Scouting Winston Justice

If you want to know how good offensive tackle Winston Justice is, just ask USC quarterback Matt Leinert. After all, Justice had the task of protecting the QB's blind-side.

The Eagles put Winston Justice through a workout about a month ago. Now, they're bringing him to Philly for a personal visit and some one-on-one time with club officials. What they hear could go a long way in determining whether or not Justice sticks on their draft board in just over two weeks.

Almost from the time that he declared, the Eagles have had an interest in Justice. Coming into the draft as a Junior, Justice figures to go in the first round and fortunately for the Eagles, could still be available when they make the 14th selection in the draft.

You can be sure that the Eagles will be measuring everything that Justice says, since he served a one year suspension for a student conduct violation. Character matters and the Eagles are going to want to feel confident that they won't be drafting an "issue" if they are to call Winston Justice's name on draft day. All indications are that Justice can talk his way through what happened and can potentially satisfy any concerns that the Eagles may have. Reports are that the incident was just a dumb prank that involved a toy gun and went off course.

Looking strictly at his on-the-field performance, there is a lot to like about Justice. This is a kid who looks for chances not to just keep defensive linemen at bay, but to take them completely out of the play whenever possible. At 6' 6", 319 pounds, Justice has good size and packs a lot of athleticism. He uses his hands well and should be able to play on either side of the offensive line that an NFL team would want him to play on.

While the Eagles don't necessarily have an immediate need on the offensive line, they will want to start grooming the next generation of linemen. Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are both in their 30s and nearing the end of their respective roads. Justice could grab some immediate playing time before stepping into the full-time job a year or two down the road.

There are at least five other offensive linemen that the Eagles have or will have worked out or interviewed by the time the draft gets here. They include Willie Colon (Hofstra), Charles Spencer (Pitt), Davin Joseph (Oklahoma), Joe Toledo (Washington), Will Allen (Texas) and center Chris Chester (Oklahoma). Some of them won't be first round picks, but the Eagles may have interests that would reach beyond the first round of the draft.


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