I thought about listing tackles and guards separately, but the Steelers may be looking for a player that can start at RG in 2011 and move to tackle later on. The Steelers may also be looking for a tackle in the draft if Max Stark's neck injury does not heal well, if Colon is not resigned, or if they decide that 5 million for Flozell (at 36 and often dinged up) is too much money.
So, the following is a list of players that can play LT, RT, RG, or some combination of the three. Please feel free to add to the list....
Anthony Castonzo, 6'7 308, Boston College. Castonzo has started since his freshman year (blocking for Matt Ryan). He started at RT and moved to LT as a sophomore. He has always been a successful pass protector and has now become the teams best run blocker. Castonzo is not an elite athlete. But, he is very successful. 1st rounder.
DeMarcus Love, 6'5 315, Arkansas. Plays both RT and LT in each game. Great position flexibility. Is stout enough to be a great guard as well. This is my favorite OL prospect. He runs well, has good lateral mobility, and he is simply nasty. He is great at planting his guy in the ground and can hit multiple targets against blitzes and in the screen game. The knock against Love is that his technique is poor. Right now most think he's a second round prospect. But, as folks review the tape, I expect he'll shoot up draft boards as he has the great raw talent, flexibility and toughness you'd want for an NFL linemen. 1st-2nd rounder.
Derrok Sherrod, 6'5 305, Mississippi State. I've never seen him play. He is an athletic left tackle prospect that has helped anchor a very effective running attack for the last two years in the SEC. Likely a first round pick.
Nate Solder, 6'9 315, Colorado. I've never seen him play. But, he is strong and quick for his size. All Big 12 LT as a junior. Thought of as a late first rounder.
Joseph Barksdale 6'5 315, LSU. Elite athleticism. A finesse blocker who will not get a great push in the run game. Barksdale has the tools to be a solid starting LT in the NFL. He probably doesn't run block well enough to play RG or RT. I've seen him play quite a bit and was never impressed with his run blocking. He does not dominate lesser competition. But, he does move very well for his size. Late first round-early second round talent.
Mike Pouncey, 6-5 320. Most agree that Mike is the stronger of the two twins. However, most pundits also think he is not quite the athlete as his brother. Mike struggled at center this season. He does not have the athleticism to play RT, but will be a very successful fit at guard. Right now, he is projected to go at the top of the second round.
Gabe Carimi, 6'8 320, Wisconsin. Carimi is functionally strong and is an effective and often nasty run blocker. He is too tall to play RG and not athletic enough to be a successful LT. He is a RT only, but could be a starter early in his career. He could get even stronger and improve his technique. Right now he is seen as an late 2nd rounder.
Matt Reynolds, 6'6 322, BYU. I haven't seen Matt play this year, but I watched him last season. He looks like a wall-off blocker more than a mauler. His kick slide is slow, but somehow he gets the job done. Doesn't look like Steeler material.
Lee Ziemba, 6'8 308, Auburn. A good run blocker who continues to fill out his massive frame. He is quick for his size, but isn't known as a great pass blocker. Started since he was a true freshman.
Marcus Cannon, 6'5 350, TCU. Cannon played LT for TCU. He moves well for 350 pounds but is likely a RT or RG in the pros. Cannon would be an ideal RG as he'd have the size to anchor against mammoth nose tackles and the athleticism to protect against smaller quicker DTs. I really like watching this kid. He just gets it done out there. It isn't always pretty, but he competes and plays smart. 2nd round.
Orlando Franklin 6'7 312, Miami. Dominated Gerald McCoy while playing guard. Was moved to LT late last season and struggled mightily. Has a tackle body, but seems too slow to succeed there in the pros. Could make a very good pro guard and emergency tackle for a tall QB.