Apr 252008
 
 April 25, 2008  Posted by  Articles, The Draft
New York Giants 2008 NFL Draft Preview: Defensive and Offensive Tackles

by KWALL for BigBlueInteractive.com

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

This draft has 2 premier prospects at DT.  Both will be picked in the top 10.  There is a big drop in talent, consistency, and potential after Ellis and Dorsey.  Maybe one more first round talent in the group in Balmer (Mike Mayock loves him).  The small school kid from Eastern Michigan could jump ahead of Balmer to #3 at the position.  The NFL saw what a massive impact Tuck had with the Giants in 07.  Jason Jones is a carbon copy of Tuck in many ways.  Jones could be a first rounder.

Jason Jones, Eastern Michigan
(6’5”, 272lbs, 40: 4.76, 20: 2.73, 10: 1.59, Bench: 18, Vert: 25.5”, Broad: 10’3”, SS: 4.32, 3 Cone: 7.29)
Very similar body/athletic ability/game with Giants’ Justin Tuck.  A few starts at TE as a freshman for Eastern Michigan.  Moved to DE after year 1.  Played DT in 07 and consistently played on the other side of the line of scrimmage.  Played big vs the top teams on the schedule.  One of the most impressive players at the all star games.  Flashed quickness, short area change of direction, and several inside pass rush moves at Sr Bowl.  He’s got the long arms (36”) NFL scouts want in a pass rushing prospect.  Teams will look at him as a Tuck type inside pass rusher.  He’s going to be drafted very high.  Could go as high as late round 1.

Kentwan Balmer, North Carolina
(6’5”, 308lbs, 40: 5.29, 20: 3.04, 10: 1.71, Bench: 33, Vert: 29”, SS: 4.82, 3 Cone: 7.65)
Injured in 06 with very little production.  According to his HC Davis he went from undrafted FA type to possible first round pick in one year.  Mixed reviews on this player.  Mayock had him in this overall top 20 for the past few months.  Others are concerned about only one year of production and think he plays too high and could struggle in the NFL.  Ideal size.  He can handle 2 gap work in the NFL.  Average burst off the line will limit his pass rush ability in the NFL.  Jaguars at #26 could be in the market for a DT to replace Stroud.

Trevor Laws, Notre Dame
(6’1”, 304lbs, 40: 5.09, 20: 2.90, 10: 1.72, Bench: 35, Vert 30.5”, Broad:8’7”, SS: 4.49, 3 Cone: 7.37)
One of the only bright spots on the Notre Dame team in 07.  100+ tackles in 07.  Plays hard but he’s more than just a blue collar hustler.  A lot like the Eagles DT Mike Patterson (round 1 in 05).  Laws is very strong.  Excellent hand work.  Stays low.  Plays with leverage and quickness.  Explosive off the ball and quickly changes directions.  Surprised a lot of people at the Sr Bowl practices.  All over the field in the Sr Bowl game (6 tackles, sack, fumble recovery).  I love top wrestlers at DT.  Laws was an All-American wrestler.  He’s going to step in and immediately help as a rookie.   Mid to late round 2.

Dre Moore, Maryland
(6’4”, 305lbs, 40: 4.84, 20: 2.70, 10: 1.62, Bench: 31,Vert: 28”, Broad: 8’9”, SS: 4.55, 3 Cone: 7.73)
Late bloomer.  Only 1 year of high school ball.  One of the top athletes in the draft.  Also a weight room guy.  Inconsistent play early in his career.  Really came on in 07.  Has the body to carry more weight.  Controls blockers with strength and bulk.  Powerful on the bull rush.  Despite elite timed speed doesn’t always show an elite burst off the ball.  Very few pass rush moves.  Good chance he’ll go to a 3-4 team and play DE.  Round 2.

Pat Sims, Auburn
(6’2”, 310lbs, 40: 5.06, 20: 2.91, 10: 1.68, Bench: 20, Vert: 27”)
Early entry after MVP performance in Auburn’s bowl win over Clemson.  At combine he had a sloppy body but he had a good workout for a 310lb DT.  Some negative comments from NFL people on his work ethic and attitude.  Tested positive for marijuana at Auburn.   Late round 2.

Andre Fluellen, Florida State
(6’2”, 296lbs, Bench: 28)
Proday ran in 5.0 range and a 4.45 short shuttle.  Several injuries in college.  Athletic one gapper.  Very disruptive.   Can get in the backfield.  Will struggle to hold ground.  A mid round prospect.  Solid rotational guy who can come in and give you some pass rush from the DT position.  Round 3-4.

Marcus Harrison, Arkansas
(6’3”, 317lbs, 40: 5.06, 20: 2.90, 10: 1.71, Bench: 26)
Big DT with the strength to hold his ground vs double teams.  Versatile DL prospect.  Also played some DE at Arkansas.  Gets a push up the middle and knocks down passes.  Tossed around some of the OL at the SR Bowl.  Had knee problems in 06 and 07.  Some off the field stuff will drop him.  Arrested on a drug charge in 07.  His effort on the field has been up and down.   Round 3-4.

Ahtyba Rubin, Iowa State
(6’3”, 315lbs, 40: 5.20, 20: 2.96, 10: 1.74, Bench: 35, Vert: 28, Broad: 8’10”, SS: 5.00, 3 Cone: 8.05)
Huge and very strong.  Plays hard.  Will make his money occupying blockers.  Tough against the run.  Can’t get there vs the pass.  Will go to a 3-4 team to play the nose.  Rd 4.

Eric Foster, Rutgers
(6’2”, 277lbs, no Combine workout)
An undersized pass rushing DT prospect.  Very explosive and he can chase down plays.  Rob Rang from NFL Draftscout compares him to Rod Coleman.  Rang said there’s a place for Foster in the NFL as a situational pass rush guy from the inside.  Played some DE at the Texas Nation All Star game.  I don’t believe he has the speed to pressure from the edge in the NFL.  Very athletic player.  Injured at proday.  Couldn’t run.   I believe Foster would have run in the 4.8 range.  Late round pick.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

This is one of the better positions in the draft.  Top heavy with possibly five first rounders and 10 guys drafted at the position on day one.  Long went to Miami at #1.  Albert will probably go to KC at #5.  Clady is in the top 20.  Giants are very strong along the OL.  Diehl held up fine at LT.  Whimper and Koets give us a couple of athletic young players for depth.  I wouldn’t expect an OL in this draft for the Giants.  At the bottom of round 1 the Giants may consider the following three players:

Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
(6’6”, 314lbs, 40: 5.14, 20: 3.00, 10: 1.75, Bench: 24, Vert: 23”, Broad: 8;6”, SS: 4.82, 3 Cone: 7.60)
Massive player.  Very long arms (35+”) with the biggest hands (11+”) in the draft.   Played LT last year for BC and more than held his own against a long list of NFL caliber talent at DE.   Virginia Tech DE Ellis was one player who gave Cherilus a lot of trouble.  The pressure from Ellis was one of the reasons VT kept BC QB Ryan in check for most of the game.  At the SR Bowl he struggled with speed (Avril from Purdue) in the one on ones.  Most likely a RT in the NFL.  Steelers need OL help.  He could go to PIT in round 1.  Giants had a private workout with Cherilus.   Late round 1.

Sam Baker, USC
(6’5”, 309lbs, no Combine workout)  (Pro Day: 40: 5.50, Bench: 29, Vert: 28.5”, Broad: 9’, SS: 4.92)
Experienced player.  4 years starter.  40+ starts for USC.  Despite shorter than ideal arms (32”) and small hands (81/4”) he’s an excellent pass protector.  Rarely allowed pressure in college.  Some of the best feet at OL in the draft.  Quick set and he keeps his balance.  Easily slides and stays in front of speed.  Not overpowering in the run game.  Probably more of a round 2 player but could sneak into bottom of round 1.

Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
(6’6”, 322lbs, 40: 5.55, 20: 3.10, 10: 1.83, Bench: 27, Vert: 22.5”)
A mauler type who could drop to the out of round 1 because of his problems in pass protection.  He gave up 8.5 sacks in 07.  Not the type of athlete the NFL usually drafts in round 1 at LT.  He could struggle in space in the NFL.  Best position is probably RT.  Late round 1/early 2.

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