"Williams appears heavier and slower this year than last. Considering that he is making the transition from right tackle to left, if he had planned to alter his conditioning or size for this year, it should have been to get lighter and focus on his footwork."
- Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout
I'm struggling to find an offensive lineman that can be pencilled in towards the top of the draft. Bryan Bulaga is possibly the last remaining hope. Getting footage of Bulaga has been increasingly difficult, an Iowa game was shown live on TV last week but he was absent with a thyroid problem. I've scratched around to find some small sample tapes and he looks like an athletic specimen. I'm not convinced he's the strongest though, although it's only brief glimpses he seemed content to hold his man at the point and never over powered anyone.
Of course it remains to be seen how this thyroid problem will affect Bulaga going forward. I'm led to believe he's lost quite a bit of weight because of it and he may miss more time in the future. He's only a junior and it wouldn't be a total surprise if he stayed at Iowa for his senior campaign. Having said that, there's certainly a space in this draft for a top OT. If he fits the bill, he may see a gap in the market.
Even still, those hoping for a solution at tackle or in the interior in 2010 may be left disappointed. It was unusual last year to see so many highly rated tackles and at the same time, a number of quality interior lineman.
Rob Rang was also a keen viewer of the recent Washington vs Notre Dame 37-30 thriller. He offered a pretty favorable review of Huskies QB Jake Locker in direct comparison to ND's Jimmy Clausen. Locker continues to see his stock rise rapidly:
"Locker demonstrated better accuracy as the game went on. One of the aspects that is so intriguing about him is that he is often a more accurate passer downfield than he is on short routes... In the minds of NFL scouts Locker flashed the more impressive physical ability and that is what will ultimately result in the higher draft selection whenever these two talented quarterbacks elect to make themselves eligible." - Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout
This is a story worth following closely. I think there's a reasonable chance at least one of these guys will declare, depending on what happens to Sam Bradford between now and the end of the year. In a funny kind of way, I wonder if Bradford would be better sitting the season. The Sooners won't make a BCS title game now and Bradford won't win another Heisman. Like Jermaine Gresham, he may be best served hoping people have plenty of 2008 tape.