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2005 Offensive Lineman Preview
By Michael Struening

Plain and simple, there is no Robert Gallery in 2005. With that being noted, the offensive tackle class of 2005 will contain much more depth than drafts of recent years. Already there look to be four tackles who ultimately should carry first round grades.

Oklahoma’s Jammal Brown is our top rated offensive tackle coming into the season. He’s anchoring a veteran Sooner line that has been able give top notch protection where top notch protection is needed - quarterback Jason White has suffered multiple knee injuries. There is not much left to be said for a player that allowed only one sack in 2003. He chose to stay for his senior year to continue to work on some of his skills. While the NFL notion is that left tackle is the premier position on draft day, Brown, a right tackle, should make a splash within the top 20 picks. You only need to look back to 2002 to see a right tackle (Mike Williams) taken in the top 5.

Wesley Britt of Alabama will also be a player to keep an eye on. He was enjoying his breakout season last year, and was well on his way to an All-America selection. Britt, however, suffered a broken leg in the team’s loss to Tennessee - effectively ending his season. While he may put out a slow 40 time, he measures in at 6’8, 320. The fact that he is still ranked so high despite his injury should say something.

Tennessee’s Michael Munoz comes with the pedigree. Like Eli Manning in 2004, Michael’s father Anthony excelled at the same position in the pros. He’s still got a ways to go this season. Florida State’s Alex Barron flirted with leaving for the NFL last season, but will return to what will arguably be the best offensive line in college football.

Calvin Armstrong of Washington, Anthony Alabi of Texas Christian and Nick Kazcur of Toledo are three other players that should hear their name called sometime on day one. Any one of the trio could work their way into the first round by April.

The guard position should offer several first day draft picks. Michigan’s David Baas and Maryland’s C.J. Brooks should hear their names called fairly early. Claude Terrell of New Mexico and Elton Brown are two other players that should get picked on day one of the draft.

The top two rated centers from last season both returned for their senior year and we could see either of the two taken in round one before the year is over. Louisiana State’s Ben Wilkerson and Oklahoma’s Vince Carter are two names that you will know by April. Jason Brown of North Carolina hasn't received as much publicity as the other two centers, but he's not too much of a dropoff talent wise.

Underclassmen:
Eric Winston looks to be Miami’s next big thing. After coming to the Hurricanes as a tight end, the 6’7, 310 Winston grew into his role as left tackle last season and hasn’t looked back. Despite being very raw at the position, he’s learning from some of the best coaches at ‘The U’. Should Winston declare, he’d likely become the top rated left tackle - as long as his progress continues. Winston Justice of Southern California was a top rated underclassman but was suspended from the team for the 2004 season following a non-football related altercation. It’s been speculated that Justice could declare for a supplemental draft rather than face a year without football. At 6’9, 320 Auburn’s Marcus McNeil is one of the top rated right tackles in college football. Johan Scott of Texas and Andrew Whitworth of LSU also could play a factor.

Richie Incognito is one of the highest rated linemen in college football. His mean streak is second to none. While he’s been shuffled around the line several times at Nebraska, that’s more due to his versatility than to any problem with his play. Incognito projects to a center, or possibly guard in the NFL.

Sleepers:
Anthony Alabi of Texas Christian is a player on the rise. Alabi has played a prominent role in the Horned Frogs offense since his freshman year and is poised for big things during his senior season. For a look at some of the top small school lineman, check out Rob Peckham’s Inside the Trenches #1.

While you may not hear of many players coming out of tiny Arkansas State, Steve Gibbs will try to put this team on the map. At 339 pounds, he’ll make a move to the left side after spending the previous two years at right guard.

Future Years:
Take a look at Rob Peckham’s latest edition of Inside The Trenches for a look at some of the top freshman lineman.

 






©2004
Sideline Scouting Services

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