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Offensive tackles in high demand

By Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune –

As many as five offensive tackles could be chosen in the first round, which might say more about the NFL’s desperation for blockers than it says about the quality of talent in the draft because the depth drops off considerably with the group likely to be overdrafted.

The best

1. Matt Kalil, Southern California, 6-6, 306: This underclassman probably will be a top-five pick, but he isn’t in the same class as some high picks of previous drafts. Kalil offers athleticism, length, toughness and intelligence. He has the feet to play on the left side. He should improve his strength as powerful defenders can leverage him. Kalil should be ready to step in and play immediately. His brother Ryan Kalil is the Panthers’ center and his father Frank also played pro football. Kalil also is adept at blocking kicks.

2. Riley Reiff, Iowa, 6-6, 313: He is a consistent, efficient, solid blocker who knows how to play the game. He uses good hand technique, gets good bend, leverages opponents and utilizes proper angles. Reiff does not have ideal length to play the left side. His arms measured 331/4 inches at the combine. He is not an elite athlete. He is tough and physical but not overly explosive. Even though he left school early and began his college career as a defensive end, he is NFL-ready.

3. Cordy Glenn, Georgia, 6-6, 345: His best position might be guard, but Glenn has the length and athleticism to play tackle. He has played both positions in college. Glenn has struggled to keep his weight in check, and he doesn’t always play with top effort. He struggled early in the 2011 season but finished strong. He was outstanding during Senior Bowl week. Glenn needs to play with better technique more consistently. If he ever puts it all together, he can be a dominator.

4. Jonathan Martin, Stanford, 6-5, 312: He has the dimensions and athleticism to suggest he can be a Pro Bowl blocker, but he doesn’t always play that way. Martin is inconsistent. He has very good feet and length. He is somewhat raw and needs to get with a good coach. He could have benefited from returning to Stanford for his senior season. Martin is not as physical as he should be, and he doesn’t always finish blocks, but he has as much potential as any tackle in the draft.

5. Mike Adams, Ohio State, 6-7, 323: His combination of size, wingspan and athleticism makes him an attractive prospect. Adams was inconsistent in college, but he has considerable potential. He is tough and can be very physical. His footwork can get sloppy, and he also plays tall at times. He also has had some injuries and suspensions and therefore has not been the most reliable player.

6. Bobby Massie, Mississippi, 6-6, 316: The underclassman is a powerful blocker and above average athlete. He has quick feet and can pass protect pretty well. He also can get out in space and hit moving targets when pulling. He doesn’t always finish blocks and play as aggressively as he could. Massie needs to add lower body strength. His best position could be right tackle.

7. Zebrie Sanders, Florida State, 6-5, 320: Size, length and strength make Sanders an interesting prospect even though he isn’t as athletic as some blockers. He has good lateral quickness and range, and he probably has the ability to play either left or right tackle. He needs to play physically more consistently by keeping his pad level down and improving his anchoring technique.

8. Jeff Allen, Illinois, 6-4, 307: The King High School product competes hard and has a nasty on-field disposition. A four-year starter, Allen finishes his blocks. He is a two-time captain and his intangibles are strong. He needs to clean up some technique issues. He has played both sides, but does not have ideal length and probably would be best as a right tackle or guard in the pros. He needs to get stronger to excel at the next level.

9. Mitchell Schwartz, California, 6-5, 318: He isn’t a real flashy player, but he is steady and productive. Some scouts see Schwartz as an overachiever. He has solid quickness and strength and is polished in his technique. He takes good angles and is effective in the running game. He is suited better for right tackle than left, and also could be a guard.

10. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State, 6-5, 333: He is a big, strong, powerful blocker. Though he played on the left side in college, Osemele probably isn’t quick-footed enough to play left tackle in the NFL. With a huge wingspan of 86 inches, he is suited perfectly for the right side, however. Osemele has been an inconsistent performer and some consider him an underachiever. His conditioning and love of the game have been questioned. He helped himself with fine postseason workouts.

11. Donald Stephenson, Oklahoma, 6-5, 312: He is one of the most athletic blockers in the draft, which makes him a prime candidate to play on the left side. He showed his movement skills with a good scouting combine workout. Stephenson plays tall at times. He is not a finished product, but he has excellent upside.

12. Tony Bergstrom, Utah, 6-5, 313: He is a consistent player who is fundamentally sound. Bergstrom is a blue-collar blocker who is tough, strong, competitive and smart. His foot quickness is limited, so he would be best at right tackle. Because he has short arms, he might even end up at guard. He will be 26 when the season starts.

13. Ryan Miller, Colorado, 6-7, 321: A college guard, Miller is likely going to be moved to right tackle because of his body type. He is so tall he sometimes gives up leverage to more compact opponents. Miller has some NFL tools but has been an inconsistent performer.

14. Brandon Mosely, Auburn, 6-5, 314: He is a very physical, powerful blocker whose toughness should serve him well as a right tackle. Mosely doesn’t have ideal foot quickness, and he struggles to redirect at times. His play was up and down in college.

15. Lamar Holmes, Southern Mississippi, 6-5, 323: Holmes has the size, arm length, feet and ability to bend that NFL teams look for. However, he has questionable instincts, his technique is flawed and he has not been a consistent player. He needs to learn to play with leverage. He will have to become a better run blocker to make it in the NFL.

16. Andrew Datko, Florida State, 6-6, 315: He is a very good athlete for his size, but he doesn’t play as big as he should. Power rushers can get the best of him, and his run blocking needs improvement. With good technique and quick feet, he can handle speed rushers. He has been a starter since his freshman season. Datko is coming off a shoulder injury that could affect his draft stock.

17. Tom Compton, South Dakota, 6-5, 314: He caught the attention of scouts with a solid performance at the East-West game. Compton has decent athleticism, ability to bend and foot quickness. He also has decent functional play strength. He might be able to play left tackle in the NFL.

18. Josh Oglesby, Wisconsin, 6-7, 338: He is a huge blocker with high energy. He’s an aggressive player who can engulf defenders. He is, however, a bit stiff athletically and slow-footed. Some scouts deem him an overachiever. Oglesby will be best suited as a right tackle. His injury history could work against him in the draft.

19. Justin Anderson, Georgia, 6-4, 335: Because of his size and effort level, Anderson has some upside. He shows some good punch, but needs to refine his technique. He does not have great mirror skills, he bends at his waist too frequently and he overextends at times. He is best in a short area. A move to guard is possible.

20. Al Netter, Northwestern, 6-4, 312. He has played both guard and tackle and could be either in the pros. Netter is shy on athleticism, but he is smart, tough, durable and versatile. He could make it as a backup capable of filling in at multiple positions. He has the right type of makeup to play offensive line in the NFL.

21. Jeff Adams, Columbia, 6-6, 306: This is a mauler-type blocker who will do his best work at right tackle. Adams is smart and tough, but average athletically. He helped himself at the East-West game. Adams likely will need time, but could develop on a practice squad.

22. Nate Potter, Boise State, 6-6, 303: He could have the size and athleticism to develop into an NFL left tackle. He needs to develop strength and add bulk to make it on the next level. Potter’s intensity should help him.

23. Matt Reynolds, Brigham Young, 6-4, 302: He is a college left tackle who likely will move to the right side, or possibly to guard. Reynolds is a tough blocker but he has limitations athletically. He has been a productive college player, and he comes from a football family. Reynolds will be 26 when he reports to camp.


24. Matt McCants, Alabama-Birmingham

25. Marcel Jones, Nebraska

26. Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State

27. Dustin Waldron, Portland State

28. Taylor Dever, Notre Dame

29. John Cullen, Utah

30. Paul Cornick, North Dakota State

31. Trevor Olson, Northern Illinois

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