Feeling a Draft: Okung the most valuable Top 10 Commodity?
With the "Blind Side" opening up this weekend, I felt it was appropriate to talk about the offensive tackle situation heading into the 2010 draft. The safest position pick in any draft and in any sport is a Top 10 Offensive Tackle in the NFL Draft. With the Bengals off to a 7-3 start it appears for the 4th year in a row, a team with 4 wins or less selects an offensive tackle in the top 10 and increases their win total to 10+ wins the following season. Ironically Andre Smith has yet to play a down for the Bengals. This year is may be luck, but its not coincidence. If you look at the history of the draft, I doubt you will find a team with 5 or fewer wins that didn't have a horrendous offensive or defensive line.
With that being said, its clear that the offensive tackle class in this year's draft is Oklahoma State's Russell Okung and everybody else. There are solid late first round seniors like Trent Williams from Oklahoma and Anthony Davis from Rutgers. Brian Beluga from Iowa and Charles Brown from USC are underclassmen with high ceilings, but neither is likely to go in the Top 10. This draft is loaded on the defensive side of the ball, so its unlikely you'll see teams trade up to get a defensive player. Okung is one of the safest picks on the board and fills the biggest need on most of the horrid teams in NFL this season. If Cleveland, St Louis and Tampa Bay are picking in the top three, look for one of them to trade down to a team who is desperate for a left tackle.
Other thoughts from the weekend
- Speaking of offensive tackles, LSU's Ciron Black is looking the part of a right tackle every game. Black struggled mightily against a quick Ole Miss front seven on Saturday.
- Kansas WR Dezmon Briscoe looked like an NFL wide receiver in a lopsided loss against Texas this weekend. Briscoe has deceptive speed and could fly up the charts like Kenny Britt did a year ago
- Michigan DE Brandon Graham played with passion on every play against Ohio State. Graham is a high motor guy who is exceptionally quick off the ball. Should be a second rounder
- Penn St OLB Navorro Bowman is asserting himself as the best outside linebacker prospect in the draft. Bowman had 10 tackles and 3 TFL against Michigan St on Saturday. The Spartans looked a step slow against a fast Penn St defense
What to look for this weekend
- Boise St CB Kyle Wilson will have to tackle well against Nevada on Friday. Wilson is a complete player and his ability to play the run will move him into round 1
- If Jake Locker and Jimmy Claussen are your top two quarterback prospects, then Ryan Mallett may consider going early. Chris Maier and I agree on one thing: Mallett is the best pro prospect in the college game right now. If Mallett has a huge game on a natonal stage against LSU on Saturday, look for him to go pro
- South Florida's trio of DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DE George Selvie and S Nate Allen will get a chance to prove skeptics like myself their defense is not overrated when they play Miami on Saturday. South Florida usually plays with a chip on their shoulders when they play in state schools.
Dan Wernery is the Chief Scout for NFLDraft101.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org