Scouting the Offensive Lineman

The pickings are slim at all the offensive line positions for this years NFL Draft. After a few talented tackles are selected early in round one, the rest of the prospects will need time to develop their skills before they can break into a starting line-up in the NFL.

Tackles

Robert Gallery/Iowa/6-6/320/5.32/Senior: Gallery is very much an Orlando Pace type tackle; one that uses great power to protect the blind side as well as fleet feet. Viciously attacking defenders, Gallery easily rides oncoming rushers from their angle of attack, using an effective combination of blocking angles and strength. Versatility is key as he projects to either side of the line and Gallery will be a top pick in next April's draft and an immediate starter for any team that selects him.

Shawn Andrews/Arkansas/6-4.5/360/5.45/Junior: Only on occasion does a strong side tackle from the underclassmen ranks rate at the top of this position, Andrews is one of those few occasions. Dominant in every aspect of the game, he is a prospect that can be a fixture in the NFL for a long time to come. Strictly a right side blocker, Andrews has declared for the draft and will be an early pick next April.

Vernon Carey/Miami-Fl/6-4/355/5.21/Senior: A powerful yet athletic right tackle moved into guard this season, Carey was dominant on the strong side in 2002 and could well have been a first round choice had he entered the draft. Though he still has top 32 talent, the switch to guard this season was an injustice as Carey has struggled. As a result he will slide into round two where he will be a bargain for some organization.

Jacob Rogers/USC/ 6-5.5/310/5.32/Senior: Tough, efficient tackle with a good feel for the position, Rogers is a solid prospect who could quickly develop into a starter at the next level. His hard work and understanding of the game gives Rogers the upper edge and are traits coaches in the NFL will love.

Kelly Butler/Purdue/6-7.5/320/5.14/Junior: A big dominant force that controls opponents at the line of scrimmage, Butler offers a lot of upside for the next level. Must refine his overall game and increase his muscle mass but a prospect that could eventually develop into a starting right tackle in the NFL.

Nat Dorsey/Georgia Tech/6-5/325/5.34/Junior: Big, athletic blocker that does not give up an inch to defenders, Dorsey has proven to be a dominant force and effective blocker for both the run and pass. Still very rough around the edges, he is a work in progress but the upside Dorsey offers is very enticing.

Adrian Jones/Kansas/6-4.5/296/4.97/Senior: Making a seamless transition to the left tackle position after spending three years at tight end, Jones finished a terrific senior campaign then a brilliant performance at the combine. He possesses the athletic skills and growth potential to be a top blind side tackle at the next level and just needs repetition to fine-tune his game.

Guards

Justin Smiley/Alabama/6-3.5/298/5.04/Junior: A tough and hard working lineman, Smiley has shown steady improvement in his game and is soaring up draft boards. He can be a quality guard in the right system at the next level but must physically mature, improve his playing strength and run blocking skills.

Chris Snee/Boston College/6-2/320/5.32/Junior: A blocker that mauls opponents into the ground or finesses them from the action, Snee is a well-rounded lineman with a good degree of upside. He is a prospect that should immediately move to the top of the depth chart once he puts on an NFL uniform and will produce for many years to come.

Sean Locklear/North Carolina State/6-4 /306/5.16/Senior: A former defensive lineman that's only played on the offensive line for two seasons, Locklear has done an outstanding job not only showing dominance but versatility as well. Must learn to bend his knees but has solid size/ strength numbers and a good upside for the next level.

Center

Jake Grove/Virginia Tech/6-3/300/5.10/Senior:
Tough, intelligent center with a great feel for the position, Grove is a hard working blocker likened to Pro Bowler Olin Kruetz. Though not dominant, he uses all his tolls to the maximum, opening up the middle of the field.

Alex Stepanovich/Ohio State/6-3.5/300/5.25/Senior: Though spending his senior campaign at guard, Stepanovich is a classic mauler on the pivot, a center that gets the job done with brute force. He may not fit all offensive systems but asked to block in a power running game for a pocket passer, Stepanovich will be very successful at the next.

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