Michael Oher OT, Mississipi
The Chargers have quite a few needs for a team that's been to the playoffs four of the past five seasons and won eleven or more games in three of those seasons. Most of their needs are actually on the defensive side of the ball including defensive end, nose tackle, inside backer and safety but with seven of the last eight picks being defenders the Chargers are left filling an offensive need. Michael Oher is the best offensive lineman on the board by a mile and possibly the best offensive player overall. The Chargers have a couple of young offensive tackles in Jeromey Clary Marcus McNeil but some think Clary would be much better inside (and guard is just as big a need) and McNeil is a two-time Pro Bowl who's trying to recover from a serious neck injury.
Positives: Oher's got prototypical size, strength and length for a left tackle and he's about as experienced as they come with 47 consecutive games as a starter in the demanding SEC. He's quick, agile and has nimble feet which makes him the perfect blindside protector and he's better at the point of attack in the running game that his weight would suggest. Once he locks onto a defender he can easily control them and does have the mobility to get to the second level and do some damage.
Negatives: The biggest knock on Oher is that he doesn't always play up to his abilities. He could have come out last year and been a first round pick but he chose to return to school and many projected him as the #1 overall pick or at least the best offensive tackle heading into the season. He doesn't have great awareness on the field either and some scouts wish he had a nastier demeanor on the field. He also has a documented learning disability.
Overall: Oher's life story and difficult upbringing is the focus of a book entitled, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. He's got a inspiring story (check out the video below) and the fact that he's made it this far is a testament to his character. He's got the physical tools to be All-Pro lineman for the next decade and if he can be consistent and play to his skills he'll be a steal in the middle of the first round. Still though many consider him a 'high reward/high risk' pick.
Many thanks to our very own LACardsfan for submitting this pick. The Jets and RedbirdsRule are now on the clock (e-mail to email@example.com), with the Bears and KDean75 on deck. If anyone needs to refresh their memory on the draft order, check it here....