Offensive linemen make their case at combine

Rick Maese
Copyright 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010; 7:41 PM

With two to three potential vacancies on their offensive line, it would seem that the Redskins should have particular interest in studying the linemen who are at the scouting combine in Indianapolis this week, each challenging the durability of the NFL's scales and trying to impress scouts with their fundamentals. Today the offensive-line prospects were made available to the media. It's a group that you'll hear a lot about in the first round of the draft, and Washington fans in particular might want to familiarize themselves with some of the names. With the fourth overall pick, most of the speculation has centered on the Redskins chasing a quarterback in the first round. But there are several scenarios in which you could see Washington going with an offensive lineman instead. (The Rams select Sam Bradford...The Redskins trade down...Team management realizes just what dire straits the O-line appears to be in...) If the Redskins opt for an offensive lineman at the No. 4 slot, the most likely target would be Oklahoma State's Russell Okung, who might not slip past Kansas City at No. 5. "I don't know. It's not my decision to make," Okung said of his draft-day landing spot. "It's not my place to talk about it. I'm grateful wherever I go, whether I'm in the seventh round or undrafted. It's a huge blessing to even be standing in front of you guys right now." There could be as many as six offensive linemen who are selected in the first round, which would match last year's first-round haul. Mock drafts agree that there are several good tackles, but they don't necessarily agree on the order in which they'll go. "Personally, I like to think I'm the best tackle in the draft," said Iowa's Bryan Bulaga. "Obviously this is a very deep class. There's a lot of great players in it. Everybody is going to jumping each other, going under each other all the way until draft day. It's going to be exciting to see. This weekend will tell a lot. It's going to be a moving process this entire thing." If the Redskins do chase a quarterback in the first round and try to address the offensive line with the No. 36 37 pick, there could still be some quality tackles waiting to hear their names called. While Okung, Anthony Davis (Rutgers), Trent Williams (Oklahoma), Mike Iupati (Idaho), Bulaga and Maryland's Bruce Campbell all seem likely first-rounders, USC's Charles rown, Massachussetts' Vladimir Ducasse and Indiana's Rodger Saffold could be second-round selections. There are pluses and minuses to many of the players. Campbell has battled injuries. Bulaga dealt with a nasty thyroid infection. Davis has had weight issues (he's weighed as much as 366 pounds). For reporters today, the linemen mostly said the same thing: yep, they're all coachable; they'll play anywhere on the line coaches choose to put them; they'd prefer to play left tackle, though; they're just excited for the opportunity; etc. While Redskins team officials will get a chance to see them all in workouts, they're also conducting in-person meetings with several linemen this week, and they'll follow p with many at their prospective pro day at their schools in the next several weeks.

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