I don’t have to tell you that the left tackle position is a very important one in the NFL. Just look at what happened lasat year. We had several LT’s who broke down. It led to QB injuries that devastated football teams. People are saying that this isn’t a good year for o-linemen. It might be a questionable year for 1st-round talent, but the Senior Bowl is a place where o-linemen show up and play well. Most linemen stay in school four years, and as a result, qualify for this game, and the drills and practices that go on here always gives scouts a good evaluation of these players and exposes some talent.
I’ve seen five OT’s here who I think could play earlier than later, and some of them have the skills to play LT or RT. I don’t know if they’ll be drafted, and I don’t really care. In my mind these are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round guys who can play. Here they are in no particular order.
Adam Bisnowaty of Pitt is 6-5 1/2, 307 pounds, with an 80-inch wingspan. He reminds me of David Bakhtiari of the Packers, and Anthony Castonzo of the Colts. This guy’s got a chance. He’s a combative guy, he can play the right side, he’s got a good double kick, which means he can move his feet. I would love to see a bigger punch, but he can be taught that.
Western Michigan’s Taylor Moton is 6-5, 330, with an 82-inch wingspan. I love this guy, and he has a chance to play early in this league.
Zach Banner of USC is a monster, from a physical standpoint. He’s 6-8. A lot of scouts don’t like guys that big, but he’s massive at 361 pounds. He’s probably a RT at the next level, but I’ve seen him working well in the drills at LT. I’m telling you, if you try to rush this guy and square him up, you’re not getting to the QB. There will be guys who try to rush his edge, thinking he’s too big to bend, but he bends much better than I thought he would, and he’s got an 83-inch wingspan! He’s a starting RT, backup LT in the league.
UCLA’s Conor McDermott had a pretty bad day on Tuesday. I thought he was nothing more than a mediocre RT. But he came back Wednesday and had a GREAT day on Wednesday at LT. That right there tells me something about the kid’s competitiveness that I like. He has a good punch, he locks out, sinks his weight, and stops the rush. He has 34-inch arms, which is really good, and an 82-inch wingspan. He’s got all the credentials to play LT, but I need to see him do it again in the game.
The developmental guy here who may have more ability than all of them, but just isn’t there yet, is Antonio Garcia from Troy. This kid is 6-6, 293 pounds, with an 82-inch wingspan. He’s got really, REALLY good feet, and is a good athlete. He doesn’t have a punch yet, and he’ll let the defender get into his body and push him into the pocket at times, but he’s a great athlete who can still learn the finer points of the position.
You will find at LT in this group. I’d actually be surprised if these five weren’t draft, and I think one or two of them might even have a chance to be starting in the NFL by the end of next season. Don’t buy the hype that there’s no linemen in this draft.Add to My RFN