2003 Draft: Top Five Offensive Tackles

The 2003 tackle group is best characterized by blue collar, hard working linemen known for their run blocking prowess. Many teams across the NFL have an immediate need at this position and a lot of questions persist about the prospects who fill this list, so much so that almost double the usual limit has been invited to February's combine. Here a complete list and rankings for the Class of 2003 at the all-important tackle position.

1. Jordan Gross / Utah

Jordan Gross "For all the disappointments experienced by the Utah Utes the past two seasons, which resulted in the recent dismissal of head coach Ron McBride, the one steady positive constant was offensive lineman Jordan Gross, one of the highest rated tackles available next April."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-4.5  Wt: 306  40: 5.19  Year: 4Sr  Number: 69

Scouting Report
The Good: 
Big, powerful run blocking tackle productive three years running.  Sets with a wide base, bends his knees and quick off the mark into his blocks or when setting in pass protection.  Immediately gets his hands into the opponent, works them hard, displaying jolt and punch extending his arms.  Can shuffle/slide, stays square and keeps opponents in front of him.  Nasty and looks for someone to hit but at the same time cognizant, alert and plays under control.  

The Bad: A little tentative and back on his heels at times, which causes him to be off balance.  Ducks his head, making the situation worse.  Not nimble or agile, lacks body adjustment and has difficulty with undersized, explosive opponents.  

The Skinny:  Do not feel he has a great amount of upside but rather a "get what you see" type prospect that will be a competent starter at the next level.  Good performances at the Senior Bowl against top competition are crucial, as he'll have national attention.

Projected order in draft: Middle 1st round.

2. Kwame Harris / Stanford

OT-Kwame Harris<br>Photo:Getty Images "Not since All Pro Bob Whitfield have the Stanford Cardinal offered a talented, athletic tackle that can play on either side of the line. That could change and change very soon with junior Kwame Harris."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-6  Wt: 305  40: 5.12  Year: 3Jr  Number: 77

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Big, athletic tackle still learning the position.  Fluid, agile and displays excellent blocking range.  Can shuffle and slide in pass protection, effective in space or out to the second level.  Stays square, keeps defenders in front of him and fights with his hands.  Anchors at the point in pass protection or gets movement form his run blocks.  Breaks down well, bends his knees and generally blocks with leverage.  

The Bad:
Not quick off the snap into his blocks, late reacting mentally and could be a little more physical.  Must learn to use blocking angles better.  

The Skinny: 
A lot of physical tools to work with and fundamentally sound but needs more reps and time to learn the position.  A very high pick in the near future the best Cardinal lineman since Bob Whitfield.

Projected order in draft:
Middle 1st round.

3. Eric Steinbach / Iowa  

Eric Steinbach "The Iowa Hawkeye program is on the rise after their appearance in the Rose Bowl. One of the main reasons for their improved play was the offensive line. Like the team, offensive lineman Eric Steinbach made his way up draft charts as the senior finally put together a dominating and healthy senior season. " -  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-6  Wt: 280  40: 4.92  Year: 5Sr  Number: 56

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Athletic lineman that began his college career as a tight end. Quick off the snap of the ball exploding into his blocks, plays with leverage, balance and also approaches the game with a good degree of intelligence.  Works hard and plays smart.  

The Bad: Not big, bulky or powerful. Has a long history of injury problems which severely reduced his playing time the past three seasons.  

The Skinny: Finally putting it together as a senior and staying on the field but prior injuries and lack of playing time in the past will throw up a few red flags.

Projected order in draft: Middle 1st round.

4. Brett Williams  / Florida St 

Brett Williams "Florida State has put a lot of talent into the NFL at several positions on the football field, and though many Seminole linemen from the offensive side of the ball now play on Sunday's, those numbers pale in comparison to the quality of players from different positions the program has offered. That could quickly change in a few months, starting with Brett Williams."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-5  Wt: 315  40: 5.23  Year: 5Sr  Number: 

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Tough, intelligent prospect that could immediately start at the next level in a number of positions on the line.  Quick off the snap into his blocks and works to take out several defenders during any single play.  Starts with knee bend, stays square and displays good jolt and arm punch, fighting hard with his hands throughout the action. Keeps defenders in front and turns them out blocking for the run while not giving up an inch in pass protection.  Patient, uses angles correctly as well as body positioning and for the most part, a high percentage blocker.  Terrific feel and intellect for the position. 

The Bad: Not a natural knee bender, does not adjust well and has difficulty with nimble, athletic opponents. 

The Skinny:  Firmly believe he will be a top 40 selection next April and more importantly, start as a rookie in the NFL.  Just not sure it will be at left tackle.

Projected order in draft: Early 2nd round.

5. George Foster / Georgia

Foster "If there were one wild card in the tackle position next April it would be Georgia's George Foster. A terrific athlete with a great upside, constant injuries have left him on the sidelines missing valuable playing time and the ability to learn the position. Do teams take a chance on him next April early in the draft?"  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-5  Wt: 322  40: 5.25  Year: 5Sr  Number: 71

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Top flight athlete still learning to become an offensive lineman.  Quick off the snap of the ball, blocks with solid techniques and effectively adjusts at the line or out on the second level.  Keeps his feet active throughout the play, works to stay square, displaying the ability to shuffle and slide off the edge.  Good jolt and punch with his arms which he uses to ride oncoming rushers out of their attack angles.  Gets out front and takes opposing linebackers out of the play.  Stays with the action and relatively strong.  Not overly aware of his assignments or quick in his head.  

The Bad: A little tentative in most aspects of his game.  Has a history of injuries which set back his development.  

The Skinny:  Improving the more playing time he receives and has the potential to be a weak-side blocker at the next level.  Should eventually flourish at tackle if he can stay healthy.

Projected order in draft: Middle 2nd round.

6. Tony Pashos  / Illinois

Tony Pashos          "Ever since donning the jersey for the Illinois Fighting Illini, Tony Pashos has been one of the programs most consistent lineman of all time and will come close to the 50-start barrier, a tough one for collegians. He projects as a 2nd rounder in the 2003 NFL Draft."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-5  Wt: 305  40: 5.23  Year: 5Sr  Number: 79

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Tough, hard working tackle productive three years running.  Bends his knees, works to stay low and for the most part, blocks with solid fundamentals.  Adequate footwork with the ability to slide off the edge, stays square and keeps defenders in front of him.  Terrific arm punch and jolts opponents at the point.  Quick with his hands and very strong; easily knocks defenders from their angle of attack or turns them off the line blocking for the run.  Effectively uses blocking angles and body positioning to wall opponents out of the play.  

The Bad: Lacks balance and has difficulty with athletic, nimble opponents, especially when he must sustain his blocks for any length of time.  

The Skinny:  As good if not better then his heralded teammate Marques Sullivan during the 2000 season.  The bottom line, a solid not spectacular prospect that could eventually start at the next level.

Projected order in draft: Early 3rd round.

7. Steve Sciullo  /  Marshall 

Steve Sciullo "For the most part the Thundering Herd of Marshall are known for quarterbacks and skill players, with an occasional defender thrown in. Now comes the highest rated offensive lineman from the program to enter the draft, Steve Sciullo."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-5.5  Wt: 320  40: 5.43  Year: 5Sr  Number:

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Strong, powerful lineman best in confined quarters.  Big, thick build, stays square keeping defenders in front of him and controls opponents at the point of attack, fighting with his hands.  Plays with forward lean, anchors in pass protection and shows ability to shuffle and slide off the edge.  

The Bad: Not a natural knee bender nor a nifty lineman, gets rather tall and does more arm wrestling then leverage blocking.  

The Skinny: Solid lineman but we do not project him to the blind side at the next level nor do we see him as a first day choice.

Projected order in draft: Middle 3rd round.

8. Todd Williams / Florida St

Todd Williams With all the talent in the Florida State program possibly the most overlooked player is a tackle/guard by the name of Todd Williams that consistently dominates up front on the offensive line.  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-4  Wt: 325  40:  5.32  Year: 5Sr  Number:

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Big, powerful lineman that could be a hidden gem next April.  Blocks with solid technique, plays with leverage and dominates opponents anywhere on the field.  Quick with his hands, jolts opponents punching his arms, easily riding defenders out of their angle of attack or controlling them at the point of attack once engaged in a block.  Adequate footwork and blocking range for a big man.  Rarely off his feet.  Used at both guard and right tackle.  

The Bad:Easily tires, not light on his feet and though he displays some range, in the end better off in confined quarters.  

The Skinny:  Reminds us of Charron Dorsey, though Williams gives a lot more effort and is better conditioned.

Projected order in draft: Late 3rd round.

8. Jeremy Bridges / Southern Miss

Jeremy Bridges "The Eagles of Southern Mississippi always offer solid linemen on both sides of the ball and Jeremy Bridges just adds to that total. An athletic blind side tackle, Bridges can be used in several spots up front as a blocker."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-4  Wt: 300  40: 5.25  Year: 5Sr  Number: 73

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Hard working, explosive lineman that also projects to guard at the next level.  Quick off the snap into his run blocks or setting up in pass protection, immediately gets his hands into opponents and works throughout the play.  Keeps his feet moving and displays adequate blocking range sliding out to protect the edge.  Stays with the action, attacks his blocks and plays with sound fundamentals.  

The Bad: A bit stiff, lacks the dominant base and rarely getting movement from his run blocks.  

The Skinny:  Decent developmental type prospect that could add depth to a roster.

Projected order in draft: Early 4th round.

9. Jon Stinchcomb / Georgia 

Jon Stinchcomb "Just like his brother Matt, Jon Stinchcomb is a highly intelligent offensive lineman with a great feel for the game and position. And just like his brother Matt, Jon Stinchcomb is a terrific technician that uses great fundamentals to get the job done. Unfortunately like his brother Matt, Jon Stinchcomb is also susceptible to injury."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-4  Wt: 270  40: 5.13  Year: 5Sr  Number: 78

Scouting Report:
The Good:
Tough as nails lineman beset by injuries in the past.  Blocks with solid fundamentals; stays square, keeps defenders in front of him and can shuffle/slide his feet off the edge.  Blocks down well on opponents and plays with a nasty attitude, always working to finish off opponents.  Effectively uses blocking angles and body positioning.  

The Bad: Works to stay low but not a natural knee bender and lacks body adjustment. Not explosive off the snap and only a marginal athlete.  

The Skinny:   Having a fine senior campaign but prior injury problems and a lack of top upside potential is a concern.

Projected order in draft: Early 4th round.

10. Will Ofenheusle / Tennessee

ofenheusle_will "A workmanlike and powerful blocker is the best way to describe Will Ofenheusle, an intelligent lineman that paves the way for Volunteer ball carriers."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-6  Wt: 320  40: 5.41  Year: 5Sr  Number: 

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Big, powerful blocking tackle that plays with a large degree of intelligence.  Effectively uses body positioning, blocking angles and dominates opponents run blocking, driving them off the line of scrimmage.  Works his hands, stays with his blocks and controls defenders once engaged at the point of attack.  Stays square, keeps opponents in front of him and displays some ability to shuffle and slide his feet.  Buries defenders, effectively blocking down on the opponent.  

The Bad: Not a natural knee bender, a little stiff and lacks blocking range.  Not effective on the second level.  

The Skinny:  Right tackle or possibly a guard at the next and should hear his name called late in the first day.

Projected order in draft: Middle 4th round.

11. Ben Johnson / Wisconsin

Ben Johnson "The Wisconsin Badgers have put a ton of quality tackles into the NFL Draft. Some work out at the next level (Mark Tauscher) while others have not (Aaron Gibson). Where does Ben Johnson fit? Probably somewhere in the middle."  Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-6  Wt: 320  40: 5.38  Year: 4Sr  Number: 72

Scouting Report:
The Good: 
Tough, slug-it-out blocker best for the right side of the line.  Quick off the snap, squares into defenders and easily controls opponents once engaged at the point of attack.  Plays with forward lean, sets with a wide base and fights with his hands, displaying jolt and arm punch into defenders.  Powerful and gets movement from his run blocks, also anchoring in pass protection, not giving up any ground once engaged in a block.  Nasty and works to destroy opponents.

The Bad: Lacks balance, adjustment and looks a bit stiff.  Has great difficulty with nimble opponents to the point where speed rushers run circles around him on the blind side.  

The Skinny: 
A mauler that should fit in as a run blocking right tackle and start early into his career if he focuses on the task at hand.

Projected order in draft: Late 4th round.

To view an entire list of tackles available for the 2003 NFL Draft, "click here."

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