Buddy Can You Spare A Guard?

To say Tom Marino was disappointed in the guard contingent in this years player draft would be a huge under statement. In his 34 years as a professional scout he can't remember a time when he has seen as flawed and lean a group of professional prospects.

I personally was dumbfounded and I'm sure most scouts and offensive line coaches throughout the league were frustrated by the lack of quality offensive guard prospects in this week's upcoming player draft. When watching many of the seemingly top players at the position, I literally found myself repeating the same three word phrase over and over again, "Finish the block!"

My top ranked prospect, Andre Smith (a guard projection) was a major disappointment. Although very effective in a limited area (handling bull rush and getting movement inline), I though he didn't come off the ball, lacked stamina, didn't fit on blocks and was a virtual spectator on the backside. I would really question his ability to handle the speed rush from the left tackle position (always in chase mode) and his ability to handle inside counters was disturbing. When his uneven 2008 season play is coupled with his very strange combine actions and poor school workout, one is left to wonder; can this player become the backbone of my offensive line?

I not going to be making that decision Saturday evening, but if I were, I certainly would be looking in another direction to upgrade my football club.

What's even more frightening to me was the fact that I saw many of the same shortcomings in my number two ranked offensive guard prospects, Duke Robinson from the University of Oklahoma. Both players are athletically gifted big men, but ultimately I believe both will ultimately break your heart.

Like the aforementioned Smith both my third and fourth rated guard prospects were college tackles. I don't think Eastern Michigan's Thomas Lang is the second coming of John Hannah, but I was pleasantly surprised with his balance points, striking power, use of hands, range, quickness and ability to adjust on the move. Oregon State's left tackle Andy Levitre is a knee bender with good feet, but I was concerned with his short arms, punch and hand placement. Both are in my opinion middle of the draft type players.

In my opinion, teams looking to upgrade or build for the future would be best served by adding a June cap casualty or continuing to work with practice squad or young back ups.

Offensive Guards

RK Name School HT WT 40 GR
1 Smith, Andre Alabama 6040v 332v 5.36v 1.22
2 Robinson, Duke Oklahoma 6050v 329v 5.36v 1.31
3 Lang, Thomas E Michigan 6037v 316v 5.24v 1.33
4 Levitre, Andy Oregon St 6025v 305v 5.35v 1.35
5 Johnson, Herman LSU 6072v 364v 5.58v 1.36
6 Urbik, Kraig Wisconsin 6052v 328v 5.39v 1.41
7 Feinga, Ray BYU 6041v 331v 5.34v 1.45
8 Vasquez, Louis Texas Tech 6046v 327v 5.29v 1.46
9 Bright, Travis BYU 6042v 321v 5.29v 1.52
10 Walker, Brandon Oklahoma 6025v 306v 5.18v 1.58
11 Isdaner, Greg West Virginia 6034v 325v 5.48v 1.53
12 Canfield, Trevor Cincinnati 6040v 307v 5.32v 1.68
13 Kemp, Andy Wisconsin 6046v 307v 5.49v 1.73
14 Allen, Roger Mo Western 6033v 326v 5.29v 1.78
15 Person, Ben Ohio St 6035v 302v 5.07v 1.79

Free Agents

Name School HT WT 40 GR
Green, Tyronne Auburn 6016v 309v 5.42v 1.80
Rogers, SirVincent Houston 6035v 307v 5.39v 1.80
Thompson, Ron Abilene Christian 6023v 323v 5.41v 1.90
Fanaika, Paul Arizona St 6053v 327v 5.61v 1.90
Olsen, Seth Iowa 6045v 306v 5.25v 1.90
Dedrick, Doug Iowa St 6036v 301v 5.13v 1.90
Slauson, Matt Nebraska 6050v 316v 5.31v 1.90
Rehring, Steve Ohio St 6070v 332v 5.61v 1.90
Davis, C.J. Pittsburgh 6020v 308v 5.57v 1.90
Parker, Anthony Tennessee 6017v 297v 5.12v 1.90
Ryan, Greg W Kentucky 6037v 305v 5.34v 1.90
Stanchek, Ryan West Virginia 6033v 298v 5.36v 1.90
Dockery, Cedric Texas 6031v 316v 5.47v 1.90
Durand, Ryan Syracuse 6045v 307v 5.15v 1.90

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