Class Review: The tackle class has some solid first round prospects which are headlined by Bryant McKinnie and Mike Williams. Both are expected to be Top 10 selections, and possibly Top 5. Mike Pearson and Levi Jones (Arizona State) are also first round prospects, and they could both go as early as the Top 15 or not until late in the first. In the second round, Marc Colombo is the best. Joaquin Gonzalez, Victor Rogers, and Langston Walker (California) finish out the first-day talent. Chester Pitts (San Diego State), Reggie Coleman, and Matt Hill (Boise State) are the best of the middle-round talent. The rest of the class is decent, but few are special.
(6'8" 343) Miami FL (5.1)
McKinnie earns him nickname "Mount" just in his physical stature. Watching him on the field is unbelievable, because he is so tall and so monstrous. He is a very forboding presence. McKinnie is equally a monster in his blocking. He is an excellent pass protector, and much was made of his record as nearly impeccable as a pass protector in college. He is strong and powerful and is a good run blocker also, able to clear lanes. He is light on his feet. There is really nothing wrong with McKinnie, other than his work ethic. Much has been said about his lacking work ethic. Otherwise, McKinnie is as good a prospect as any offensive tackle except maybe Tony Boselli and Jonathan Ogden. But given the chance, I'm sure McKinnie would join that group of elite left tackles in the NFL.
(6'6" 304) Florida (5.1)
Pearson catches flack because he is not super strong. Well it was the same with Jeff Backus last year. Pearson is better than his former college teammate Kenyatta Walker. Pearson has excellent feet and is stronger than he looks. He moves like a tight end rather than left tackle. Pearson can dominate defenders, but a big problem with him is that he often plays down to their level. He is an excellent pass protector, but his run blocking is above average at best. Although he has nice strength, he needs to get stronger in this area. One thing I noticed about Pearson is that he either uses his hands or his feet in pass protection, like he has not realized that if he used both it would be better. He needs some work on his technique because of this, because it can get sloppy at times. Until then he'll be good, but not great.
(6'6" 375) Texas (5.25)
Williams is a good player, but I think he is a bit overrated because people liken him too much to Leonard Davis. Davis was definitely a talent, but I think Williams is at least two steps below Davis. Williams can be a dominating run blocker, but his pass protection skills are marginal. He is a decent pass protector because of his huge size, but unlike Davis he does not use that size or his arms as well. Williams has below average balance, and you will see him on the ground way too much. His feet are not as good as Davis either. He is physical, and can dominate pass rushers, but against quality ends, he will struggle. In run blocking, once he gets his hands on you it's over, but you don't get the same thing when he is pass blocking. He must have really impressed in workouts to move so high on the draft board, but his in-game play is not as good as his workouts. There is definite potential for Williams, but it's doubtful he will be head and heels above where he is right now. Unlike Davis, Williams can't play left tackle in the NFL, and probably never will. Davis was definitely Top 3 talent, while Williams is barely Top 15 talent.
(6'7" 313) Boston College (5.25)
Colombo can be a very good player, but is not always consistent in playing at his best level. His hands are his best asset, and it becomes nearly impossible for defenders to get away from him when he uses them. But he does not overpower or dominate you with his hands, just limits you severely. I'd rather seem him just toss people aside. He has decent quickness, but probably not enough to be a left tackle. He fits better as a right tackle than left, but could probably play either. Colombo also has some potential to be an interior player, but he's much better at tackle. He is a decent all-around guy who could be very good if his feet get better and he learns to be more physical.
(6'6" 330) Colorado (5.55)
Rogers is very light on his feet for a player his size. Rogers can be a very powerful run blocker, but is marginal as a pass protector. He is going to need tight end help a lot in the NFL. His upside is good because of his surprising athleticism. He needs to develop more as a pass protector before he become anything more than an average NFL starter.
(6'4" 300) Miami FL (5.2)
Gonzalez is nothing special as a prospect. Physically, he is not super quick or strong. His best attribute is his intelligence. He won't overpower anyone, and his feet are not great. That's why he is a tweener. He's built like a left tackle, but probably does not have the quickness to play there full-time. So that makes him better as a right tackle, but he lacks the strength and size. But there have been some quality right tackles in the league that are undersized like Adam Meadows, Chris Terry, and Maurice Williams. But Gonzalez does not have their skills as run blockers. He is a good prospect, but just does not jump out at you because he does not really fit anywhere.
(6'5" 300) Tennessee (5.25)
Coleman won't be anybody's blindside protector, but is a decent pass protector. He lacks good feet, but they are decent. He has good strength and can get to the second level and block. Coleman projects well as a right tackle, but probably should not be a first day selection. That's because he is not physically dominating, just capable. He needs to work on his technique since he bends his waist rather than his knees. sAlthough he is nothing special, I really like Coleman.
(6'6" 310) Iowa (5.2)
I saw Porter for the first and last time in the Alamo Bowl, and I was very impressed with him. I wish I had seen more of him, because I really want to know if he is as good regularly as he was on that day. He played with good strength and used his hands very well. He doesn't have great feet, but they are adequate. He won't be a left tackle in the NFL, but based off that single game, he could be a solid right tackle. I find him a mix of the skills of Mike Williams and Reggie Coleman. He played like a fourth round talent that day. But I haven't seen much elsewhere about him, so I figured he may not have played at that level all year and may be a seventh round talent. But Porter is definitely a sleeper selection in my opinion.
(6'4" 290) Cincinnati (5.05)
Murphy has good feet and can play left tackle in the NFL. But other than his feet, he is a marginal player. He lacks strength and can be overpowered by 240-pound defensive ends. Needs a lot of work, and needs to hit the weight room hard. He also lacks the size to play tackle in the NFL. So he may project to a guard or center.