View Full Version : Good protection is hard to find

05-12-2007, 11:45 AM
Good Article about drafting tackles; link (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2867242)

Hard to believe, but since 2000, when the Washington Redskins selected Chris Samuels with the third-overall pick in the draft and then the Pittsburgh Steelers tabbed Marvel Smith in the second round, NFL teams have drafted only three other Pro Bowl offensive tackles.

There have been 19 different Pro Bowl tackles since 2000, but the only members of that elite fraternity who entered the league this millennium are Samuels, Smith, Matt Light of New England, New Orleans' Jammal Brown and Marcus McNeill of San Diego.

Of that group, only McNeill, the Chargers' second-round steal (more like a heist) in the '06 draft, earned an all expenses paid trip to Honolulu in his rookie season. And just Samuels, who is a very solid player but has never quite lived up to all of the predraft hype that surrounded him in 2000, has been to more than one Pro Bowl.

Between 2001-06, teams invested 127 draft picks in tackles, including 15 in the first round and six highly regarded prospects in the top 10. But such an emphasis on tackles in that six-draft stretch -- in particular on the left tackle position, certainly the highest profile blocking spot, given the inherent pass-protection responsibilities -- produced just three Pro Bowl performers.

That startling success rate won't stop teams from considering the offensive tackle spot a premium position.

In other words, we're not the only ones not finding a franchise tackle. Soon the big 3 will be retiring (Ogden, Jones, Pace) which will make the market even tougher.

05-12-2007, 11:47 AM
Spencer is mentioned later on the article:

Consider this: Of the 32 projected starters at the primary pass-protection tackle position in 2007 (left tackles for teams with right-handed quarterbacks and right tackles for the three clubs that have left-handed passers), all but four are with the franchise that originally drafted them. That number could be reduced by one if Houston Texans second-year left tackle Charles Spencer successfully rehabilitates from the broken leg he suffered last season and is ready for training camp.