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NFL Combine Update: Offensive Lineman

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Last week, the running backs were assessed at the NFL combine. This week, we'll go over the offensive lineman. If you haven't noticed yet, we're only reviewing the possible positions the Cardinals may go after in the 2009 NFL draft. Two skill position players have already bolted, J.J. Arrington, and defensive end Antonio Smith. J.J.'s deal was official, but now reports are surfacing that J.J. has concerns, and the deal could fall through. That's a whole other story, but for now, these two losses may have an affect on the draft. That could mean the Cardinals will fill in depth at running back, or fix the defensive line. Nevertheless, we'll go over the top offensive lineman prospects, starting with center Alex Mack:

Alex Mack:  California, 6'4 - 311 lbs.

Sp-cal31_ph_rile_0499060209_medium 
 
Analysis:

Mack is considered the top center entering the NFL draft. An injury kept him from attending the combine but it's still promising that he will be a first round draft pick. Mack was a solid starter for CAL and was the top center in the nation. Mack was voted first-team all-conference three consecutive years and also won several academic awards. The Cardinals have reportedley been high on Mack, and were one of a few teams to interview him at the combine. Mack would instantly become the anchor of the line and could be an effective fit in Russ Grimm's line. 

Eugene Monroe: Virginia, 6'6 - 315 lbs.
Monroe_medium

Analysis: 

Eugene Monroe stands tall at 6'6, and plays unstoppable at times. Monroe plays exceptionally well on the outside and is one of the best prospects with pass protection. Monroe is nimble on his feet and possibly has the questest moves out of all the lineman in the draft. The only thing keeping Monroe from being drafted as the first offensive lineman, is concerns with his strengh. If he can build enough strength to impress scouts, he could be the first lineman taken in the draft. Monroe was named an All-American and was the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the ACC. Monroe finished the combine well with a quick 40-yard, probably raising is draft stock.

 

Eugene Monroe

40-Yard Dash

Bench Press

Broad Jump

Offensive Tackle

5.16

23

9'02

Jason Smith: Baylor, 6'5 - 305 lbs.
 
Analysis:
Smith is widely considered to be a top ten pick in the draft. Originally a tight end, Smith was then moved to offensive tackle and never looked back. Because of his
J_smith_medium
past, he is a very quick lineman, with fast week and tough hands. He was able to battle anybody in the Big 12 and most think it will translate into the NFL. The only concern with him was an injured knee in 2007 that could come back to haunt him. His unique quickness showed at the combine with a 7.53 three cone drill, to go with his strength of 33 bench press reps.
 
Jason Smith 40-Yard Dash Bench Press Three-Cone Drill
Offensive Tackle 5.22 33 7.53
 

Here are some other faces to look out for in the NFL draft:

 

Max Unger - Oregon - 6'5 - 305 lbs.

Michael Oher - Mississippi - 6'5 - 320 lbs.

Andre Smith - Alabama - 6'4 340 lbs. 

 Eben Britton - Arizona - 6'6 - 310 lbs

 Photo

Unger_medium

Oher_medium 

  Andre_smith_medium

  Britton_medium

Analysis 

Unger has started every game since playing at Oregon and is one of the more versatile players entering the draft. He's listed as a tackle but would fit the center position better. He probably won't get drafted till the 3rd or 4th round and could be a nice option if the Cardinals don't draft Alex Mack.

Oher will be drafted in the first round and could start immediately if a team needs him to. Oher is a massive lineman and it's tough to penetrate his blocks. He's never had any significant injuries and could be a corner stone for a teams offensive line. 

Smith has recently been known for making headlines at the 2009 NFL combine, for not coming and not interviewing well. Aside from that, he still is first round material. Smith is very durable and has a unique speed for his giant size.

 Britton has been compared to Denver's Ryan Clady. He's tall and fast. He can block a whole side of the O-line. Britton is a leader and likes to move up-field. His only drawback is that he does need to bulk up, and could use some coaching on blitz over-loads.

40-Yard Dash

5.27

5.32 

 5.16

Bench Press

22

 21

 -

 24

Vertical Jump

-

 30.5

 -

 -

Three-Cone Drill

7.39

 -

 -

 -

20-Yard Shuttle

4.50

 4.60

 -

 -

Broad Jump

-

-

-

-