Coming Up



Offensive Tackle a Redskins Need In the Draft

Posted Apr 9, 2012

The Redskins could look to the mid-rounds of the NFL Draft to fortify offensive tackle this offseason. Several quality prospects, including Iowa State's Kelechi Osemele, could be available early in the third round.

Quarterback is thought to be the Redskins’ most pressing need this offseason, but a close second could be offensive tackle.

Jammal Brown, the starting right tackle the last two years, has spent the offseason at Redskins Park rehabbing a hip injury.

A regular presence at the team facility, it appears he has slimmed down somewhat. Even if the rehab approach is effective for Brown, the Redskins may want to add a young, potential starter to groom at the position.

At left tackle, Trent Williams has made strides since he was selected fourth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, but he returns from a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Willie Smith, an undrafted rookie, could figure into the equation if he shows improvement in off-season work. Same goes for versatile lineman Tyler Polumbus.

With quarterback the Redskins’ likely first-round pick on April 26, the team could look to the mid-rounds to fortify offensive tackle.

That means the Redskins can cross off top prospects such as USC’s Matt Kalil, Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Georgia’s Cordy Glenn, Ohio State’s Mike Adams and Stanford’s Jonathan Martin.

This year’s offensive tackle class is not thought to have great depth, but there are several prospects who could intrigue the Redskins, who have a third-round pick and two fourth-round picks.

Iowa State’s Kelechi Osemele, Florida State’s Zebrie Sanders, Cal’s Mitchell Schwartz and Mississippi’s Bobby Massie could be available in the third round.

Osemele, at 6-5 and 330 pounds, started at left tackle for the Cyclones, although some scouts project him at guard at the pro level.

He has a great wingspan that should benefit him at right tackle. Scouts say he could emerge as a dominant run blocker early in his pro career while he works on improving in pass protection.

Redskins coaches worked with Sanders, 6-6 and 320 pounds, at the Senior Bowl last January. They lined him up at right tackle, but he also has experience playing on the left side. An athletic big man, Sanders worked in zone blocking at Florida State, so there could be a fit into the Redskins’ scheme.

He excelled in pass protection, using his size and speed to keep defenders away from the quarterback. Scouts say he may need to become stronger to become more effective in the run game.

Schwartz, 6-5 and 318 pounds, was a four-year starter at Cal, lining up at left tackle for 35 games and right tackle for 16. He has a tall frame at 6-6 and 318 pounds and is regarded as a better run blocker – and thus a better fit on the right side.

Coming out after his junior season, Massie could be somewhat raw in terms of technique but his 6-6, 318-pound frame should push him into the mid-rounds. Scouts say he is slow-footed and rigid, so he may not be a great fit for the Redskins’ zone blocking scheme.

Some other mid-round prospects to keep an eye on?

Alabama-Birmingham’s Matt McCants, at 6-7 and 295 pounds, has the range and mobility to get to the second level in the zone blocking scheme. Thought to be a better fit at left tackle, McCants may need a season or two to develop and mature physically.

Auburn’s Brandon Mosley is regarded as a tough, hard-nosed blocker who also may need time to develop at the pro level. At 6-6 and 305 pounds, he played mostly right tackle the last two years at Auburn after transferring from a junior college.



widget powered by zoomph