There is an offensive tackle epidemic plaguing the NFL. Practically half of the teams in the league are looking for help, and there are precious few quality options available in this year’s draft.
“The last three years it was pretty strong. Not so strong this year,” Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said about this year’s tackle prospects.
That lack of talent is exacerbated by the struggle to develop tackles in the NFL. Plenty of ink has been spilled about the difficulty in converting spread quarterbacks to pro-style offenses, but it is just as jarring a transition for offensive tackles. Bruce Arians explained the dilemma well this week.
Building a road-grading offensive line can be a sure-fire path to NFL success — so why aren’t more teams doing it? Judy Battista investigates a crucial (if overlooked) position group in crisis.
Is he a running back? Is he a wide receiver? Regardless, Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel is fast, and his 4.31 40-yard dash backed that up. Forced to follow Ross and his record-breaking 4.22 40-yard dash, Samuel’s impressive time went overlooked by many, but it will almost certainly rank among the top-three times at this year’s combine regardless of position. Samuel is a playmaker and chess piece on offense to stress the defense with his versatility.
Three tight ends haven’t cracked the first round since 2002, when Jeremy Shockey (Giants), Daniel Graham (Patriots) and Jerramy Stevens (Seahawks) headlined one of the greatest classes at the position in league history.