Bolts Prospect Analysis: O-Line, Part II

Jaime Cattano continues her four-part series evaluating the offensive linemen the Bolts conducted private meetings with during Senior Bowl week. This next prospect's consistent and powerful field presence provides the perfect package. Coming from a school that breeds NFL talent, the Chargers have no qualms about letting him call Qualcomm Stadium home.

Kirk Barton of Ohio State was struck by the Bolts for some private face time in Mobile, Ala. A four-year starter with the Buckeyes, Barton kicked it up a notch his senior year, yearning to jive at a higher level.

Elected as team captain, Barton concluded his senior year named first-team All Big-10 and was recognized as an AFCA first-team All-American. With 40 college starts under his belt, Barton plunged head-first into the Senior Bowl.

"This is a huge opportunity. It's a big stage here and every coach and general manager will be watching my practices. This event can make or break your pro status so I need to prove I can play against the best of the best and be consistent."

Unfortunately for Barton, he injured his knee at the Senior Bowl, causing his to ride the pine during the majority of the NFL Combine. The 6'5", 311-pound tackle proved his star status during his Pro Day, putting him even higher on the map than before.

Barton's 4.94-second 40-yard dash marked a faster time than any of the other offensive lineman at the Combine. Mingled with his 34 bench-press reps -- placing his third amongst his position -- Barton exudes chaste muscle and alacrity that lure the Bolts even closer.

Barton is dependable and aggressive in the trenches and has the power to hammer defenders. He uses his whole body to gather the leverage needed to hold down even the best defensive linemen.

Barton looks forward to the challenge ahead and sees the benefit of the meet-greet time with the pro teams.

"It's good to know how professional coaches come out at you in terms of playbooks and style and attitude. It's a huge advantage to have interaction with them before we get to training camp."

With a dire need for some confidence and fluidity on the front line, Barton could be the ace of spades in the Bolts' hand. Shane Olivea and Roman Oben were both released after spotty performances last season. While Marcus McNeill and Jeromey Clary will be back in full force, the Chargers need reinforcements.

Barton's dedication and focus could make him an appetizer and possibly a first-course on the Chargers' roster. Experience and vigor make him a budding prospect and the Bolts could use the leadership and enthusiasm that come with the Barton package.


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