2011 NFL Draft: Top 5 OT

Tyron Smith - 2011 NFL Draft

Could this USC Junior be the best in the nation at offensive tackle?

Editor’s Note: This is our Top 5 OL List for all NFL teams originally published on Patriots Insider. Check back tomorrow for our top offensive linemen for the Patriots.

As Josh Alper of NBC Dallas-Ft. Worth stated when talking about potential offensive linemen for the Cowboys to draft, “Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for a movie about how special left tackles are in the NFL and they haven’t gotten any less important in the couple of years since ‘The Blind Side’ hit theatres.”

With teams like the New England Patriots perhaps losing Matt Light this year, the Steelers and Cowboys needing to add depth, and various other teams looking to add depth, Michael Oher-wannabes will certainly be getting a lot of attention this 2011 NFL Draft season.

While watching film, nobody has jumped off the screen more than 20-year old USC left tackle Tyron Smith. We were watching for guys like WR Ronald Johnson and OC Kristofer O’Dowd, but that 6-5/290 tackle kept impressing us.

Some teams are going to have some concern based on his slight build, but he has already added over 25 pounds of muscle since arriving at USC a in 2008. He carries his current weight well and could easily add another 10-15 pounds, allaying most of our fears about his frame.

Experience is going to be another issue, with Smith starting only two seasons for the Trojans. He predominantly has played out of a two-point stance in a zone-blocking scheme, so teams that don’t employ that sort of system may have difficulty projecting him to their club.

Smith excels at pass-blocking, with his incredible agility, balance, and quick feet, proving to be a huge asset in protecting Matt Barkley’s backside. He is able to mirror defenders well, while still anchoring against the bull-rush.

In summary, Smith’s potential is out of this world. He could easily become a Pro Bowl left tackle for years to come, but he still has a lot to learn. We feel that he could start right away for most teams in the NFL. However, in order for him to be successful right away, him being on a team with a decent offensive line already is key. As he learns and grows, they might need to give some help.

If you’re looking for guys that might not have a ceiling as high as Smith’s, but might be more ready to contribute in 2011, here are four more OT prospects that could be picked in the mid-late 1st Round.

Continue this article at PatriotsInsider.com

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9 Responses to “2011 NFL Draft: Top 5 OT”

  1. rdf63 says:

    Here is my list of picks. The Pats hve to load up on the OL and DL now.
    #17- Aldon Smith OLB
    #28- Pouncey G/C
    #33- Anthony Castonzo, OT
    #60- Muhammad Wilkerson, DE
    #74- Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
    #92- Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
    4th RD- Casey Matthews, ILB, Oregon
    5th RD- Chris Scott, OG, Tennessee

    • Bruschi54 says:

      I am not as excited about Aldon Smith as most, but rdf63’s draft would be a great haul for the Pats. Great O-Line additions, some guys to get after the QB and 2 guys who really know how to play the game in Pettis and Matthews. Pettis seems like he is really starting to get attention, he will probably go higher than #92. Solid DB’s are out there in free agency if BB thinks it’s a major need. Champ Bailey switching to safety for the final years of his career would look nice in the red, white & blue!

      • rdf63 says:

        Pettis is really tough to figure out and some think he may go in the early to mid second round. A couple of DB’s may be available surprisingly later than expected including Shareece Wright (USC) and Johnny Patrick (Louisville). The choice of Aldon Smith over Ryan Kerrigan and Cameron Jordan was a tough one but I think it really will be one of those three. The advantage the Pats have is there are alternate picks available. Benjamin Ijalana could be a good fit is Castonozo is already picked (possibly Falcons or Giants). I absolutelty Champ Bailey would be a great and possibly inexpensive addition to really groom the young Pats secondary. I really think this draft will focus early on the OL, DL and DE/OLB.

  2. CC says:

    I agree Ryan, Going into the draft without knowing or already having in place what to do with Logan Mankins is STUPID.

    He is worth twp players or a player and a pick weither the pick is for this or next year, personally one this year is benificial.
    We need “NOW” player for him and we need it “NOW”.
    He is one of the best period, he is in his prime still, he is without injury and we can clearly take two for one with a guy like him.
    Just don’t let him go too a team that posses a threat to us within the next cpl / few year’s. Many team’s have the need for a guy like him at his possition, many have free agents we could use and need, and adressing the issue before the draft tighens up key player possitions that won’t need thougth about when the draft roll’s around.
    Time is of the essence, and I would like to lock up a definite possition for him well before the draft comes around.
    Weither it be a draft pick “NOW” for a top needed possiton or two mid-level possitions. Mankins is worth it.
    But “NOW” is the key, not later.

    If we can get a key player possition “NOW” for Mankin’s as well as whatever with it, be it another player or a pick even if it’s a pick for next year, then that’s one less worry before the draft to choose from.

    We already know Stephan Neal stated that this was his last year and he’s going 2 retire, he wasn’t around at all this year due to injury, N.Kazur was out all year with back injury ans he’s prone to slip up here and there anyway, Matt light is Questionable, and even if we re-sign him it’ll only be for two year’s. Bottom line is we need as much O-line youth and Top teir talent as we can get up front out of this draft as possable, nevermind the DE, the OLB, the CB!
    Mankins is worth two without question….., so no matter what the two are is irtrelivant, as long as it is “NOW”.
    personally, I’d look at some of these key free agents that are not a direct threat to us in the next cpl/few years that could use Mankins to protect their QB with a top notch un-injured in his prime guard, and trade for him for one of their free agents + a pick, or even team’s with multiple player available we could forget the pick and just take two(2), *Remember Mankins is one of the literal best/he is proven/ he is top-tier/ he is un-injured/ he is in his prime still and will want to prove himself………………

    I’d send him 2/Tarde him 2 and look at free agents like;

    Cowboy’s- Marcus Spear’s, DE

    Seatle – Leon Washington- A third RB to solidify that possition & great special teams player (three kick off returns for Td’s last year) at the same time. + a great pick.

    San Dieago Has 1/. Malcom Floyd 2/. Vincent Jackson both WR’s and 3/. Mike Tolbert RB. Hello…this is screaming two for one all day.

    Oakland has both Michael Bush a RB and the CB Nnamdi Asomugha they let go, why not take both and let Mankin’s go to the Raider’s ?

    Carolins has both DE Charles johnson as well as RB DeAngelo William’s in free agency…….I’d take both of them for Mankins right now.

    Tampa- Barrett Rudd, LB. He’s young talented and moldable, + they would like to make that young QB of their’s look good, and Mankins can do that all day long.
    HINT-HINT; get Tully Banta Cain out of here!!!!!

    Cincinnati- Cedric Benson. Again solidify the run game and special team’s/kickoff’s all in one shot. Don’t waste a pick in other needed area’s if we can sew up thing’snow with trading mankins to the right place. Cedric Benson + a pick.

    Stephen Tulloch LB for The Tennassee Titan’s is a free agent along with DE Jason Babin!!!! Why not trade?

    The viking’s could use Logan Mankins to protect whom ever they have or get to protect their QB, and we could use DE Ray Edwards.
    LB Chad Greenway is also a free agent …….I’d swap Mankins for that……..YUP

    Cullen Jenkins out of Green Bay also a DE.

    *Tamba Hali the LB for Kansas City is a free agent, with a touch from Romeo Crennel no less…….I’d send Mankins there, plus we owe K.C a conditional pick for Jarred Page anyway, so why not get rid of the owe a pick issue, pick up a LB we could use who was proven ability….by that I mean 4 or 5 forced fumbles, over a dozen + sack’s, and 50+ tackles last year!!!


    This will sew up outstanding issues and let the draft concentrate on O-line and D-line replennishment.

  3. Bruschi54 says:

    Carimi is to slow footed for the Pats, Smith or Sherrod from Miss State would be excellent tackle prospects for our system. Pouncey from Florida would be tremendous addition to the interior of the O line. The kid from Villanova sounds interesting, have not seen enough of him. Reid from UCF is real sleeper that is going to make some team very happy in the 3rd or 4th round, could be another Vollmer type find. The first priority should be to re-sign Mankins, he is perfect for Pats. Light will probably give home team discount if the Pats want to get it done. Deep draft for good (not great) lineman.

    • Jeff says:

      I would be shocked if Mankins was a re-signed….but it would fill a need.

      • Ryan says:

        To me it seems just as important to start resigning some of these guys, can’t go into the draft trying to fill 5-6 needs every year. We already need OLB, DE, (S maybe), OL at other spots, RB and WR. Must start keeping some of the guys they draft.

  4. Ryan says:

    Not trying to be rascist by any means, but has anyone else noticed the amount of “white” O-line members, as opposed to “black” o line members. Is this done for a reason or was it just by happen stance?

  5. Jeff says:

    Pats NEED a huge upgrade on oline. Light, Mankins and Neal look to be all gone so they will need olinmen. Im hoping they tweak the offnese a little for more of a run oriented offense which means that dude from Wiconsin would be a good addition at RT.

    Cant wait to see your projections for the Pats. Pats might need 2 guards as well.

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