and was just bigger-looking than everyone else. With his long frame he takes two hours to get around and he uses his arms and size extremely well. Not lumbering for his size, he moves well and can handle speed rushers and bull rushers alike. The problem, though, is his size can be a negative when it comes to getting too high. He never seems to be able to get the right leverage as a run blocker and he doesn't blast his man off the ball. Throw in the lightweight 19 reps on the bench at the Combine along with his reported immaturity and lack of fire, and there are major warning signs. Even so, the size is rare and the potential is there if he gets a coach willing to keep the heat on.
CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State (OG) 6-5, 333
It seems like most scouts want to kick him inside to guard right away, and he could end up spending most of his time as a left guard, but he's proven on the outside. He showed during Senior Bowl week that he at least has to be given a look at left tackle and needs to be given every opportunity on the right side. Very big and very strong, he's a true mauler who beats up his man when he locks on. While he has proven he could play at a high level, he has to bring it on every snap in every game and he might have to be consistently pushed. Staying in shape will be a constant fight with his bulk determining where he can play, and it's not a lock that he's not going to gain bad weight in a big hurry if he slips. The talent is there, but he has to want to be great.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. James Brown, Troy (OG) 6-3, 306
Extremely versatile and productive, he can play any of four positions but will be first tried out at left tackle. Athletic, he moves well and shuffles fine, and he could be ready to do far more with the potential to bulk up at least 15 pounds. In the right system, and with a little work, he could be a dominant guard, but he could prove to be too valuable on the outside as long as he wants to do the little things to make it happen. While he's good on the field, his workouts weren't anything special and there might be a hard limit on what he can become talent-wise, but he's coachable and he'll do whatever is needed to find a spot. Can he be a killer? He'll be a starter, but considering his lack of explosion he has to make up for it by ramping up the intensity.
CFN Projection: Third Round

7. Zebrie Sanders, Florida State 6-6, 320
Big, tall, and long with a terrific frame, he has added on weight over the offseason and still carries it without a problem. While he could be a right tackle at the next level, with his tools and skills he could eventually become a terrific left tackle with a little bit of tweaking and work. Great at sealing things off and redirecting the speed rushers, he does just enough to keep defenders away. The problem is the lack of athleticism to go along with issues against the power defenders. He'll battle, but the fight gets taken to him way too often and he doesn't drive his man into the ground. The offseason workouts were a disaster with a way-too-slow appearance in the short drills at the Combine. His stock was higher at the end of the season than it is now, but he's a smart player who'll find a role on someone's line.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Andrew Datko, Florida State 6-6, 315
Smart and tough with the ability to use his body and technique well, he moves well for a guy of his size and he's good at outthinking his man. No, he's not a left tackle and he'll get the dreaded Right Tackle Only tag, but he could be a very good, very productive right tackle for the next ten years. A great worker, he takes his craft seriously and doesn't make a slew of big mistakes. The problem is his lack of bulk for his frame, playing a bit high and not physical enough, he gets shoved when it comes down to brute strength. Considering he has a major problem with a shoulder injury and he struggles to stay in one piece, he's a risk – he's probably not going to hold up. There's a hard ceiling on what he can do, but if he's healthy – and that's a huge, glaring if - he'll be productive.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

9. Nate Potter, Boise State 6-6, 303
Very, very good for a very long time, he was great at keeping the relatively immobile Kellen Moore relatively clean. While he was a terrific pass protector he's also a good run blocker with excellent toughness for his size. He's trying to get bigger getting up over 300 pounds on his 6-6 frame, but he has to get functionally stronger and he has to be a blaster more than a finesse blocker. In the right system he could be a nice value pick if he can find the right niche. He's not quite physical enough at an NFL level, and that's the problem; he's good at everything but not elite in any one way. He'll work hard and he won't take a play off, but at best he'll be a functional starter and not an anchor.
CFN Projection: Third Round

10. Matt Reynolds, BYU 6-4, 302
A superstar recruit who had huge expectations from the start, he was a relatively unsung high-level producer and four-year anchor. While he's not massive, he's tough to get around and he works to finish off a block; he never gives up on a play. If he wants to play guard he needs to get up to around 320, which is possible on his frame, and he has to rock up a bit and quickly transform his body to become a major factor - for good and bad, he's mature at 25 and with a relatively short shelf life. He has the body of a guard but he's a tackle who didn't quite blow up and shine as expected over his career. While he was good, he didn't improve to another level after looking like a possible world-beater early on. There's little bust potential if the expectations are kept low – he'll be a decent starter, but not a great one.
CFN Projection: Third Round

- 2012 NFL Offensive Tackles Rankings - No. 11-25