Darren Urban's O-Line Wait and See article, finally gave me reason to put this up.
Much has been made about our draft, in particular Jonathan Cooper and Tyrann Mathieu. However lost in the flurry of those big names and surprise selections in Earl Watford.
The 4th round selection came from a small school by the name of James Madison University (My dream school if I may say so). Not much was made of him other than a few early reports that he was a "reach" in the fourth round. However in his interviews he sounds like he has the right stuff to be a solid pro in the NFL.
Here's how are O-Line stacks up as of this moment:
|Levi Brown||Jonathan Cooper||Lyle Sendlein||Daryn Colledge||Bobby Massie|
Every position seems to be a lock, with the exception of left tackle which will come down to how Brown performs with his healing triceps tear, thus we could see Nate Potter slip in.
Daryn Colledge and former Cardinal, Adam Snyder, were the subjects of much scrutiny on the offensive line last year, well the whole line was. I don't mean to defend Snyder, he was still bad even when Massie settled in. Colledge never got that chance. He had to support journeymen, who shouldn't have even played past Week 3 linemen, D'Anthony Batiste, and 7th round selection, Nate Potter. As Nate Potter found his niche, Sendlein went down with injury and Colledge again had to help shore up another position.
This year he can focus on his job. No one, other than Senio Kelemete, is in a position to surpass him on the depth chart.
However... Earl Watford could sneak his way into contention by midseason. I have a teacher who is an alumni from James Madison University who gave me some of their tapes of Watford. In them he's all you want in an Offensive Linemen. He's agile, plays hard, keeps his hands inside, and has tremendous balance.
However... He has some negatives, as do most rookies. He has some small ankles... Don't ask me why I know this... I did NOT zoom into his ankles... Anyway.
When he performs his kickslide he does not appear to do it fluidly. He seems too tight-crotched in it.
With the right coaching, and it looks like we have just that this season, he could very well be a dominant force in the NFL. He has all the starter traits you want in an O-Lineman, and as Darren Urban said, he's a "strong big".
NFL.com did compare him to Jacob Bell, who did have a solid NFL career.