Josh Cabral won the left guard spot last season with his physical play. At 6-3 270 he is an exceptional athlete. Cabral fires off the ball, maintains his pad level and moves his feet. His play improved the interior pass protection for quarterback Ricky Dobbs allowing him to break the Navy single season record with 13 touchdown passes.
Before last season John Dowd's mom Kathy was probably better known than John for doing pushups wearing her son's #68 Navy jersey in the opening CBS preview for the 2009 Army-Navy game. Last season John Dowd made his mark when he was converted from tackle to right guard and started all 13 games. Dowd (6-4, 260) is a strong, effective blocker who uses his hands well. Dowd was named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-American first team.
At second string is Travis Bridges who missed the Blue-Gold game with an injured right elbow.
Bridges was a Florida second team all-state high school lineman. Bridges is 6-foot, 300 pound road grader who is powerful, moves his feet and runs well. Bridges is an intense, relentless blocker who plays all out through the whistle.
The other backup at right guard is Zach Dryden who also is a former Florida second team all-state high school lineman. Dryden was converted from tackle to guard and played in the final 12 games last season. Dryden has good size (6-5, 282) and his brother Corey played for Navy.
The third string left guard is sophomore Graham Vickers (6-1, 270) who played at NAPS. In 2009 he played center at the prep school and was considered that team's best lineman. Vickers is athletic, strong and runs well for a lineman. Matt Couch is a 6-3, 267 pound junior who was moved from center to guard and won a spot on the depth chart.
There are a number of guards who may emerge down the road. Out of those I like Thomas Stone who is a 6-3, 286 pound lineman from Florida. Stone is strong and moves well. I thought he did a solid job blocking in the Blue-Gold game.