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Comparing Claude Wroten and Glenn Dorsey

Before I get into our quick grades of the defense, here's something to ponder concerning defensive tackles. Am I crazy or are there some similarities between our own black sheep of the d-line, Claude Wroten, and Glenn Dorsey? After reading this PD story about Wroten's determination to live up to his potential (only two years too late), it got me thinking.

Wait, wait, wait, don't leave the site yet. Just indulge this thought for a second. First of all, both players came from the vaunted LSU program.

  Dorsey Wroten
height 6'2" 6'2"
weight 297 lbs 296 lbs
40 time 5.14 5.08

Wroten declined to workout at the Combine in 2006 and injury issues took him out of LDU's pro day workouts that season, so we don't have the comparison info for him like bench reps, etc. That and his arrest for weed (later dropped) took Wroten out of first/second round contention and the Rams grabbed him with the 68th overall pick in the 3rd round. And you know the rest of the story.

What exactly were considered Wroten's strengths prior to the 2006 draft?

Here's Sports Illustrated's take:

Explosive one-gap defensive tackle with potential as a three-technique lineman. Gets off the ball with a great first step, is forceful up the field and pushes defenders off the line. Defeats one-on-one blocking, plays with good pad level and makes plays laterally. Fast off the edge when placed at end and stays within his angle of attack.

From ESPN/Scouts Inc.:

If Wroten continues to improve his technique and lower body strength, he could develop as an impact interior defensive lineman at the next level. As such, Wroten grades out as a late-first or early second-round prospect for teams employing the proper scheme to match his strengths. If Wroten slips beyond that range, it will be as a direct result of character worries.

There's definitely some similarities there, no? The intangibles separate the two, with Dorsey's work ethic and leadership ability earning him a much higher grade than Wroten. It also seems like Dorsey is stronger, at least in terms of his on-field performance, and might possess a better know-how for the position.

Don't underestimate the difference between the two players' character and work ethic; that kind of thing counts for a lot in the NFL when a player has talent. And we know as well as anyone that Wroten is Wroten's biggest problem, more than his skill set or talent.

Nevertheless the question remains, why Dorsey and not Wroten? If Wroten can get a good enough kick in the ass to motivate him to play up to his talent, would the difference between the two be fairly negligible, or at least close enough that the Rams could use their number two pick to fill another need?

It's worthy of some discussion.

Defensive grades tomorrow.