Gil Brandt (NFL.com) is certainly has his finger on the pulse when it comes to draft matters. He was the first person to suggest Tyson Jackson would go in the top five picks and was proven right when the LSU DE was taken 3rd overall by Kansas City.
He's currently running a weekly series looking at the top 2010 senior prospects at each position.
Today he's published his offensive tackle rankings.
"The left tackle is a paramount job to fill. He usually has to block the defense's best pass rusher, so teams are looking for players who have quick feet, long arms, speed and strength. In 1997, both the St. Louis Rams (Orlando Pace) and Seattle Seahawks (Walter Jones) both paid a high price to move up in the first round to select players they thought could be franchise left tackles and they were correct."
- Gil Brandt
Could the Seahawks be in the market for a LT next year?
Walter Jones will be a year closer to retirement by then and concerns still remain about his ability to return from serious knee surgery this year. Sean Locklear appears to be the long term answer at LT and hefty escalations in his salary in 2010 suggest that could be the thought process.
However, with two first round picks to spend... maybe the Seahawks will use one on a tackle if the player in question is too good to pass? Brandt has his top two seniors rated very highly.
(On Trent Williams, Oklahoma)... "He has good speed and athletic ability. He has been well-coached and is a good, but not great, worker. Williams will be a first-round pick and can be a long-time starter in the NFL."
(On Russell Okung, Oklahoma St)... "He is strong, athletic and has good feet. He was first-team All-Big 12 last season. He will start and play a lot of years in the NFL. Okung is a first-round pick."
Ciron Black (LSU) is, perhaps lazily, ranked particularly highly in some quaters due to his decision to stay at college rather than declare for the 2009 draft. However, I don't believe he was ever seriously considered a top-of-round-one prospect and therefore, he still has plenty to prove. Brandt echoes those sentiments, by ranking him 5th in this list.
"Black is a fifth-year player who has started 40 straight games at left tackle. He played a school-record 1,031 snaps in 2007. He is a better run blocker than pass protector. He is a good, but not great, worker. When you watch tape, you expect more than you see."
To see Brandt's other rankings click here... QB, RB, WR, TE.