NFL Draft: Offensive Tackles Flying Under the First Round Radar

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Luke Joeckle, Eric Fisher...Or maybe it should a guard like Chance Warmack? The offensive line talent in the 2013 NFL Draft is pretty deep in the first few rounds. Some are getting all the hype, but Rams fans are still stinging from the Jason Smith second overall pick in 2009, and get a little skittish when the thought of using a high round draft choice on an offensive lineman is mentioned...

Well documented, the odds of Rams head coach Jeff Fisher using a first round pick on a guard or tackle appear to be pretty slim. St. Louis fans are still wrapping their heads around not having a "Top 5" pick in NFL Draft. They're slowly coming to terms with not being able to choose virtually any player at pick #16 and #22. Joeckle is going to be long gone, and it seems Eric Fisher's stock is rising fast. Just between you and me (Don't tell 3k, dbcouver or Valdez, OK?), I think there may be a better option available, and who may very well last to the second round of the 2013 NFL draft.

University of Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson could be the steal of the draft this April. This isn't just my opinion either. In an article over at Giants101.com, noted NFL Draft savant Matt Miller was told by a New York Giants scout that Johnson was: "...his tackle". The Sooner product is a bit light as NFL offensive tackles go at 302 lbs, but putting him on the Rokevious Watkins diet should solve that issue nicely. What makes him stand out to me is his mobility and Golden Gate bridge long arms; Wingspan 83 inches. In the video you're about to see, watch how well he controls defensive ends. Watch his footwork in pass blocking, and the speed he has for a big man on run plays.

I think Johnson would be a solid first year starter at right tackle, and could easily transition to the left side in the event Rodger Saffold maintains his history of sporadic injuries during the season. Something about Johnson reminds me of Jake Long when he played at Michigan, but you can be the judge if I'm right or wrong about the comparison. One of the things that made Matt Kaili so attractive to NFL scouts last year was his ability to keep defenders at bay with crane-like arms. Johnson's arm length stands out, but that's not all. I get the feeling he has a touch of a mean streak (a la Harvey Dahl?). Have a look at who I think the Rams should target with there second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft...


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