Originally Posted by SidelineSid
The lack of elite talent at the Offensive Tackle position is clearly evident here. That is why I think he has such a weak list. It's early in the draft process. We'll most likely see no name tackles put up great numbers at the combine and fly up draft boards. Also, some of the best linemen in the country may not even get invited to the combine, (see Volmer).
But back to his list. I like Iupati and Pouncey (the center) and potential 2nd round picks. Bulaga is described as being a great nasty run blocker, but a raw pass blocker. With that in mind, I don't think we should strongly see that guy as a possibility before the third round. We already have a bunch of tallent at that position and he's very raw. He actually may be more effective on the inside.
1. I think that the odds of a Vollmer not making it to the combine and being arguable the best OL out of the draft are low.
2. I like Mike Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey and hope we get one of the two in the 2nd round. OT Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin might also be a possibility at guard, and would also rate a 2nd gound pick.
3. Vladimir Ducasse is a sleeper to watch, but probably more as a guard than a tackle. I think he would be a nice 3rd-4th round OG prospect if we miss out on Iupati and Pouncey. He's the closest to a Vollmer-type sleeper that I see right now, but I don't think he has Vollmer's kind of footwork to be a tackle. Then again, I had no idea that Vollmer would turn out to be the kind of player that he seems to be.
4. I think Russell Okung is the most NFL-ready guy right now, and will be the first OL taken. I think that Brian Bulaga and Bruce Campbell have the most athletic potential and will put up the best numbers at the combine (assuming both declare), and will go top 20 and possibly top 10. A lot of teams picking in the top 10-15 needs a LT desperately - Detroit, Seattle and Washington come to mind. Brandon Albert does not appear to be working out terribly well at LT for Kansas City, and they could go OT as well. Charles Brown of USC and Anthony Davis of Rutgers are probably guys who would go in the 15-25 range. I see those 5 guys being pretty much certain 1st rounders, kind of like 2008 when 7 OT's went in the 1st round. San Francisco, Green Bay, Dallas and Indy could all use tackle help as well. Philly and Pittsburgh also need OL help, but probably more inside than out.
5. There are a lot of 2nd tier OT prospects after those guys: Trent Williams (again, I see him more as an RT than a LT), Jeff Linkenberg, Jason Fox, Gabe Carimi, and Joseph Blackwell. Some of those guys could move up into the late or even mid 1st round based on offseason showings. Blackwell's the one I really like.
I think that Maroney is showing that he can indeed be a feature back for us. He has been running hard and aggressive in a way we haven't seen in a while. I think he's benefitting from Taylor and Morris being out and being the go-to guy for the first time ever.
Because of this, I'm re-thinking my offseason priorities in terms of getting a power back to pair with Maroney. I'm beginning to think that we might be better off getting two powerful offensive linemen to complement Vollmer and Mankins on the right side, or to upgrade Koppen at center. I don't think it's a coincidence that our running game picked up when Light got injured and Vollmer took over. I think that Vollmer and Mankins (assuming we keep him) will make a dominant left sided line; Koppen, Neal and Kaczur are all upgradeable (Neal is the best of the 3 but is aging, injury prone, and his contract will be up). I'm beginning to think that using 2 of our early picks on linemen (one interior guy like Iupati/Pouncey/Carimi, one RT like Blackwell or Carimi) wouldn't be a bad thing, and maybe take a RB later in the draft, or possibly even 2 (a power back and an all-purpose guy).