Reading a lot of comments and posts from a lot of readers out there, I have seen a variety of intensities for the need to draft an offensive lineman. Yes, there are some amazing impact players coming up in the draft on both sides of the trenches. But they won't be found in the first round alone. Larry Warford, Terron Armstead, and Kyle Long are all noted to be picked up on day two.
Warford is a versatile player that can dominate at any of the interior lineman positions. He needs to adapt to techniques used by defensive lineman in the NFL. However, he has the size and power to be an instant upgrade for the run game. Besides being able to play both sides of the line, he has had extensive reps as the second string center while at Kentucky. Drafting him would be a great addition to the team.
Yes, this may sound bandwagon, but Armstead displayed a tremendous amount of athletic abilities at the combine. He's got quick feet and the ability to shoot forward that could rival to players almost half his size. True, he didn't face a lot of competition at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. But he played well in the East-West shrine game against some of the best at the collegiate level. With some time in the weight room with Coach Lott, he can fortify his lower body to prevent getting bull rushed.
Kyle Long is a beast that has played both sides of the trenches. He has the size, power, and mobility to be a starter in the league. Some of his blocking techniques need to be refined, but with some coaching he will solidfy himself as a great lineman. He has all the abilities needed to lay left tackle and be an upgrade for several positions on the line.
People keep mentioning Joeckel, Fisher, and Warmack as immediate impact players. Yes, they are truly great players but any of the lineman mentioned in the article will need time to shine. Not based on their individual ability but the time it takes to solidify the entire line as a cohesive unit. That was one of the big problems for the line last year. Different lineups didn't allow the line to get set. But I am not saying there isn't room to improve on the quality. With two rookies learning by a "swim or drown" method due to the injuries that knocked out a few starters, it would be difficult to not acknowledge that a line needs to work together to protect the ball.
My main point is to talk about the possibility of drafting Geno Smith at 7. Some people reference the BPA rule, but that rule should take into account the depth of each position in the draft. There aren't a lot of gems in the quarterback pool, but there are a good amount of prospects in the offensive lineman pool. So, if we have a chance to pickup the best of the QB class, why not look into it. Leon Sandcastle would not be ideal for the Cards at 7 even if he has the best athletic ability. (Waiting to see if anyone really thinks that I believe Sandcastle is a real prospect in the draft).
<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Revenge of the Birds' (ROTB) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of ROTB's editors.</em>