NFL Draft: Scouting the Offensive Tackles

Coming off a disappointing year, the senior tackle class did not live up to expectations. And rather than a half-dozen players from this position squeaking into the first round, it may only be three. Lots of potential down the road if the tackle prospects come around. Here are the scouting reports on the top twelve offensive tackles.

Full Name: D'Brickashaw Ferguson School: Virginia Pos: T

Ht: 6-6 Wt: 312 40: 5.21 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Four-year starter who missed two games in his college career. All-Conference and All-American choice over the past two years.

Pos: Athletic, pass-blocking tackle with tremendous upside potential. Displays outstanding footwork, blocking range and ability protecting the edge. Fluid pulling across the line of scrimmage and effective blocking on the move. Quick with his hands, stays square and jolts opponents at the point of attack. Patient and plays with intelligence.

Neg: Must improve his playing balance, strength and run-blocking abilities. Not a true finisher. Mild-mannered and not a high-intensity prospect.

Analysis: An exciting prospect with All-Pro possibilities at the next level, Ferguson offers immediate starting potential and will only get better as he physically matures. Well- spoken and respected, his future is bright in the NFL.


Full Name: Winston Justice School: USC Pos: T

Ht: 6-6 Wt: 319 40: 5.15 Year: 4Jr

Bio: Moved into the starting lineup as a true freshman, then awarded All-Conference honors as a sophomore and junior. Suspended in ‘04 season after a student conduct violation.

Pos: Athletic, versatile blocker who can be used at left or right tackle. Strong at the point, seals defenders from the action and pounds them into the turf when the opportunity arises. Fights with his hands, can adjust and easily anchors at the point. Controls opponents or turns them off the line once engaged in a block.

Neg: Not explosive off the snap into run blocks. Had several off-the-field incidents. Interviewed poorly at the combine.

Analysis: Combining size, strength and athleticism, Justice offers terrific upside potential for the next level. If he keeps his focus on the football field, he should only get better as he physically matures through the years.


Full Name: Eric Winston School: Miami-Fl Pos: T

Ht: 6-6.5 Wt: 310 40: 4.97 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Former tight end who moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore. All-Conference selection as a senior and awarded the Jacobs Trophy as the top lineman in the ACC. Started the first four games of his junior campaign, then suffered a torn ligament in his left knee, ending his season.

Pos: Athletic blocker with terrific upside for the next level. Patient, makes effective use of angles and is a strong position blocker. Stays square, jolts defenders with hand punch then turns them off the line. Blocks with good lean and a wide base. Alert and works well with teammates. Displayed improved blocking strength as a senior.

Neg: Lacks top blocking range and not quick-footed. Did not distinguish himself during his senior campaign.

Analysis: A former top 10 selection prior to his knee injury, Winston never seemed completely healthy in ‘05. Previously displayed the skills teams want in a left tackle and could be a bargain in April's draft for a franchise which patiently coaxes him back to form.


Full Name: Marcus McNeill School: Auburn Pos: T

Ht: 6-7.5 Wt: 336 40: 5.08 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Four-year starter and All-Conference selection the past two years. Awarded All-American honors as a senior.

Pos: King-sized athlete who dominates the opposition. Strong at the point, jolts opponents and easily removes them from their angle of attack. Makes effective use of blocking angles, keeps his feet moving throughout the action and slides off the edge. Patient in pass protection, flashes abilities on the second level and looks relatively athletic moving about the field. Possesses long arms and big hands, which he effectively uses.

Neg: Bends at the waist, lacks balance and seems sluggish at times. Has a long history of back problems, which prevented him from practicing most of his senior season.

Analysis: At the top of his game, McNeill is an awesome talent worthy of a top 10 pick. Concerns about his ailing back are likely to push him into the latter half of round one. A starter and dominant force in the NFL if he stays healthy.


Full Name: Daryn Colledge School: Boise State Pos: T

Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 299 40: 5.04 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference honors since his sophomore campaign. Previously timed at 4.93 in the 40-yard dash.

Pos: Hard-working offensive tackle who was very productive on the college level. Nasty and works to finish off opponents, yet a lineman who plays with great intelligence. Patient, keeps his feet moving throughout the play and slides off the edge in pass protection. Makes outstanding use of blocking angles and body positioning.

Neg: Not a dominant run-blocker who gets much movement off the line. Marginal skills in motion. Does not possess the height teams want in a blind-side tackle.

Analysis: A coachable prospect and favorite of the Boise State staff, Colledge is a polished lineman with a good game. Can quickly start in the right system at either tackle or guard.


Full Name: Jeremy Trueblood School: Boston College Pos: T

Ht: 6-8 Wt: 316 40: 5.34 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter at left tackle.

Pos: King-sized tackle prospect who plays with a nasty attitude. Immediately gets his hands into defenders and easily controls them at the point of attack. Drives opponents off the line run-blocking, then engulfs them altogether. Makes outstanding use of angles and seals the edge.

Neg: Lacks adjustment, blocking range and has difficulty getting to the spot laterally picking up blitzes. Not light on his feet and marginally effective on the move.

Analysis: Possessing both size, growth potential and strength, Trueblood has starting potential as a right tackle in the NFL.


Full Name: Andrew Whitworth School: LSU Pos: T

Ht: 6-7 Wt: 334 40: 5.19 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter who played in 52 games with the first team at LSU. All-Conference choice the past two seasons.

Pos: King-sized collegiate tackle who projects to the strong side in the NFL. Plays with a nasty attitude and controls opponents once engaged in a block. Makes effective use of body positioning and blocking angles, easily riding defenders from the action. Patient in pass protection, jolts defenders with hand punch and keeps his feet moving throughout the action.

Neg: Lacks adjustment, footwork and struggles against speedy defenders. Marginally effective in motion.

Analysis: A durable and hard-working lineman who rarely misses a practice, Whitworth's size and attention to detail give him a decided advantage as a right tackle.


Full Name: Ryan O'Callaghan School: California Pos: T

Ht: 6-6.5 Wt: 344 40: 5.37 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter at right tackle and guard. All-Conference selection after his junior and senior campaigns.

Pos: Massive blocker who eliminates defenders at the point of attack. Strong, walls opponents from the action or engulfs them altogether. Makes effective use of angles, keeps his feet moving throughout the action and possesses powerful hand punch. Does not give up an inch of room and easily anchors at the point.

Neg: Not quick or explosive into run blocks. Loses balance sliding out laterally and lacks top range. Has a history of shoulder injuries which is a concern.

Analysis: Offering enticing size and ability for a strong side tackle, O'Callaghan has the tools to eventually start in the NFL. Must receive a clean bill of health and complete his game, yet is a solid middle-round choice.


Full Name: Rashad Butler School: Miami-Fl Pos: T

Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 293 40: 5.21 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Full-time starter the past two seasons, handling the right tackle position as a senior after spending his junior campaign on the left side.

Pos: Athletic pass-blocking tackle with excellent upside for the next level. Plays with good pad level, effectively uses angles and shows potential as a position blocker. Quick-footed sliding laterally, properly places his hands into defenders and makes exceptional use of angles. Anchors at the point and works well with teammates.

Neg: Not an overpowering lineman and rarely gets movement from run blocks. Has a tall, thin build and needs to improve the strength of his base.

Analysis: A solid worker who's shown definite progress the past two seasons, Butler is a solid developmental prospect who could grow into a starting tackle in the NFL .


Full Name: Guy Whimper School: East Carolina Pos: T

Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 304 40: 4.96 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Former tight end who moved to tackle as a senior and proceeded to become a full-time starter last year.

Pos: Nice-sized blocker still learning the position. Strong at the point, turns opponents off the line then seals them from the action. Anchors in pass protection, jolts defenders with good hand punch and knocks them from their angle of attack.

Neg: Plays slower than he times and is not effective on the second level. Lacks footwork, blocking range and struggles sliding in space.

Analysis: A raw prospect who came on late in his senior season, Whimper is a developmental blocker best suited for the strong side.


Full Name: Jonathan Scott School: Texas Pos: T

Ht: 6-6.5 Wt: 315 40: 5.35 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference and All-American honors since his junior campaign. Played left tackle the past three seasons after starting on the right side as a freshman.

Pos: Nice-sized, athletic lineman with a high upside. Naturally strong, plays with good pad level and does not give up an inch of room. Makes effective use of angles and body positioning, sealing defenders from the action. Jolts opponents with good hand punch and rides them from the angle of attack. Flashes footwork in pass protection.

Neg: Bends at the waist or leans on opponents. Lacks a nasty streak and does not finish blocks. Marginal run blocker.

Analysis: A self-motivated player, Scott has the underlying abilities to be a starter in the NFL. Must consistently play at a high level yet a solid top 60 choice.


Full Name: Isaac Sowells School: Indiana Pos: T

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 324 40: 5.22 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter at left tackle who began his career at the guard position.

Pos: Tough blocker best in a small area. Sets with a wide base, effectively uses blocking angles and walls defenders from the action. Stays square, jolts opponents with good hand punch and keeps his feet moving throughout the action. Anchors in pass protection or gets movement from run blocks.

Neg: Lacks adjustment, struggles on the second level and can be exploited by quick, nimble opponents. Not a natural knee-bender.

Analysis: A productive collegiate tackle, Sowells showed well in All-Star games during the postseason and projects as a solid middle-round choice.


Complete Offensive Tackle Rankings - Complete NFL Draft Rankings


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