Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

Scouting reports of offensive tackles, guards, and centers in the 2010 draft.
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Mr. Offseason
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Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

Postby Mr. Offseason » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:20 pm

Pros: Good mobility as a blocker, gets to the second level with ease and does a good job of blocking linebackers as he gets to the second level. Is an athletic guy, has good size and pretty long arms. Flashes ability to handfight with the DE and not allow him to slap his hands away. Flashes ability to sustain blocks through the whistle. Is an effective run blocker both in sealing an edge because of his mobility and because he seems to have good lower body strength. When he plays with good leverage he can drive block.

Cons: Seems to play high sometimes in pass protection. He can get bullrushed into the QB sometimes but then will get beaten by a speed rush on the next play. He is inconsistent in pass protection. I think he struggles with counter moves, as he regularly reacts to the first move and then struggles to sustain the block if the defender changes direction. Does not get out of his stance very quickly, and doesn’t have the best lateral agility. Needs to play with better balance as a pass blocker and probably improve his footwork as well as his upper body strength. Needs to play through the whistle more consistently. At times he will let up after the ballcarrier gets past him, but at other times he will block to and through the whistle.

Overall: I am not sure exactly where I see Bulaga fitting at the next level. I think in a zone blocking scheme he could fit in easily as a LG, but I am conflicted as to whether I think he is a LT or a RT at the next level. On one hand, he does not get out of his stance very quickly and at times will struggle with speed rushers, but on the other hand at times he will play high and get bull-rushed back towards the quarterback. He is a good run blocker, but needs to sustain his blocks better. He has the athleticism to pull, hits a moving target well and gets to the second level well. I think he can play LT if he can refine his technique as a pass blocker, but I don’t know about his quickness at the snap or his lateral agility to mirror good edge rushers. I could see him getting drafted by a ZBS team and getting moved inside to LG, which may be his ideal position similar to Robert Gallery, a former Hawkeye with impressive mobility.

Projection: Top 10: For a while I thought it would come down to Bulaga and Okung for the top OT spot, and it looks like that will be the case on draft day. If Okung goes to Detroit Bulaga could very well go #4 overall to Washington or #5 to Kansas City. Otherwise he could slip to Seattle at #6 or Buffalo at #9. But I can’t fathom him making it farther than that at this point.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Last edited by Mr. Offseason on Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

Postby Pudge » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:14 pm

Iowa Junior

PROS: Is a good athlete with nice feet to match up with speed rushers. Does a good job adjusting in space. Is strong and shows good pop with potential as a drive blocker. Shows good mean streak and finishes blocks. Plays with good base. Has a strong hand punch and does a nice job locking on. Initiates contact with defender and uses his hands well to ride defender wide and prevent the counter move. Shows potential as a cut blocker.
CONS: Needs to improve his footwork and technique. Doesn't always stay square and will open up his stance too early. Is a bit of a waist bender. Will block high at times, losing base. Doesn't always stay locked on and will miss his hand punch. Needs to do a better job hitting his assignments when he's blocking on the move.
OVERVIEW: Bulaga is a solid all-around blocker that has good feet, is strong, and can be an impact player in both the ground and passing game. There are no major flaws in his game, but he could use more polish. He missed some games early in the season due to a thyroid condition, and didn't play great when he first got back. But his game improved as the season wore on.
NFL FORECAST: Bulaga and Jake Long are similar players. I don't think he's as consistent snap to snap or his technique is quite as polished as Long's was, but he came out a year early. So with another year he could have been as polished as Long was, but it really doesn't matter. Since Long was NFL ready as a junior, and so is Bulaga. He has the potential to be one of the top tackles in the league like Joe Thomas and can solidify a side of a line for any team. When I first saw Bulaga played, his technique was sloppy and inconsistent, making me think that he could become another Robert Gallery. But with each game I saw him, his play improved and he got more consistent. So the concerns about him being a disappointment at the next level pretty much subside. I'm not sure he'll be a dominant run blocker, but he should be very good in that realm.
ATL FORECAST: Bulaga is an upgrade over Baker since he's a two-way player. But the Falcons would be better off keep Baker on the left side, and moving Bulaga to the right side. There he would be an upgrade over Clabo in pass protection, and probably as well in the running game. He would allow the team to move Clabo to one of the guard positions, potentially upgrading that spot, so he would essentially be an upgrade at two spots for the team. Bulaga and Baker would form a formidable pair of bookend tackles and it's likely that Matt Ryan would rarely have to worry about being hit.
VALUE: Bulaga is a Top 10 talent for a team looking for a left tackle prospect that can improve both their pass protection and running game.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

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