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02-23-2011, 02:13 AM
2011 NFL Combine: Five Offensive Linemen the Pittsburgh Steelers Want To Watch

By Nick DeWitt (Steelers Featured Columnist) on February 22, 2011


Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

Why will the Pittsburgh Steelers' representatives be paying close attention to players like Florida's Mike Pouncey (younger brother of their own Maurkice), Boston College's Anthony Castonzo, and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi?

The answer is simple. Their offensive line has had a horrendous run during the past two seasons and has never really been the same since Alan Faneca and Jeff Hartings left. They have a profound need along the line.

A lot hinges on free agency and the labor negotiations, but the Steelers have a real chance to upgrade their offensive line with the 31st overall pick in this year's draft.

Here's a look at five offensive linemen they'll be sure to watch as workouts commence tomorrow:


1. Mike Pouncey, G/C (Florida)


Versatility, football IQ, footwork, pulling technique, pass blocking, run blocking, work ethic




The best available guard, there is some sentiment that Pouncey will be gone by the time Pittsburgh selects at the end of the first round. He's been mocked to go anywhere from mid-first to early-second round, so there's obviously no clear consensus on how teams will approach the second half of the first round.

What is certain is that reuniting Mike Pouncey with his older brother Maurkice, who was a Pro Bowl center for Pittsburgh in his rookie season, would be an excellent move for the Steelers.

This draft is light on offensive linemen who fit the Pittsburgh scheme, but Pouncey comes very close. With the smooth transition made by brother Maurkice, it seems likely that the younger Pouncey will adjust to life in the NFL quite well. His ability to pull in the running game is a huge plus for the Steelers, who like pulling their guards on power running plays.

Pouncey will be a first round pick, and Pittsburgh will be watching his performance in the combine to see how his size and speed measure up against other guards that are available.

2. Anthony Castonzo, OT (Boston College)



Quickness, mobility, football IQ, zone blocking


Strength, size


Castonzo is one of the top available tackles in the draft, but he will have to show off some strength at the combine to increase his draft stock.

Where Pittsburgh is concerned, he does not fit their top need (a guard) and doesn't necessarily fit their blocking scheme. He does play a good left tackle and is adept with edge rushers (think of him as a weapon to neutralize Terrell Suggs and men of his ilk).

Castonzo is quick off the snap and is very mobile. He's a smart player and doesn't put himself in a bad position. He could represent an upgrade at left tackle over Max Starks, who can get fooled and put out of position by shifty rushers.

He's undersized for this offensive line, but it's reasonable to believe he could bulk up if needed. His speed and mobility make him a likely late-first rounder, so Pittsburgh is in good position should they decide to take him.


3. Rodney Hudson, OG (Florida State)


Instincts, awareness, football IQ, body control


Size, speed


Hudson is a bit small for a guard, but he masks that well with above average awareness and body control. He's an accomplished run blocker and is also above average in pass protection.

In Pittsburgh's case, he fits their passing game well and would also, with time to learn, fit very well into their rushing attack. He's great at passing off blockers and taking on speed rushers, something important to a team with a quarterback that likes to hang onto the ball.

Hudson is not necessarily a first round pick, but he's a solid draft choice and a likely second rounder. If Pittsburgh passes on linemen early, they may be in a good spot to take Hudson in the second or third round. He'll need to prove his size (this is a trend this year) is not a deficiency he cannot overcome.

He bears watching as a fallback option in case Pittsburgh misses out on Pouncey in the first round.


4. Gabe Carimi, OT (Wisconsin)


Size, strength, run blocking


Athleticism, movement


He's been labeled as a future right tackle because of his lack of athleticism and movement skills, but Carimi should be a great first round pick for a team in the latter half of the round.

Pittsburgh may opt for the younger, sturdier Carimi instead of re-signing free agent Willie Colon, who's coming off a major Achilles injury that cost him the entire 2010 season. Carimi is a big, physical tackle that is one of the best run blockers available this year.

His lack of athleticism is a concern and is something Pittsburgh and other teams will be watching, but he has proven adept at engaging rushers quickly and then using his size and strength to hold them at bay and move them away from runners and passers. Those qualities are excellent.

My concern in Pittsburgh's scheme is that if he can't hold blocks for a long time and isn't athletic enough to do so, he may be somewhat of a liability when paired with Ben Roethlisberger's penchant for holding the ball too long.


5. Derek Sherrod, OT (Mississippi State)


Athleticism, movement, quickness


Strength, body control


Sherrod projects as a left tackle in the NFL. He's bigger than most tackles (think Max Starks), but he's got the athleticism to make up for that.

For Pittsburgh, he'd be a valuable choice because he's got the ability to stay with edge rushers and adjust to their moves to keep them off of a quarterback. His skills would help keep Ben Roethlisberger upright, something that is definitely a concern.

The concern for the Steelers (and something they'll be looking at) is how his lack of strength hurts his overall game. He's shown up as a liability against power rushers and can be beaten by stronger defenders. The Steelers, with a power running attack, need a tackle who can take on big rushers and push them back.

Sherrod is a swing pick. He may be a good first round choice, but he's a player who could be around later. How he performs at the combine will dictate a great deal about where teams like Pittsburgh will rank him on their draft boards.

http://www.lockerpulse.com/News/2011-NF ... story-link (http://www.lockerpulse.com/News/2011-NFL-Combine-Five-Offensive-Linemen-the-Pittsburgh-Steelers-Want-To-Watch-S842906/?utm_source=widget-8-PittsburghSteelers&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=widget-story-link)

02-23-2011, 02:54 AM
I can only hope the other 30 teams before us don't view Sherrod as "legit enough" and let him slip to us. He is one of the two true first round left tackles and he would be a steal at 1.31 IMHO.

02-23-2011, 03:11 AM
I can only hope the other 30 teams before us don't view Sherrod as "legit enough" and let him slip to us. He is one of the two true first round left tackles and he would be a steal at 1.31 IMHO.

I agree with you, the couple of times I saw Miss St play Sherrod was absolutely dominant...

Rang's pre-combine Big Board: Top 32 plus 10

By Rob Rang
NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
Feb. 22, 2011

The Big Board is my ranking of the players available, regardless of position. If I were building a team from scratch with only the current draft class to choose from, this is the order in which I'd select them.

I won't allow an impressive (or poor) time in the 40-yard dash, off-the-charts vertical or great bench press total to sway me if the results in Indy don't match what's already been viewed over several years of game film. I will, however, alter my rankings if I'm impressed (or not) by how a player performs in interviews.

1. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: Shutdown corner with the ability to impact the game as a returner. As close to a can't-miss player as there is in the draft.

2. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: Hard to believe he's more impressive against run than pass considering he led nation with 15.5 sacks.

3. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: The most talented player in the draft, I have concerns about his maturity and work ethic once he gets a multi-million dollar contract.

4. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M: Answered only questions about his game by proving he's a legitimate 6-feet-2 (and 5/8) and 237 pounds, while proving fluid in pass coverage at Senior Bowl.

5. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina: A more explosive pass rusher than Bowers; is viewed by some as a better fit as a 3-4 rush linebacker.

6. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: Has to prove speed to move into my top 5, but his combination of hands and body control are comparable to that of Larry Fitzgerald and Sidney Rice, two players who have dominated when protected with solid QB play.

7. Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama: Strong, stout and quick, Dareus can play inside and out in any scheme.

8. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Rare to see two corners with a top 10 grade, but Amukamara deserves it. Size, physicality to compete right away.

9. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: Rare size, strength and physicality for position will make him an early standout. There is some Anquan Boldin-like toughness here.

10. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: Stats say he struggled this season, but a closer look shows he did all of the little things well. I'd have no problem using a top-15 pick on Clayborn, especially for a 4-3 alignment.

11. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Tough to assign a running back a grade this high, but Ingram's rare combination of vision, balance, burst and low center of gravity remind me of only one back -- Emmitt Smith.

12. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB Missouri: Was surprised to see him come out; would have ranked as elite defensive prospect had he returned to the Tigers for another season. Raw, but has spectacular upside.

13. Cameron Jordan, DE, California: Showed everyone at Senior Bowl what I've been saying for months -- he's arguably the most versatile defensive lineman in a class blessed with a lot of them.

14. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: Size, arm strength, good accuracy and a quick release, he has all of the tools -- but wasn't consistent enough to earn a top-10 grade.

15. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: Solder's weak base and moderate strength are concerns, but his rare size (6-8, 314), athleticism and flexibility make him an ideal left tackle prospect.

16. Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida: Size, strength and the athleticism to block at the second level, Pouncey's ability to stand out against SEC competition makes him an easy first-round pick.

17. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: Not as athletic as Solder, but another true left tackle who played with more strength at the Senior Bowl than I gave him credit for at the end of the season.

18. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: As I've said since January, Newton is going to wind up in the top 10. His orchestrated workout didn't answer any of the questions I have about him, however -- namely can he adapt mentally from Gus Malzahn's relatively simple spread-option offense to an infinitely more complicated pro-style attack.

19. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: Penetrating three-technique defensive tackle who quietly rates behind only Fairley and Dareus on many teams' boards.

20. Tyron Smith, OT, USC: In terms of pure talent, Smith is this year's best tackle -- but his experience lies on the right side, his future lies on the left and scouts have questioned his maturity. I'll wait to outside the top 20 for a gamble on greatness.

21. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: A road-grader with enough size, reach for pass protection, Carimi would be best if moved to right tackle in the NFL.

22. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: Legitimate top-15 talent, but off-field concerns, the fact that he didn't compete at the Senior Bowl drop him down my board.

23. Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor: It might be a bit surprising to see a 26-year-old guard earn a first-round grade, but Watkins, with only four years of football experience, has plenty of tread left on his tires and was very impressive at the Senior Bowl.

24. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: I'm admittedly higher on Sherrod than most, but see him as an ideal swing tackle capable of stepping in immediately; well worth a first-round pick.

25. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: The ideal defensive end in the 3-4, but may not have a fit in the 4-3, limiting his grade.

26. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA: Undeniably an elite athlete and one who may get wind up drafted much higher than my ranking indicates, but Ayers' moderate instincts and tendency to over-run the play make him a gamble.

27. Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple: The best defensive lineman no one seems to be talking about ... yet.

28. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: Lots to like about Kerrigan's hustle and production, though his thinner lower body and marginal hand play are concerns.

29. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fla.): Struggled against big receivers, including Notre Dame's Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl, but boasts even quicker feet in coverage than either Peterson or Amukamara.

30. Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor: A top-20 talent athletically, but will have to answer questions about his suspension and transfer from Penn State to get drafted there.

31. Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland: Currently leads Kentucky's Randall Cobb in the tight race to be third WR due to greater height, straight-line speed.

32. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas: One of the few bright spots for the Longhorns this season, the 6-1, 205 pound Williams has the size, speed and cover skills to warrant a look in the late first round.

Next 10

TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
RB Mikel LeShoure, Illinois
WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky
DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State -- injury
DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State -- injury
QB Jake Locker, Washington
C/OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State
QB Christian Ponder, Florida State
RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

Steel Life
02-23-2011, 09:18 AM
Hmmm...I would've thought Marcus Cannon would've been on this list too.

02-23-2011, 09:25 AM
Hmmm...I would've thought Marcus Cannon would've been on this list too.

Cannon will likely viewed as a Round 2 pick because of concerns about his weight. Personally, I think he will show very well at the Combine and will be a "riser" coming out of it and establish himself as an early Round 2 pick. Especially since there are some that think with development he could move to OT.

I still think it would be nice if Pouncey II would "tweak a hamstring" and not be able to perform. A little sandbagging could drop him to us.

02-23-2011, 10:51 AM
reuniting Mike Pouncey with his older brother Maurkice

the younger Pouncey will adjust to life in the NFL quite well.

Does this guy know that they are twins? :wft

02-23-2011, 11:28 AM
How is size a weakness for Mike Pouncey? At 6'4" 310, he is not too tall nor too short, not too fat nor too thin, his arms aren't too short...what part of his size isn't, well, ideal for the position he plays?

02-23-2011, 11:48 AM
How is size a weakness for Mike Pouncey? At 6'4" 310, he is not too tall nor too short, not too fat nor too thin, his arms aren't too short...what part of his size isn't, well, ideal for the position he plays?


Why should size be a weakness for Mike?? What i have read about Mike Pouncey is that he is bigger than Maurkice though less athletic comapred to Maurkice.

02-23-2011, 11:52 AM
If Mike Pouncey and Derek Sherrod are both available at 31 who would you pick?

I might lean towards Mike and draft a RT in Rd 3-4

02-23-2011, 10:48 PM
BC's Anthony Castonzo sets his goals high-on and off field

The Sporting News


INDIANAPOLIS—Anthony Castonzo, a 6-7, 305-pound offensive tackle from Boston College expected to be a first-round pick in April’s NFL draft, has set a lofty goal. And it has nothing to do with football.

He would like to help cure cancer.

Castonzo has seen firsthand the damage cancer can do. At Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School, Jordin Hood, his friend and basketball teammate, suffered from testicular cancer. At Boston College, Mark Herzlich, his football teammate, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma—a rare cancer that can attack the bones. Castonzo’s paternal grandfather died of lung cancer before Castonzo was born.

That his friends survived—Hood went on to play baseball at Northern Illinois, and Herzlich completed his career at BC after sitting out the 2009 season for treatment—helped inspire Castonzo to get involved in cancer research.

“I just don’t like the disease in general, but seeing how those two guys were able to follow their dreams with proper treatment makes you want to help people,” said Castonzo, who was a Rhodes Scholar nominee and graduated from Boston College with a degree in biochemistry.

Before he takes on cancer, Castonzo will pursue an NFL career. He is taking the next step toward that goal at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The latest in a long line of recent NFL O-linemen produced by Boston College—including Lions tackle Gosder Cherilus, Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood, Giants guard Chris Snee, Patriots center Dan Koppen and Jets tackle Damien Woody—Castonzo is projected by some draft evaluators to be the first offensive lineman taken.

NFL scouts like Castonzo because of his size, skills, durability and versatility (he can play right or left tackle).

“He’s a guy who could come in and play early because of his experience on the college level, playing both spots and playing at a university that continually puts out good NFL offensive linemen,” Titans scouting coordinator Blake Beddingfield said.

Scouts also like the big fella’s feet—even if they’re different sizes. His left foot is an 18 and his right foot is a 17, an abnormality that is a result of the growth spurt he experienced in high school. Castonzo wears size 18 leisure shoes but size 17 football shoes.

“At some point, I’ll stub (the left foot) and it’ll get all black and blue,” he said. “But it’s part of the game.”

On his way from Lake Zurich to Boston College, Castonzo took a brief detour. After receiving paltry interest from college recruiters, he decided to go to Fork Union Military Academy in central Virginia.

During his one semester at Fork Union, Castonzo was like every other cadet. He woke up early to the sound of a bugle. He underwent daily inspections. He marched to meals and saluted just about anyone who walked by in uniform.

“It was some serious stuff,” he said, “but I went there to get more exposure in football because it’s a place where they play pretty good competition.”

At Fork Union, Castonzo played for coach John Shuman, who emphasized physicality, tenacity and playing with an edge. He brought out the best in Castonzo on the football field.

“He saw something in me that I kind of knew I had,” Castonzo said, “and I was just waiting for someone to see it.”

The Boston College coaches saw it. Castonzo started at right tackle as a true freshman, then switched to left tackle as a sophomore and wound up starting a school-record 54 games.

Castonzo prepared for the Scouting Combine by working out with athletic trainers at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He honed his position skills there under the tutelage of former NFL offensive line coach Tom Lovat, who in recent years has prepared Trueblood (Bucs), Jake Long (Dolphins), Jason Smith (Rams) and Bryan Bulaga (Packers) for the NFL. Of those players, Lovat said, Castonzo compares most favorably to Long in terms of body type, skills and work ethic.

After his football career, Castonzo wants to open a cancer research foundation. “I probably wouldn’t be one of the main researchers,” he said, “but I’d probably get my hands dirty a little bit.”

For now, Castonzo just wants to get his hands on some pass rushers.

Read more: http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... z1EpwGtp8M (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-02-23/bcs-anthony-castonzo-sets-his-goals-high-on-and-off-field#ixzz1EpwGtp8M)

02-24-2011, 05:54 PM
Gabe Carimi says he’s the best tackle in the draft

Posted by Evan Silva on February 24, 2011


Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi enters the Scouting Combine coming off an impressive Senior Bowl and decorated college career. Joe Thomas’ successor for the Badgers, Carimi started 49 games in Madison, was twice a first-team all-conference pick, and earned Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and Outland Trophy honors in 2010.

Carimi has earned the right to be confident.

And he is.

“I’m completely confident in my game,” Carimi said at the Combine Thursday, according to Comcast SportsNet New England’s Tom Curran. “I really don’t have any problems. … I know I’m the best tackle out there and I just have to play like it and act like it.”

Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo tops Mike Mayock’s draft-eligible offensive tackle rankings. Castonzo was asked about Carimi’s self promotion.

“That’s his opinion,” Castonzo replied.

Other candidates to be the first offensive tackle drafted include Nate Solder of Colorado and USC’s Tyron Smith. Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod is another potential first-round tackle.

Carimi was also asked whether he’s received interest from the Patriots.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t comment on the Patriots.”

Sounds like he’s talked to the Patriots plenty.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... the-draft/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/24/gabe-carimi-says-hes-the-best-tackle-in-the-draft/)

02-24-2011, 06:35 PM
(3:00 PM): USC OT wows at weigh-in … The big story coming out of today’s measurement session for offensive linemen and TEs at the scouting combine in Indianapolis was the fact that Southern California OT Tyron Smith weighed in at almost 310 pounds. Smith reportedly played in the 280-285 range at USC and had bulked up to over 290 prior to the combine, but there were suspicions that he may have maxed out at the latter figure. For good measure, Smith’s arms also measured in at just under 37 inches, giving him one of the largest wingspans in combine history. Given that no one ever doubted Smith’s strength and athletic feet, the fact that his weight is much more representative combined with those long arms could vault Smith to the top ranking for players at the position; he could also conceivably start to get some top 10 consideration with those numbers, although he played almost exclusively at RT at USC.



02-24-2011, 06:50 PM
Potential Steelers Draft Pick Profiles: Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State

by big_jay71 on Feb 24, 2011


Height: 6'6"
Weight: 312lbs.

2010 stats: Anchored a rushing attack that ranked 9th nationally in 2009, and 15th nationally in 2010.

Pros: Out of all of the Offensive tackles with a first round grade Derek Sherrod may have the best overall skill set. A four-year starter at MSU, Sherrod played his freshman season on the right side before starting his sophomore season on the left side and never looked back. Athletically he has very good initial quickness and excellent pass-blocking technique as he is very fluid in his lateral abilities to kick out and seal the edge. Physically he has very good size and at the Senior Bowl he measured in with the longest arms of any Offensive lineman at 35 1/2 inches. Aside from his physical attributes he may also be attractive to the Steelers because of his high character. Sherrod graduated with a degree in Business with a 3.54 GPA, and won a National Football foundation post-grad scholarship. He was also highly involved with multiple youth events.

Cons: Where Sherrod tends to struggle most is in run-blocking. While he is very good at reaching the second level (a la Maurkice Pouncey), he has a tendency to let his pad level get too high. He'll need to get stronger in his lower base to become more effective in this area. However this may be an issue due to his body type. He has very wide shoulders but very narrow hips so I have questions about how much more power he could add to his lower base. Because of this I think his future in the NFL is as a Left Tackle only.

Draft Stock: In the 2011 draft there seems to be a lack of "complete" Offensive Tackles. Players like Nate Solder, Tyron Smith, and Anthony Castonzo are very good pass-blockers but are very ineffective at run blocking, mostly due to their lean body-types. And on the other hand you have someone like Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi who's an absolute mauler but does not have the athletic ability to be a blind-side protector at the next level. Sherrod is much better at pass blocking but isn't too shabby at run blocking either and with a little strength training could be a dominant Left Tackle for a long, long time. There seems to be a lack of consensus on the prospect rankings of the top 5 OT's in the draft. Sherrod could go anywhere as high as 13th to the Lions, 19th to the Giants, 22nd to the Colts, or 29th to the Bears which means that he may or may not be available at 31.

NFL Player Comparison: Russell Okung
Both players are very similar in size and overall skill set. Okung and Sherrod are athletic pass-blockers with the potential to develop in complete Left Tackles after working on their run-blocking.

Final Word: Offensive Tackle seems to be a hot topic with most Steelers fans. Proponents will state that the team needs a true LT. I for one am in that camp. I've never been a fan of Max Starks as a Left Tackle, he just doesn't have the agility needed to protect Ben Roethlisberger's blind side. Even though Willie Colon missed the 2010 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon he'll still command a decent-sized contract as he's probably a top-5 RT. Last offseason he was pretty upset that he didn't receive a long-term deal which tells me he's not going to be giving the Steelers a home town discount. On the other side o the fence many people feel that drafting another OT would be a waste as we have Starks and Colon, assuming he resigns, and on top of that we'll have Flozell Adams for depth. Personally I thik the Steelers front office will let Colon walk as they will already need to hand out large contracts to LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons in the near future. With Colon gone that will leave only Adams, who's already 36 years old, to man the position which is just unacceptable. With Colon gone the Steelers could move Starks to the right side and draft Derek Sherrod to play LT, and use Flozell as our utility lineman. So I'll break it down like this, if we do not resign Colon then drafting Sherrod or another OT must be a priority regardless of Flozell Adams being on the team in which case we would probably have to trade up to secure him. If we do resign Colon then OT is not as much of a priority but if Sherrod fell to 31 and Pouncey, Phil Taylor, Brandon Harris, Jimmy Smith, and a lot of the other targets are gone I would be happy to take him.



Would you take an Offensive Tackle in the first round of the draft if you were running the Steelers?

Absolutely! Anyone is better than what we've got.
2 votes

Definitely! Our O-linemen drop like flies during the season.
6 votes

No way! Offensive Guard is a much bigger priority.
7 votes

Maybe if the price is right.
5 votes

Total of 20 votes

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... #storyjump (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/2/24/2012586/2011-nfl-draft-profiles-scouting-combine-derek-sherrod#storyjump)

02-25-2011, 02:08 AM
Tyron Smith is a physical freak, and other Combine weigh-in notes

Posted by Evan Silva on February 24, 2011

Offensive linemen and tight ends weighed in at the Scouting Combine Thursday, and Southern Cal offensive tackle Tyron Smith “dominated” the Underwear Olympics with a freakish build.

A projected top-20 pick, Smith’s arms are 36 3/8 inches, giving him one of the longest reaches among players measured at the Combine over the last decade. Smith has catcher mitts for hands at 11 inches, and he packs 307 pounds onto a 6-foot-5 frame.

In 2010, Smith took home Morris Trophy honors as the Pac-10?s top offensive lineman. He played right tackle for the Trojans, but will be a left tackle in the pros.

Other first-day weigh-in highlights:

Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph is 6-foot-6 and 259 pounds with 34-inch arms and 10 1/4-inch hands. The big hands help explain Rudolph’s outstanding pass-catching skills; he rarely dropped passes for the Irish. Rudolph’s offensive tackle-like arms figure to help him as an in-line blocker.

Colorado left tackle Nate Solder measured 6-foot-8 and 319 pounds, the latter figure up five pounds from his Senior Bowl weigh-in. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Solder “looked like he could add 20 more (pounds), easy.” With 34 1/2-inch arms, it’s safe to say Solder will be staying at left tackle in the NFL.

Florida center/guard Mike Pouncey is 6-foot-5 and 303 pounds. A projected first-round pick, Mike is one inch taller than his twin brother, Maurkice. The Steelers’ center measured 6-foot-4 and 303 pounds at last year’s Combine weigh-in. Mike has relatively short, 32 1/2-inch arms, but that’s not as big a problem for interior offensive linemen. Pouncey’s big frame will come in handy in a league placing a greater emphasis on massive, clogger-type nose tackles in 3-4 defensive schemes.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -in-notes/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/24/tyron-smith-is-a-physical-freak-and-other-combine-weigh-in-notes/)

02-25-2011, 10:25 AM
If Mike Pouncey and Derek Sherrod are both available at 31 who would you pick?

I might lean towards Mike and draft a RT in Rd 3-4

I would do the same locking up Right Guard for at least the next 5-6 years. In Rounds 3-4 you can look at a guy like Jah Reid from UCF who has the potential to be a solid RT.

02-25-2011, 02:21 PM
How is size a weakness for Mike Pouncey? At 6'4" 310, he is not too tall nor too short, not too fat nor too thin, his arms aren't too short...what part of his size isn't, well, ideal for the position he plays?

Mike Pouncey weighed in at only 303 lbs. and his arms were measured at a relatively short 32 3/4", which is the same length as his brother's arms were (what a coincidence :D )

hopefully these disappointing measurables are enough to drop Mike down to the 31st spot in in the 1st round... :tt2

02-25-2011, 06:19 PM
2011 NFL Draft Combine Stock Report

Marcus Cannon, G, TCU
Marcus Cannon played in the 370s this season, so to see him drop his weight down to 358 was a good sign. Also, Cannon's arms measured in at 34 inches, which is definitely long enough for a guard.

Orlando Franklin, G, Miami
Orlando Franklin looked like he was in really great shape at the Combine weigh-in at 6-6, 316. His arms impressively measured in at 35 inches. Franklin could sneak into the second round with a good showing on Saturday.

Rodney Hudson, G, Florida State
Rodney Hudson played in the low 280s during the season. He was 291 at the Senior Bowl. On Thursday, he weighed in at 6-2, 299. Hudson is very talented, but his weight was always a concern. Not so much right now.

Ben Ijalana, G, Villanova
Ben Ijalana looked very impressive at the 2011 Combine weigh-in. Ijalana was 6-4, 317 with 36-inch arms. He helped his cause to be a right tackle in the NFL.

Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Wasn't Derek Sherrod playing in the 305-310 range this year? Didn't he weigh 312 pounds at the Senior Bowl? How many Cheetos did he devour to raise his weight to 321 pounds just a few weeks later? Well, Sherrod looks to be carrying his weight well, but I thought he looked kind of sluggish in Mobile. I don't know if gaining 10 pounds was what he needed, but let's see how he looks in the drills on Saturday.

Tyron Smith, OT, USC
As many predicted, Tyron Smith was the big winner at the weigh-ins. Smith's arms measured in at 36 3/8 inches, which is really insane. Smith is also up to 307 pounds despite playing at 285 during the season. The high-upside tackle could go as high as No. 12 to Minnesota or No. 13 to Detroit.


02-26-2011, 02:46 PM

February 26

(1:20 PM): After a very disappointing performance in yesterday's bench press, Colorado OT Nate Solder has had a very strong day at the on-field workouts for offensive linemen. Solder has looked very athletic and flexible in all the positional drills. As a result, Solder will challenge NFL personnel people as he appears to have the most upside of anyone at the position this year, but is still a work in progress. In fact, most of the top names among the offensive linemen including OTs Gabe Carimi and Anthony Castonzo and C Mike Pouncey have done nothing to hurt their grades today.

(12:20 PM): Unofficial times for offensive linemen this morning. Note that official electronic times will be announced later today, at least for the top preformers and those official times tend to be 0.05 to 0.10 slower than unofficial hand-timed clockings.

Offensive tackles:
Nate Solder, Colorado 4.96
Derek Newton, Arkansas State 5.01
Jarriel King, South Carolina 5.03
Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin 5.12
Mike Person, Montana State 5.12
Orlando Franklin, Miami 5.15
Marcus Cannon, TCU 5.20
Anthony Castonzo, BC 5.21
James Carpenter, Alabama 5.26
Jah Reid, Central Florida 5.26
James Brewer, Indiana 5.28
Demarcus Love, Arkansas 5.29
Joe Barksdale, LSU 5.33
Chris Hairston, Clemson 5.39
Marcus Gilbert, Florida 5.43
Ray Dominquez, Arkansas 5.43
Kyle Hix, Texas 5.43
Jason Pinkston, Pittsburgh 5.43
Lee Ziemba, Auburn 5.47
Josh Davis, Georgia 5.50
Willie Smith, East Carolina 5.50
Adam Grant, Arizona 5.53

Offensive guards:
Rodney Hudson, Florida State 5.22
Dan Kilgore, Appalachian State 5.23
Clint Boling, Georgia 5.25
Keith Williams, Nebraska 5.26
Danny Watkins, Baylor 5.28
David Arkin, Missouri State 5.28
Zach Hurd, UConn 5.30
Justin Boren, Ohio State 5.47
John Moffitt, Wisconsin 5.52
Ricky Henry, Nebraska 5.73
Isaiah Thompson, Houston 6.01

Ryan Bartholomew, Syracuse 4.93
Jason Kelce, Cincinnati 4.95
Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock 5.09
Mike Pouncey, Florida 5.12
Kris O'Dowd, USC 5.16
Zach Williams, Washington 5.18
Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State 5.32
Alex Linnenkohl, Oregon State 5.39
Zane Taylor, Utah 5.61

(11:55 AM): Relatively slow times by Penn State C Stefen Wisniewski, arguably the top pure C in the 2011, who ran a 5.32 hand-timed 40, while Auburn OT Lee Ziemba only ran a 5.47.

(11:50 AM): Baylor G/T Danny Watkins clinched the 'Fastest Canadian at the combine' title with a 5.28 40 time.

(11:45 AM): Colorado OT Nate Solder ran a quick 4.97 40 which was a little slower than expected, but was very quick through the first 10-yards at 1.61.

(11:35 AM): Florida C/G Mike Pouncey ran a quickish 5.12.

(11:30 AM): Quick time by rangy South Carolina OT Jarriel King who had a 5.03 hand-timed 40 yard run. Arkansas OT Demarcus Love, though, only an in the 5.30 range, while Wisconsin C/G John Moffitt was very slow in over 5.50. Nice time to by unheralded Arkansas State OT Derek Newton who also ran in the very low 5.0 range.

(10:45 AM): While his 40 times wasn't great, Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo has looked very smooth in the positional drills; same for FSU OG Rodney Hudson. Alabama's James Carpenter on the other hand dosn't look overly smooth or flexible.

<>(10:40 AM): Indiana G/T James Brewer looks a little top-heavy, but has been quick and smooth; led first group of OL with a 1.63 10-yard split; other top splits in the 1st group included Georgia G/T Clint Boling (1.66), Miami G/T Orlando Franklin (1.72), Missouri State G/T David Arkin (1.74) and TCU G/T Marcus Cannon (1.78). The latter agiain is imprssive for a near 360-pounder. Meanwhile, Miami's Franklin also ran well over the 40 (5.15) but hasn't looked as smooth or flexible in positional drills.

(9:40 AM): USC OT Tyron Smith just announced he won't run because of a sore knee; he had post-season surgery.

(9:35 AM): No better for Boston College's Anthony Castonzo on his second run when he hand-timed a 5.32 40. Impressive run by Slippery Rock C Brandon Fusco who ran under 5.15 twice and looked a little bit like a sprinter coming down the track. Alabama's James Carpenter wasn't all that smooth but still ran in the 5.25 range; again okay, but not LT type stuff. Slow times in the 5.4-5.5 range, though, for SEC RTs Josh Davis of Georgia and Ray Dominquez of Arkansas.

(9:20 AM): Florida State OG Rodney Hudson probably wanted to be quicker than a 5.22 hand-timed 40 with an average 10-yard split.

(9:15 AM): Solid run by Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi who ran a hand-timed 5.12, while Boston College's Anthony Castonzo was okay at 5.21, but that will probably translate to an electronic time closer to 5.3 which again is okay, but hardly great.

(9:10 AM): Very impressive 40 by Syracuse C Ryan Bartholomew who ran a hand-timed 4.93 after leading the offensive linemen in the bench press yesterday. Also impressive run by TCU's Marcus Cannon who had a .5.2 hand-timed running at 358 pounds.

(9:00 AM): We're underway with the offensive linemen running the 40...


02-27-2011, 02:40 AM
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State:

Though there were some serious concerns throughout the preseason in Pittsburgh, the injury-riddled Steelers offensive line did a pretty darn good job protecting Ben Roethlisberger in 2010. Flozell Adams obviously isn’t the long-term answer at tackle, though, and two other big boys are set to become free agents if a new CBA is worked out. Pittsburgh should go offensive line with this pick. Enter the rather-versatile Sherrod. The big boy helped pave the way for a Bulldogs rushing attack that averaged 227.58 yards per game in 2010. He’s a road paver who can play all over the line. If Sherrod’s still hanging around at No. 31, it’s a solid pickup for the AFC-champion Steelers.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl- ... als-020711 (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl-mock-draft-cam-newton-arizona-cardinals-020711)

02-27-2011, 03:34 PM
2011 NFL Draft Combine Stock Report

Marcus Cannon, G, TCU

Marcus Cannon weighed in at 6-5, 358. Based on his size, you'd expect him to be fat, slow and lethargic. On the contrary, Cannon did not appear as though he was anything close to 358. He ran a 5.20 40 and looked very fluid in all the drills. Cannon seems to have cemented his Round 2 status. He may even be selected at the end of Round 1 if a team believes he can play right tackle.

Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

Anthony Castonzo ran just a 5.21 40, but was phenomenal in the drills, showing great athleticism and technique. He could be the second tackle off the board behind Tyron Smith.

Rodney Hudson, G, Florida State
Rodney Hudson may not carry 299 pounds very well, but his weight gain didn't seem to affect him in the drills. In fact, Hudson's footwork is still as good as ever.

DeMarcus Love, G, Arkansas

DeMarcus Love is a guard only. After watching him in the drills at the Combine, I'm further convinced that he can't play right tackle.

Derek Newton, OT, Arkansas State

"Derek... Newton... is a... great... playa..." This is what I wrote when Derek Newton ran his 40 time. Despite his 6-5, 311-pound frame, Newton ran a 4.99 on Saturday. Expect Al Davis to target him early on Day 3.

Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Nate Solder sucked on the bench press and still has some bad tape to answer for, but he really stood out at the Combine. At 6-8, 319, Solder ran a 4.97 and displayed incredible athleticism in the drills.

Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

I was concerned about Derek Sherrod's sudden weight gain to 321 pounds. Well, Sherrod carried the 321 well and maintained his solid athleticism. He ran a 5.20 40 and looked good in the drills. He could go as high as No. 23 to Philadelphia, but will probably be selected in the 28-35 range.


02-28-2011, 04:55 PM
I'm still calling for a DE since they are a plenty this year. We can get a good one at 31.
I think the DE at 31 will be vastly superior rating wise to the top T.
I'd also rather we take not in the 1st. That's pricey to back to back grab interior OL in the first round.
I could see moving up a bit to grab Randy Hudsen in the second. Sounds like a good option.
But again, I think our OL when in order is OK. But we can't expect it to operate fully with two 3rd string Ts in the playoffs. Starters were Colon and Starks. Then we had to go with JScott and Adams. And often it was getting down to Essex playing T more than we should. Not sure how much Hills played, but he should be off the team.

If they really think interior needs help, do so in the second round. No more first round interior OL.

02-28-2011, 06:11 PM


* - indicates underclassmen

Last updated: 02/28/11 (post-Combine)

*Tyron Smith 6-5, 307 4.95 Southern California
Nate Solder 6-8, 315 5.05 Colorado
Anthony Castonzo 6-7, 311 5.23 Boston College
Gabe Carimi 6-7, 315 5.27 Wisconsin
Derek Sherrod 6-5.5, 321 5.28 Mississippi State
Ben Ijalana 6-3.5, 317 5.25 Villanova (OG)
Marcus Cannon 6-5, 358 5.26 TCU (OG)
Orlando Franklin 6-6, 315 5.20 Miami (OG)
Marcus Gilbert 6-6.5, 330 5.45 Florida (OG)
James Carpenter 6-4.5, 321 5.28 Alabama (OG)
DeMarcus Love 6-4.5, 315 5.31 Arkansas (OG)
Lee Ziemba 6-6, 317 5.60 Auburn
James Brewer 6-6, 323 5.27 Indiana (OG)
Chris Hairston 6-6, 326 5.43 Clemson
Jarriel King 6-5, 317 5.10 South Carolina
Joe Barksdale 6-4.5, 325 5.38 LSU
Ray Dominquez 6-4, 334 5.48 Arkansas
Jah Reid 6-7, 327 5.40 Central Florida
Derek Newton 6-5, 305 5.01 Arkansas State


Last updated: 02/28/11 (post-Combine)

Mike Pouncey 6-3, 303 5.28 Florida (C)
Danny Watkins 6-3.5, 312 5.40 Baylor (OT)
Rodney Hudson 6-2, 299 5.31 Florda State (C)
Clint Boling 6-5, 310 5.40 Georgia (OT)
Stephen Schilling 6-4, 308 5.30 Michigan
Will Rackley 6-3, 310 5.25 Lehigh (C/T)
Jason Pinkston 6-3.5, 317 5.47 Pittsburgh (OT)
Zach Hurd 6-7, 316 5.35 UConn
Carl Johnson 6-5, 361 5.43 Florida
Andrew Jackson 6-5, 300 5.38 Fresno State


03-01-2011, 02:40 AM
Offensive tackles should provide teams with solid options

By Chad Reuter
NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
Feb. 24, 2011

The 2011 offensive tackle class is considered average by some, but scouts and coaches in Indianapolis expressed hope Thursday about finding long-time starters among the players available.

Minnesota Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman characterized the offensive tackle class as "deep." He said intelligence and versatility are major hallmarks of the group.

Speilman was impressed with Boston College lineman Anthony Castonzo's ability to move along the line when saying, "I just watched Castonzo working at left guard, right guard, and right tackle during the Senior Bowl. You don't see that very often."

For Castonzo's part, he felt he "did better I than I thought I would" when shuffled from position to position in Mobile. His ability to move around the line would have also been appreciated by Steelers president of football operations Kevin Colbert, who noted how versatility might help juggle "the [45-man] game-day roster, as sometimes teams can only suit up seven offensive linemen. Guys need to play multiple positions."


Anthony Castonzo's ability to play multiple positions along the line should help his draft stock. (US Presswire)

The fact Castonzo did not work at left tackle during Senior Bowl week did not concern Spielman, who said teams have plenty of tape on him at that position from his three years starting there (as well as his freshman year at right tackle) at BC.

Castonzo, nominated as a Rhodes Scholar, did not earn the award to match the accomplishment of former Florida State safety Myron Rolle. Yet that sort of intelligence should help the two-time All-ACC honoree crack the top 20 picks.

Hall of Fame offensive lineman Mike Munchak, just weeks into his new gig as head coach of the Tennessee Titans, said offensive linemen must be "very smart" to adjust to complex NFL defenses. But he also identified two other, often less considered, attributes: even-keel demeanor and consistency.

Those words describe Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi. As Munchak said, "no matter who you are in this league, you're going to have some bad plays. Your guy may get to the quarterback. How are you going to respond to that?"

Carimi has been beaten during his career, but always came back strong because of his intensity and ability to focus under pressure.

Carimi was assignment-sure whether in pass protection or run blocking and consistency is one of his strengths.

Scouts aren't sure that Castonzo and Carimi will prove to be above-average athletically during workouts Saturday. The other two members of the "Fab Four" tackles, Colorado's Nate Solder and Southern Cal's Tyron Smith, own the size-speed combination teams love on the outside.

In fact, when asked what separated him from the other tackles in this class, Solder said he was more of an athlete. The former tight end is still learning the position, noting that he had a "breakdown in technique" against Cal early in the year. Solder took a bad lateral angle to attack in pass protection and didn't bend his knees. The lesson: "That I couldn't take anyone for granted."

Solder's 319 pounds do not look so impressive because of his legit 6-8 measurement. His height and somewhat slim frame make scouts wonder if he can win the leverage battle at the next level.

Even the relatively svelte Solder looked more stout than Tyron Smith this season. The 6-5 former Trojan played at a measly 285 pounds in 2010, but started off the combine well by weighing in at 307 pounds. His hands (11 inches) and arms (36 3/8 inches) are among the biggest and longest measured at the combine over the last decade.

His length makes him a fit at left tackle, but he's never played the position. The former Trojan is quite young -- he just turned 20 in December -- and played at a lean 285 pounds through the season. The youth is a plus, and he should continue to fill out his frame over the years.

Beyond those four tackles, Derek Sherrod from Mississippi State is also in the mix for a first- or second-round slot. Marcus Cannon (TCU), Orlando Franklin (Miami, Fla.), Ben Ijalana (Villanova) and Jason Pinkston (Pittsburgh) are potential second-round picks who could be surprise starters as rookies.

There might not be a Tony Boselli or Robert Gallery in this draft class -- a "sure thing" left tackle slated for the Hall of Fame. But Solder and Smith could be top 10 picks if their athletic testing results are as good as expected at the combine. Carimi and Castonzo are likely to be middle-to-late first-round choices.

Those are some solid options for several teams already in or near the playoff hunts looking to improve their offensive line. The Cowboys (ninth overall pick), Vikings (12), Lions (13), Patriots (17 and 28), Giants (19), Colts (21), Eagles (23), Falcons (27), and Bears (29) could all take advantage of this talented group come April.

Chad Reuter is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange. Follow him on Twitter at @ChadReuter.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/stor ... id-options (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/14735008/offensive-tackles-should-provide-teams-with-solid-options)

The Sodfather
03-01-2011, 08:11 AM
Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Nate Solder sucked on the bench press and still has some bad tape to answer for, but he really stood out at the Combine. At 6-8, 319, Solder ran a 4.97 and displayed incredible athleticism in the drills.

I get a Robert Gallery feeling about that dude.

03-01-2011, 09:15 AM
[quote=" ":3rvbfipg]Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Nate Solder sucked on the bench press and still has some bad tape to answer for, but he really stood out at the Combine. At 6-8, 319, Solder ran a 4.97 and displayed incredible athleticism in the drills.

I get a Robert Gallery feeling about that dude.[/quote:3rvbfipg]

The difference is that Gallery was always an OL whereas everyone knows that Solder is still learning OL after converting from TE. He has all the athletic tools but needs to learn the position.

I like Marcus cannon more and more after reading everything coming out of the draft. IMO he could start immediately at RG and he has the athleticism to move to RT.

The Sodfather
03-01-2011, 09:31 AM
Gallery was a TE as a freshmen.

03-01-2011, 09:50 AM
Gallery was a TE as a freshmen.

Gallery has been a starter in the league since 2004 so that isn't too bad. The problem is that it took them a couple years to figure out he was a better Guard than Tackle. Solder is also not going to get picked with the #2 pick in the draft which is the big difference.

I could see Solder still being on the board when the Steelers are up at 1.31. I still like Marcus Cannon better and think we would get more immediate returns.