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Available on the Second Day: Offensive Line

| April 29th, 2011

A few things to note about last year’s first round for the Chicago Bears.  (1) Team don’t trade in front of other teams for no reason.  The Chiefs believed the Bears wanted Jon Baldwin at wide receiver.  I think they might have been right.  (2) In that regard, the Bears were insanely lucky about the Jerry Angelo front office “glitch” that prohibited them making that selection.  Spend the cash, sign Sidney Rice.  (3) Angelo admitted that if Carimi were off the board, the Bears were selecting DT Stephen Paea out of California.  (4) The Bears got the guy they needed. 

With the knowledge of number three above, I assume Jerry and company will believe they’ve appeased the fans with the half-Jewish, all-awesome Gabe Carimi and will now draft what they want most: defensive line depth.  But I don’t care.  Here are the offensive line prospects who might be of interest today.  Will these guys be there?  Who the hell knows?  But when Chris Ponder goes 12th in an NFL Draft, all bets are off.

Note: You guys discussed Wisconsin’s John Moffitt yesterday in the comments and I discussed Florida State’s guard/center combo Rodney Hudson last week.  Both are likely to be available at the tail end of tonight’s second round.

THE GUARDS
(All Descriptions From CNNSI.com)

Orlando Franklin, Miami
Positives: “Big offensive lineman who’s shown flashes of
ability the past three years. Quickly sets up off the snap, keeps his
feet moving,
and makes terrific use of body positioning.
Stays square, controls defenders once engaged at the point of attack,
and anchors
in pass protection. Strong enough to ride
oncoming rushers from the play.”

Negatives: Does too
much leaning on opponents and rarely finishes blocks. Ineffective with
his hands and displays marginal strength.
Played left tackle yet does not possess the
footwork necessary to block the edge. Slow if asked to kick out or pull
and shows
no skill in motion.

Analysis: “Franklin
is a size prospect who has been productive on the college level but has
not been the consistent force many thought
possible. His technique is still rough around
the edges, but his size alone gives him good upside. He’s likely to be
over-drafted
and may take a while to develop.”

Marcus Cannon (great name), TCU
Positives: “Large, athletic blocker who easily controls
defenders once engaged the point of attack. Blocks with good lean, shows
the
ability to adjust, and stays square. Quickly
gets his hands into defenders, rides opponents from their angle of
attack, and
keeps his feet moving. Gets movement run
blocking and effectively blocks with his legs. Solid footwork sliding
out off the
edge. Large enough to engulf opponents. Moves
well on his feet.”

Negatives: “Must properly condition himself, as he’s too big. Played upwards of 375 pounds as a senior.”

Analysis: “At
the top of his game, Cannon is a blocking prospect who can be a
dominant force at several positions up front. He comes
with starting potential once he smoothes out the
rough edges of his game and commits himself to proper conditioning off
the
field.”

Ben Ijalana, Villanova

Positives: “Large, powerful college left tackle that
projects to the right side in the NFL. Big bodied lineman with the size
and strength
to swallow or engulf defenders at the point of
attack. Extends his hands, keeps his feet moving, and is patient in pass
protection.
Keeps his head on a swivel, shows good
awareness, and easily controls opponents at the point of attack. Blocks
with a wide
base, uses his entire frame, and is effective
when he bends his knees. Gets movement in run blocking and easily turns
defenders
from the action.”

Negatives: “Lacks
agility, struggles to adjust, and ineffective in motion. Lumbers about
the field and does not display top footwork
sliding out at left tackle. Exploited by speedy
rushers. Struggled in the pre-draft process recovering from sports
hernia
surgery.”

Analysis: “Ijalana
been productive throughout his college career and possesses enough size
and strength to be used at right tackle or
guard in the NFL. He improved his game as a
senior when he was more diligent with his mechanics, and he will be
productive
in the NFL if he does the little things well on a
consistent basis.”

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