Monday, March 29, 2010

Evaluating Talent: Top Offensive Tackle Prospects

I know nothing about evaluating NFL talent. But I'd love to learn more. And since I love to watch the guys on the line I thought it would be interesting to post highlights of the consensus top three OT's in the draft this year, so they can be viewed nearly side-by-side. What do you think? Who would you drop 30 million on if you had the bankroll?

Russell Okung, Oklahoma State

Anthony Davis, Rutgers

Brian Bulaga, Iowa


  1. I played tackle in high school and I still don't have a clue about how to evaluate these guys. They all look fine to me. The whole nfl draft and the chicken entrails readers they employ don't make any sense to me. Sure, we remember some of the memorable busts, but by and large they probably have some idea what they are doing. How they find guys as small schools that never play any big games is a mystery to me.

  2. I agree with you completely, Andy. Sometimes I've been cynical enough to think that the language game of NFL talent evaluators is essentially meaningless babble with no empirical referents. But when I hear a real scout talk (and not one of the TV evaluators) they occasionally say things that are clearly measurable and make a whole lot of sense.

    For example, watch Bulaga again. He's got really short arms for the average RT not to mention LT in the NFL. And it really shows as he gets bull rushed successfully all the time. Also, he looks noticeably slower sealing off the edge (one of those cliches!) and just barely keeps the DE off the qb. In the NFL, where DE speed is much higher on average, he really looks to me like he's a risk for getting run around by a 3rd down pass-rusher.

    Maybe what I need to do is post some video of OT's ranked low in the draft and compare their work to these top folks. Maybe the skill differences will be more plain to the untrained eye.