Teams are starting to key in on Lehigh OL Will Rackley heading into the stretch drive of preparations for the 2011 NFL Draft. Personnel men from across the league are buzzing about Rackley, who visits Rams Park tomorrow. Once thought to be a third-round pick, the small school lineman is now getting second-round buzz.
Why the buzz? When you read statements like this, from one NFL scout:
Rackley can be a difference maker right now.
It's not hard to see why teams would be interested...teams like the Rams. Mike Pouncey is a sure fire first rounder, who draftniks have been talking about for months now. Danny Watkins earned attention with his play at the Senior Bowl, getting his name into consideration as a likely late first round pick. Teams and pundits see Watkins and Pouncey as players who can handle starting duty from the first week of the season, a la Rodger Saffold. There's real value in that, and if conventional wisdom is gelling around Rackley as a day one starter, he'll be off the board sooner rather than later.
Rackley's role on the offensive line in the NFL makes for an interesting subplot itself. A college tackle, some are wondering if he can be the same in the NFL. Remember, Rodger Saffold was supposed to be a nothing more than a right tackle, and was once even going to get a look at guard.
As far the Rams are concerned, they have some real decisions to make in the second round. They might opt for a guard like Rackley. Then again, maybe Mason Foster is available. Of course, there's likely to be a running back like Ryan Williams or Daniel Thomas. And maybe, that's where they pick up a receiver like Leonard Hankerson or Torrey Smith. Hmm, given the caliber of second round prospects this year, maybe trading down from the first round to somehow net a second second-round pick (unlikely) is the way to go.