NFL draft analysis: offensive linemen

  • Updated: April 21, 2011 - 8:42 AM

Southern California offensive lineman Tyron Smith

Photo: Darron Cummings, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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THE CREAM

TYRON SMITH, SOUTHERN CAL

The starting right tackle for the Trojans the past two seasons, Smith projects to end up as a left tackle in the NFL and thus is expected to be taken in the upper half of the first round.

There has been speculation Smith could go to Dallas with the ninth pick.

There were some concerns about how light the 6-5 Smith was when he dropped to 285 pounds last season, but he put on 25 pounds before the NFL scouting combine in February and is listed at 307.

Pro Football Weekly calls Smith "clearly the most athletically gifted left tackle prospect in the draft," adding, "Smith looks the way that scouts would draw up a left tackle -- extremely athletic physical specimen with rare arm length and huge mitts to go along with terrific feet."

Smith's football intelligence has been questioned by some.

Another issue is Smith's lack of time at left tackle. He played in 10 games on that side as a reserve in 2008 during his true freshman season but was then moved to right tackle, starting 12 games in 2009 and 12 more in 2010. Smith was named the top lineman in the Pac-10 after last season.

Smith had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for a meniscus tear in December but impressed NFL executives in late March at his pro day. He put up 225 pounds 31 times, improving his combine total by two, and ran 40-yard dashes that ranged from 4.96 to 5.03 seconds, according to reports.

THE CROP

1. ANTHONY CASTONZO, BOSTON COLL.

After starting 14 games at right tackle in 2007, Castonzo (6-7, 311 pounds) was moved to left tackle and started all 40 games over his final three seasons with the Eagles. Projected as a first-round pick, Castonzo was not at his best at the Senior Bowl but he did show versatility by playing both tackle and guard. That could mean Castonzo has the potential to begin his career at another spot on the line and eventually shift to left tackle. Leadership and smarts are not an issue with Castonzo. He was a team captain and nominated to be a Rhodes Scholar.

2. GABE CARIMI, WISCONSIN

Another prospect who will bring versatility to the team that selects him. The 6-7, 314-pound Carimi played left tackle for the Badgers, but the feeling is he could be shifted to right tackle or guard. Carimi knows plenty about entering a situation with big expectations. After being redshirted in 2006, he replaced Joe Thomas at left tackle and started all 13 games. Thomas was the third overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2007. Carimi displayed his toughness last season playing through a sprained left shoulder. He started all 13 games and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman.

3. MIKE POUNCEY, FLORIDA

The last name alone puts plenty of pressure on Pouncey. His twin brother, Maurkice, was a first-round selection by Pittsburgh last April, stepped into a starting role at center and became the Steelers' first rookie Pro Bowl selection in nine years. Mike Pouncey (6-5, 303) played in 14 games at guard in 2009, including 12 on the right side, before being moved to center to replace Maurkice last season. Mike had some issues at center early and could be moved back to guard in the NFL.

SLEEPER

ORLANDO FRANKLIN, MIAMI (FLA.)

Franklin primarily played left guard in 2009 but made the transition to left tackle last season and started 12 of 13 games. Listed at 6-5, 316 pounds, Pro Football Weekly describes Franklin as "an enormous, ornery big man who looks every bit the part."

PURPLE FEVER

There has been speculation the Vikings could use the 12th overall selection on a tackle. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie will turn 32 in September and the Vikings also could be looking for help in the interior. Center John Sullivan (leg) and right guard Anthony Herrera (knee) battled injuries last season and left guard Steve Hutchinson will turn 34 in November.

JUDD ZULGAD

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Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 Top 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
Los Angeles 9 Top 8th Inning
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 10 Bottom 8th Inning
Texas 0
Chicago WSox 0 Top 8th Inning
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 Top 7th Inning
Cleveland 5
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 3
Oakland 4 Top 7th Inning
Arizona 1
Pittsburgh 6:05 PM
NY Yankees
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Orlando
Utah 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Miami 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 6:30 PM
Detroit
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 62 2nd Half 2:29
Illinois State 63
Towson 5:00 PM
Elon
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
High Point
Samford 5:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Ball State
Bowling Green 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Brown 6:00 PM
Dartmouth
Toledo 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Akron 6:00 PM
Kent State
Ill-Chicago 6:00 PM
Oakland
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Ohio
Columbia 6:00 PM
Penn
Cornell 6:00 PM
Princeton
Central Mich 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bradley 6:05 PM
Northern Iowa
Morehead State 6:30 PM
Murray State
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 72 2nd Half 0:45
UCF 64
Saint Josephs 35 2nd Half 18:20
Dayton 44
UCLA 21 1st Half 3:41
(19) Stanford 29
Santa Clara 11 1st Half 10:58
San Diego 10
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
(7) Florida State
SMU 5:00 PM
Memphis
Lehigh 5:05 PM
Holy Cross
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Duquesne
North Florida 6:00 PM
(20) Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Stetson
Nebraska 6:00 PM
(14) Iowa
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Marist
Navy 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Lafayette 6:00 PM
American Univ
Colgate 6:00 PM
Army
Georgia 6:00 PM
(5) Tennessee
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
Brown
Penn 6:00 PM
Columbia
(13) Princeton 6:00 PM
Cornell
Kansas 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Harvard 6:00 PM
Yale
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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