The Underclassmen: The Linemen/Tight Ends

With the Scouting Combine a month away, and the Senior Bowl just around the corner, it's time for Seahawks.NET to provide all the analysis possible about this year's draft class! We continue with Draft Editor Scott Eklund's multi-part series about those underclassmen who have declared for the draft. In Part 3, Scott profiles the linemen and tight ends.

Texas A&M TE Martellus BennettBecause the Aggies were a “run-first” team, Bennett’s skills went somewhat overshadowed. However, he still managed to post 49 receptions for 587 yards and four touchdowns – all career-highs. Bennett is a good athlete with natural receiving skills and he’s also a good run-blocker.

His frame (6-7, 250) could use more muscle and he could get better as a blocker, but there’s no denying he will be an asset in the passing game early in his NFL career. Bennett looks to be one of the top five tight ends in the draft and will likely end up being selected sometime in the second round.

Tight end Martellus Bennett #85 of Texas A&M Aggies rushes upfield against the University of Miami Hurricanes at the Orange Bowl on September 20, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Bennett changed his number from 13 to 85 to honor injured Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Barnett who played for the Hurricanes. Miami won 31-17. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

NFL Comparison – Green Bay TE Donald Lee

Virginia OG Branden Albert Albert is a huge prospect (6-4, 315) with nimble feet and the versatility to play four of the five line positions. His productivity and skills resulted in him being voted as a co-captain of the Cavaliers squad as a junior as well as allowing him to be named a third-team All-American.

Albert needs to work harder in the weight-room to maximize his potential, but there’s no denying he’s got all the tools to be an outstanding value-selection in the late second or early third round.

NFL Comparison – Philadelphia OL Winston Justice

Boise State OT Ryan CladyWhen you talk about Clady, you are talking about a young man who is already a polished pass-blocker, coming from a sophisticated offense that runs out of the spread but also likes to use the power running game as well. In pass sets, Clady has few peers in his technique, wasting little motion to get into his sets and then getting a good initial punch to fend off pass-rushers. He’s equally adept at handling speed-rushers as well as bull-rushers, so he shouldn’t have many issues transitioning to the pro game.

However, he isn’t an explosive blocker, playing a bit too high in the running game, causing him some issues when trying to drive block defenders off the line. Clady is projected to go in the mid-first round, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see teams start to move him up even higher after he tests because he’s a great athlete that should wow the scouts.

NFL Comparison – Cincinnati OT Levi Jones

Kansas OT Anthony CollinsHeading into the season, I thought Collins would be a solid first-day selection if he stayed for his senior year, but with the way he performed this season it’s no surprise he came out early. Collins is an impressive athlete with outstanding footwork and technique. He could be a little stronger to maximize his draft status, but there’s no denying he can be a solid right tackle prospect in the right system.

He’s got the ability to drive block better than most tackles do when they come out of college and I love his footwork when getting into his pass sets. Look for him to be a solid contributor after a year or two in the pros. He projects in the second round at this point.

NFL Comparison – Indianapolis OT Tony Ugoh


 


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