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2008 NFL Draft - Ranking Offensive Tackles
Michigan OT Jake Long
Michigan OT Jake Long
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 12, 2008


Offensive tackle is every bit the glamor position the skill players are in this year's draft. From Ryan Clady to Gosder Cherilus to Michigan's Jake Long, who could go No. 1 overall, this is a loaded year. CFN ranks the top 35 prospects with the deep sleeper and most overrated and underrated players.

2008 NFL Draft Position Rankings
The Offensive Tackles

Rankings & Breakdowns
Top 50 Players - 1 to 25 |
Top 50 Players - 26 to 50 | Quarterbacks
Running Backs |
Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles  
Offensive Guards |
Centers | Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles    
Linebackers |
Safeties | Cornerbacks | Punters & Kickers  

By Pete Fiutak

The Class Is ... Terrific. Jake Long might be the crown jewel, but Ryan Clady, Chris Williams, Jeff Otah, Gosder Cherilus, and Sam Baker could turn out to be ten-year starters. It's a deep group with a lot of good ones who'll make teams happy late in the first day.

The Best Value Pick Will Be ... Mike Gibson, California

Most Underrated ... Sam Baker, USC

Most Overrated ... Oniel Cousins, UTEP

The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is ..
Brandon Keith, OT/OG Northern Iowa

THE FRANCHISE

1. Jake Long, OT Michigan
Huge, tough, and surprisingly agile, Long's a mammoth all-around blocker who does almost everything at a high level. Tremendously strong and with an attitude that punishes defenders, he's a sure-thing NFL run blocker who can step in on day one and produce. The big issue, for a player worthy of a top selection and all the money that comes with it, is his potential against speed rushers. He had a problem against Ohio State and now he'll have to show he can consistently handle NFL ends with quick first steps. He can step in right away and play right tackle; he'll make a lot of money and will be paid a ton to not be a sure-thing left tackle. That's not to say he can't play on the left side, but he might be better on the right.
CFN Projection: Top Five Overall

2. Ryan Clady, OT Boise State
A little thought about recruit, Clady turned into pure gold for Boise State as he was a dominant all-around blocker from the start. He proved in the Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma that he could produce at the highest level with a fantastic performance, and he was consistently fantastic his entire career. Arguably the best pass blocker in the draft, he's quick on his feet and can pound away when needed. Already a great prospect, he could be a perennial Pro Bowl performer if he becomes a bit more physical.
CFN Projection: First Round

POTENTIAL NFL STARTERS

3. Chris Williams, OT Vanderbilt
The range of opinion on what Williams is, and what he could become, runs the gamut. One of the most athletic linemen in the draft in a 6-6, 315-pound body, he looks the part and should grow into an elite pass blocker. He can eventually be plugged in on the left side and let roll for a decade. However, he had a mediocre workout on his pro day and he's not necessarily a killer. If he can grow into more of a powerful run blocker, he should be terrific.

CFN Projection: Late First Round


4. Jeff Otah, OT Pitt
A massive run blocker who will plow over everyone at the next level, he's ideal for anyone with a power running game and has the attitude to punish and destroy anyone who gets in his path. While he's not all that athletic and isn't going to be great on the move, he should be able to get by on his strength and his 6-6, 325-pound size. There's still work to be done, he's not a finished product, and that's a plus. The ceiling is limitless.
CFN Projection: First Round


5. Sam Baker, OT USC
The son of the Arena Football League's commissioner is an athletic big man who was tremendously productive for four years playing at the highest level each and every week. While he's good in pass protection and is great on the move, he's not necessarily a rock against speed rushers and isn't quite as dominant a run blocker as many would like. He's a technician; not a mauler.
CFN Projection: Second Round


6. Gosder Cherilus, OT Boston College
One of the high risers after a good off-season, he's a 6-7, 315-pound athlete who destroys defenders when he gets the chance. He'll bust his tail to get better and will be coachable. The concern will be how well he handles a No. 1 pass rusher if he plays on the left side. More than fine if he spends his career on the right, there are concerns that the Virginia Tech games might have shown the real player he is.

CFN Projection: First Round


7. Anthony Collins, OT Kansas
While he's not strongest lineman and he still needs a ton of work, he has excellent upside for anyone with the patience to sit on him for a year or three. While he had a great junior season as the lead blocker for the upstart Jayhawks, and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, he should've stuck around another year to hit the weights and to keep working on his technique and overall maturity. At 6-5 and 310 pounds with tremendous athleticism, he might be worth the risk ... and the wait.

CFN Projection: Late Second Round To Early Third Round


8. Oniel Cousins, OT/OG UTEP
If he can play as big as he looks, and if he can get a few years to develop, the upside is there. But he's a risk; a massive one. Originally a defensive lineman, he was good when he didn't have to use his feet and could simply hit someone, but he struggled in a big way when given a shot on the left side. The athleticism is there and the size could make him a guard if need be, but he's a prospect and is far from a finished product.

CFN Projection: Third Round


9. Carl Nicks, OT Nebraska
A massive former defensive tackle who at 343 pounds is surprisingly athletic.
A killer run blocker, he's been fantastic whenever he's able to get his arms on someone and has enough quickness to get down field and spring big plays. He needs refinement and he need a fire lit under him. He wasn't nearly as good as he should've been for the Husker offense, but when he had a good game, he was really, really good.
CFN Projection: Third Round


10. Geoff Schwartz, OT Oregon
It's all there except the athleticism. He's not not going to beat most speed rushers and he could eventually make his money at guard, but he'll battle hard and will beat people up in the running game. Really tough, really strong, and really good for long stretches, he'll be a great cog in the system for ten years, but he'll never be a Pro Bowl caliber performer.

CFN Projection: Early Second Day
 

11. Barry Richardson, OT Clemson
The centerpiece of a good Tiger line for the last three years, he's a good, big blocker who uses his 6-6, 330-pound body well in pass protection and did a good job against the premier ACC linemen. The problem is his consistency and his toughness. He didn't play up to his size all the time and he didn't grow into the first round caliber blocker many thought he'd become.

CFN Projection: Fourth Round


12. Duane Brown, OT/OG Virginia Tech
The former tight end beefed up to well over 300 pounds without losing much of his athleticism. However, he's not a pure pass protector and had big problems with the better defensive ends. He had a nice off-season and was good on the workout circuit, and he has great upside, but he needs the time and the work to develop. He could be a guard now, or a starting tackle in a few years.

CFN Projection: Fifth Round


13. King Dunlap, OT Auburn
If he plays every game and every down like he looks, he'll be a dominator. He's a tall, strong, quick 6-8 and 310 pounds, but he doesn't play up to his talent level and got the hook last year when he should've been crushing and killing.. If he decides he wants to be a top pro and if a coaching staff can fire him up and show him how to be a Pro Bowl blocker, it could happen for him. He's a chance on greatness.

CFN Projection: Third Round


BEST OF THE REST

14. Mike Gibson, OT/OG California
A former JUCO transfer who stepped in and did a nice job as a two-yard starter for the Bears. A great run blocker who'll power over anyone who isn't going 100 miles per hour, he might project to be a guard if he can't prove he can handle an NFL caliber pass rusher. He'll need a while to improve his overall technique if he's going to be a tackle.

CFN Projection:
Fifth Round

15. Drew Radovich, OT USC
The big question is his strength. Not exactly the best physical specimen, he showed at the Combine that he could move, but he doesn't have the weight room ability to make him a mauler for an NFL running game. However, there's plenty of upside. He's a good athlete who has the potential to be a nice backup, but he has the potential to be a lot more.

CFN Projection: Fifth Round

16. Pedro Sosa, OT/OG Rutgers
It would've been nice to have seen what he could've done agility-wise at the Combine, but he had a knee issue and wasn't able to work out at anything other than the bench press; he wasn't great. Versatile enough to play either tackle or guard, he's a nice prospect for someone looking for a backup to fill in the games where needed.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round


17. Breno Giacomini, OT Louisville
The former tight end is a tall (6-7) athletic 305 pounds, but he's not going to pound anyone on a consistent basks and is still learning the ins and outs of playing tackle. He was only a regular starter for a year and is still developing. Even though he's not a finished product by any stretch he has the upside to grow into a possible pass protector.

CFN Projection: Seventh Round


18.
Kirk Barton, OT Ohio State
A weight-room warrior who's a cut 6-4 and 300 pounds, he was a four-year starter for the Buckeyes and got a lot of attention and plenty of all-star honors. While he was a key cog in the OSU offense for his entire career, and the line was his for his final two years, he didn't improve by leaps and bounds over the course of his career. He's not smooth enough to handle an average NFL end. He'll get by for a while in camp on reputation.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round


19. Brandon Keith, OT/OG Northern Iowa
A long and rocky college career, including a short stint at Oklahoma, ended at UNI where he became dominant on an elite FCS team. At 6-5 and 343 pounds, he could become a guard and has more overall talent and was more productive than fellow Panther tackle, Chad Rinehart. He'll likely be a versatile backup able to play almost anywhere in a pinch.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round


20. Will Robinson, OT/OG San Diego State
While he works hard and has nice quickness, he's just not that big. Pushing to hit 300 pounds, and still not making it, he's undersized for a guard, which he could be from time to time if he sticks on a team, and he's not quite talented enough to be a regular NFL tackle. He's a project who will do what's needed to try to hang around.

CFN Projection: Sitch Round


21.
Tony Hills, OT Texas
Hills started out his career at tight end and turned into a steady starter over the last two years. He didn't isn't a great athlete and has physical issues with a broken leg suffered late last season to go along with a chronic foot problem. While there's a limit on how good he can become, he's just good enough to become a decent backup for either tackle spot.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round


22. Chad Rinehart, OT/OG Northern Iowa
While he'll try to be an NFL tackle, he's a guard. A strong 320 pounds who can crush and kill for a running game, he's just not a good enough athlete to be a regular on the outside. He's definitely not a left tackle, could be a right tackle with some work, and will likely find a spot as a versatile backup who'll work where needed.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round To Seventh Round


23. Demetrius Bell, OT Northwestern State
Karl Malone's son (yes, that Karl Malone) delivers (sorry about that) well for the passing game with good quickness in a 6-5, 300-pound frame. He's not a physical enough blocker to plug in right away and will need to be in a zone-blocking scheme to have any chance of getting on the field in the next few years. He needs to get bigger and stronger, but he doesn't have the room to do it.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round To Seventh Round


24. Franklin Dunbar, OT Middle Tennessee
Unfortunate circumstances, needing to care for his ailing mother, was the reason he came out before he was ready. Fantastic at the Sun Belt level, and great, for the most part, when he got a chance against the better ends in non-conference play, he's a football player. However, he could use a year or three in a weight-room and he needs to be much better in the running game.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round To Seventh Round


25. David Hale, OT Weber State
There are a ton of warning flags. He has a back problem, is a bit too old having served two years on a Church mission, and he didn't really do much against the top shelf players, but he's a potential player. While he's just not talented enough to start, he has good size, will battle, and was terrific for Weber State. He'll be tough to cut.

CFN Projection: Sixth Round To Seventh Round


ON THE RADAR

26. Tyler Polumbus, OT Colorado
27. Akim Millington, OT Illinois
28. Corey Clark, OT Texas A&M
29. Nate Garner, OT Arkansas
30. Devin Clark, OT New Mexico
31. Phil Trautwein, OT Florida
32. Shannon Boatman, OT Florida State
33. Charlie Emerson, OT Indiana
34. Carnell Stewart, OT LSU
35. Kyle Cunningham, OT UL Monroe