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 Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class 
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Post Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
With the 2013 NFL Draft set for April 25-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NFL.com draft analyst Josh Norris is identifying the top prospects available at every position. Today, he presents an overview of the best offensive linemen. For a complete list of the rest of the positions, click here.
Tackles



1. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan: I give Fisher a slight edge over fellow highly touted lineman Luke Joeckel, mainly based on comfort in his evaluation. No, Fisher didn't play in the SEC, but isolating him against any level of competition highlights great posture, an athletic lower body and an aggressive attitude to finish. Projection: First round

2. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M: Joeckel presents a nice case study, mainly because he protected the blind side first for a true pocket passer in Ryan Tannehill and then for a mobile running threat in Johnny Manziel. The footwork to mirror is there, along with the quick hands needed to punch and control his opponents. Projection: First round

3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma: The converted quarterback is still growing into his frame and technique, but there are so many natural elements to Johnson's game. He tends to duck his head on first contact, but he's able to mirror, absorb and redirect thanks to great athleticism. Projection: First round

4. Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff: There's plenty more to Armstead than his outstanding workout at the NFL Scouting Combine. The mobility he showed there translates on the field when he's pulling in space or using his quick feet to stick in front of his opposition. As long as he gets stronger on first contact and tightens up his technique, Armstead can start on the left side. Projection: Second round

5. D.J. Fluker, Alabama: Fluker has been receiving plenty of first-round consideration, but I wonder about the speed of his pass set and whether he can consistently stay in front of rushers. Though he has lost weight and is blessed with amazing arm length, there are questions. Projection: First round

6. Menelik Watson, Florida State: I don't think Watson's perceived on-field athleticism translated to workouts. Still, he has a strong first punch with the length to control -- once he's in a balanced position. Getting there is the issue; Watson's footwork and posture can be very ugly. Projection: Second round

7. Reid Fragel, Ohio State: Fragel isn't getting enough attention. The former tight end has good agility and a nice mean streak, though that nasty demeanor can also get him into trouble in terms of overextending. He needs to be more patient with his posture. Projection: Third round
Interior offensive linemen

1. Chance Warmack, Alabama: Among the players eligible for this draft, Warmack was the most consistently dominant in 2012, a power guy with sound technique who brings it on every snap. At Alabama, he occasionally lost on counter moves when he'd fail to mirror, but instances of that happening were few and far between. Projection: First round

2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina: A different kind of guard compared to Warmack, Cooper is exceptionally mobile and will dominate at the second level. He was asked to lose weight in 2012 to keep up with an up-tempo offense; a dip in strength against counter moves followed. Projection: First round

3. Larry Warford, Kentucky: A pure power guard, Warford wins despite his poor technique thanks to brute strength and some surprising short-area athleticism. If you want to be impressed, check out his matchup against Missouri's Sheldon Richardson last season. Projection: Second round

4. Dallas Thomas, Tennessee: If possible, I would put Thomas and the two prospects who follow him on this list in both offensive line categories. Thomas was an excellent left tackle in 2011, showing the knee bend and extension to absorb and redirect. Moved inside in 2012, he continued his solid play. Projection: Second round

5. Kyle Long, Oregon: Long, who is new to the position, shows a blocker's mentality, wanting to finish off runs with force. That same mindset can get him into trouble in terms of overextension or positioning; even so, Long seems to be on the path to becoming a starter. Projection: Second round

6. Justin Pugh, Syracuse: Much has been made about Pugh's lack of length, but since he works well in tight spaces, I'm not worried. He also shows nice bend in terms of sticking with the latch while handling counter moves. Pugh will likely get looks at left tackle and guard. Projection: Second round

Follow Josh Norris on Twitter @JoshNorris.


The word is the Dolphins are more interested in Joeckel or Fisher than they are Johnson. To get either of those 2 kids, it probably means getting to #3 and the Raiders. There is a good chance that the Lions will take an OL at #5.

IF the Dolphins trade up, I like Joeckel, as he is READY now. Fisher and Johnson may have more upside, but Joeckel is not far behind.

My preference would be to stay pat or move down. Terron Armstead and Menelik Watson are guys I like a lot. There is buzz that Watson could go in the late 1st round, but if he makes it to the 2nd round, he and Armstead are nice choices to look at.

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Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:31 pm
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Who's Reid Fragel?

Wouldn't a converted TE work well in a zone blocking scheme?


Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
IamPZ wrote:
Who's Reid Fragel?

Wouldn't a converted TE work well in a zone blocking scheme?



He should certainly have the quickness and feet to fit into a zone blocking scheme. Johnson was a QB, then TE before he made the move to OLT.

Fragel has nice size at 6'7 1/8, 308 lbs. Arm length has to be a concern at 33", which probably relegates him to ORT. ProFootballWeekly considers him a development prospect and a 5th-6th round pick. Shows you how opinions can vary on kids from site to site.

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Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Quote:
round 1
L. Joeckel
E. Fisher
L. Johnson
DJ Fluker

Round 2
M. Watson
T. Armstead
D. Thomas
J. Pugh

Round 3
K. Long
D. Quessenberry




There are only 4 surefire 1st round tackles this year. (Watson falls somewhere between picks 24 and 36)
4 more are projected in round 2 but two of them are almost certain to be moved to guard. and probably only 2 more with 3rd round grades and they also may be better suited to play guard.
There's alot of 4th and 5th round project tackles that are nowhere near surefire starters.

so as I've said before it is not a deep draft for offensive tackles. It's Extremely top heavy with 3 of the best overall players in the entire draft being tackles.
So it's easy to see why teams like Miami and San Diego would be willing to move up for the cream of the crop of tackles. Supply and demand.


Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:17 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
I'm really high on both Watson and Armstead and think that they should be first round picks (they won't be, but I would rate them first rounders), so I disagree that there isn't depth at the tackle position.

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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
8 to 10 worthy tackles in the top 100 picks is the opposite of deep. especially since so many teams will be looking to add one. It's gonna be a race to snatch the good ones up.


Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:58 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
swerve13 wrote:
8 to 10 worthy tackles in the top 100 picks is the opposite of deep. especially since so many teams will be looking to add one. It's gonna be a race to snatch the good ones up.


How many is normal then?

Based on what you just said there hasn't been a deep OT draft..

When was the last deep OT draft, again?


Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:14 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
By comparison, there were 8 tackles taken in the first 100 picks in last years draft and 7 of those 8 were starters. So this year's draft is at least as deep as last years. Were it not 4:30am I'd go back even further, but I'm tired

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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Can't sleep, so here's some more. There were 9 taken in the first 100 picks in 2011, 7 taken in 2010, 9 taken in 2009, and 8 taken in 2008. So the historical data shows that this year's tackle class is right on track with each of the last 5 years

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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
cspooner13 wrote:
Can't sleep, so here's some more. There were 9 taken in the first 100 picks in 2011, 7 taken in 2010, 9 taken in 2009, and 8 taken in 2008. So the historical data shows that this year's tackle class is right on track with each of the last 5 years


With atleast 3 in the top 10...I would say above average


Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:06 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
This year is a little worse than the average year for tackles.
2008 was a great draft for offensive tackles.
8 were taken in the 1st round and 11 in the top 100.


Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:59 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
If you ever read Omar Kelly, you know that his favorite thing to analyze is offensive line.
He was tweeting what he observed after watching tape of the Shrine game and Senior Bowls.
And I thought this was interesting. I like Armstead but I agree with him, that he is another level below Lane Johnson.

Quote:
Armstead isn't dominating in East-West. He wasn't on par with Fisher/Johnson at Senior Bowl. And his film is vs mediocre competition.


Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
swerve13 wrote:
8 were taken in the 1st round and 11 in the top 100.


Quote:
but when I say the word 'DEEP' regarding any position, i'm generally talking about how good the depth is from rounds 1 through 4....the money rounds.


Quote:
8 to 10 worthy tackles in the top 100 picks is the opposite of deep


Youre all over the place with this? And you keep making reference to this being a bad ot draft

I'll just leave it at, this is not a bad ot draft.....

Zero were taken in the 2nd round in 08.

Also a few those 1st's IN 08 did play guard or didn't pan out at all. So i would say it was in line with 09 10 11 12.


Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
well when 8 go in the top 32 picks man, it's going to be a tad dry in the next round.
That's an amazing amount of first round tackles, so I would say 2008 was a very strong tackle draft.
This one is maybe average. But so many are saying it's a deep tackle draft. Maybe deep with projects and guys converting to guard. But not deep with starting caliber tackles IMO.
I've never seen so many tackles in one draft being talked about as having to play guard at the next level.
This would have been a deep tackle draft if Matthews and Lewan would have declared to go pro.


Last edited by swerve13 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:30 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Quote:
Youre all over the place with this? And you keep making reference to this being a bad ot draft

I'll just leave it at, this is not a bad ot draft.....
Quote:


Never said it was a BAD tackle draft. I said it's not a DEEP one.
Obviously there are 3 great players in this draft who play tackle.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:32 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... ne-johnson

See this is exactly the type of misleading info on the tackle class that the media is reporting.
The headline of this article says "Deep offensive tackle class"
and then when you watch the video provided (about 2 minutes in) their draft expert Eric Galko says
"Overall this draft class gets weak after the 2nd round"

So they are reporting contradicting statements about this year's class of tackles.
On the one hand he is correct. This draft is extremely weak for tackles after the 2nd round....yet they are saying it's a deep tackle class. And I think media outlets in general are calling this a deep tackle draft simply because 3 of them are gonna be drafted so early on.
And that's all I have been saying. That's why I say we need to get a top tackle early, because it starts to dive down after the top 3 very quickly.


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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
swerve13 wrote:
Quote:
Youre all over the place with this? And you keep making reference to this being a bad ot draft

I'll just leave it at, this is not a bad ot draft.....
Quote:


Never said it was a BAD tackle draft. I said it's not a DEEP one.
Obviously there are 3 great players in this draft who play tackle.



I know. You said

Quote:
8 to 10 worthy tackles in the top 100 picks is the opposite of deep

Opposite of up is down. Opposite of deep is not deep.

And made it sound like 8-10 was a bad number...Until you found out that's what it is about every year.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:31 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
swerve13 wrote:
well when 8 go in the top 32 picks man, it's going to be a tad dry in the next round.
Or should'nt have been taken in the 1st but we go by the top 100. Right?

Quote:
but when I say the word 'DEEP' regarding any position, i'm generally talking about how good the depth is from rounds 1 through 4....the money rounds
.


Quote:
This one is maybe average. But so many are saying it's a deep tackle draft. Maybe deep with projects and guys converting to guard.


In 2008 guys didn't pan out and changed to guard also...1st round guys.


Your reason for trading up or drafting a OT in the 1st round is that it isn't a deep OT draft and we need to get one early. Your reason is this is a weak OT draft(opposite of deep). Which by using your own criteria it isn't.(top 100 or money rounds)
I know you have changed some things around now but i was going off your original statements.

I disagree....I think there is too much top rate talent at 12 to take a tackle in this draft. Assuming the top three will be gone(and even then?)...When a good tackle will be available in the second.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:54 am
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Back off, Kev. He has been studying this draft for months and your opinion is inferior.

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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Rich wrote:
Back off, Kev. He has been studying this draft for months and your opinion is inferior.


I see that.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:43 pm
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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Rich wrote:
Back off, Kev. He has been studying this draft for months and your opinion is inferior.


Apparently so is historical data

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Post Re: Some thoughts from Josh Norris of NFL.com on the OL Class
Quote:
round 1
L. Joeckel
E. Fisher
L. Johnson
DJ Fluker

Round 2
M. Watson
T. Armstead
D. Thomas
J. Pugh

Round 3
K. Long
D. Quessenberry


I'd love to see Miami get Johnson at 12, and Long in the 3rd. If Long isn't around, I like Barrett Jones and Brian Schwenke, Jones a little more than Schwenke.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:09 pm
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