Offensive Tackle is one of the most sought after positions in the NFL. Without one, your franchise QB will end up like David Carr (or Sam Bradford). In order to be successful, finding the right one takes time, patience and a little bit of luck. Who, in the top 5 of the 2012 NFL Draft, has fortune smiling down on them?
1. Matt Kalil OT USC
Matt Kalil is the #1 offensive tackle in this year’s draft. He is big, athletic and a great pass protector. He’s not a mauler and isn’t the run blocker like some of his draft-mates. NFL teams don’t spend top 3 picks on run blockers. Kalil isn’t on the same level as previously high-drafted OTs (Joe Thomas and Jake Long), but he should no problem stepping in a starting on day 1. Kalil could add some strength to help win battles against NFL defensive lineman, but his agility and footwork can help mask any issues with power. Comparing this, to previous drafts, Kalil will be over-drafted, but just looking at this class; he is, easily, the best LT prospect.
2. Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Riley Reiff is a technician. He knows what to do, and when to do it. He will jump right in to either tackle position on day 1. He is quick and nimble, strong and anchored. Reiff could add some strength to tackle his technique to the next level. Reiff has few issues, some off which are handling counter moves, and his previously mention room to grow. The draft positions between Reiff and Kalil might be vast in April, but the difference in talent isn’t nearly as wide. His technique and tenacity are his two biggest assets.
3. Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
Jonathan Martin has spent the last few years protecting the blindside of college football’s best quarterback. He has also been an integral part of one of the best running games in the FBS. His position of prominence, unfortunately, won’t carry over to the NFL. He’s not overly strong and his not overly quick. At times he seems better suited to playing RT, at other times his game is too much finesse to be a mauling run-blocker. Martin has the pedigree to earn a high draft pick, but you can’t be given a starting position in the NFL. Martin will have a hard time earning it.
4. Cordy Glenn OT Georgia
Cordy Glenn is a versatile giant. Glenn is incredibly strong, lots of potential and the ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line. He isn’t a true OT and will most likely move inside, to where his power can be on display, and his technique issues can be hidden. Even though his form can be somewhat lacking, he is still able to win one-on-one battles. If he new team is able to coach him out of his technique issues, Glenn next contract could be that of an elite tackle.
5. Mike Adams OT Ohio State
Mike Adams is exactly what you want you franchise left tackle to look like….except on Sundays. Mike Adams is tall, quick and massive. Problem is he disappears, like in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. The first day of practice, Adams absolutely dominated. For the rest of the week, Adams barely got a mention. Wherever Adams ends up, the coaching staff will have a tremendous task ahead of them. If they are able to full develop his potential, you have a franchise tackle for the next decade, which you, perhaps, landed in the 2nd round. Or, you could reach for him in the teens and get a questionable work ethic that isn’t good enough to play outside, and isn’t strong enough to play inside. Decisions, Decisions…