This year's offensive tackle group is an outstanding class, especially with the additions of juniors like Ryan Clady and Anthony Collins.
Jake Long will probably be the first player selected at this position, and he is almost certain to hear his name in the top 10 picks. There will likely be at least four first-round picks, with prospects like Clady, Chris Williams, Jeff Otah, Gosder Cherilus and Sam Baker figuring in the mix. This class should produce eight or 10 prospects in the first 100 selections.
As many as 12-15 players in this group could develop into potential NFL starters in time.
2008 NFL Draft Offensive Tackle Rankings
1. Jake Long, 6-7, 305, Michigan
Long is a physical player who has the skills and experience to start as an NFL rookie. He will be a top-five pick and has the potential to become a very good left tackle or the best right tackle in the game.
2. * Ryan Clady, 6-6, 310, Boise State
This nimble junior left early for the NFL after a dominant career in the WAC. Clady is a Top 10-15 prospect with the size and growth potential to become a premier left tackle in time.
3. Chris Williams, 6-6, 315, Vanderbilt
Williams is a big, mobile prospect who has developed nicely over his career. He graded out high against top SEC talent and closed his college career with a strong Senior Bowl performance and fine workout in Indianapolis.
4. Jeff Otah, 6-6, 340, Pittsburgh
Otah is a huge prospect who has very good footwork for his size. However, Otah struggled in workouts at the NFL Combine and projects more as a right tackle in the NFL, at least early on..
5. Gosder Cherilus, 6-6, 320, Boston College
Cherilus is a massive, yet athletic, left tackle. He is a Top 15-20 prospect with fine upside potential that should be able to start as a rookie.
6. Sam Baker, 6-5, 310, USC
Baker faced a key week at the Senior Bowl after an injury-marred final season. He is a safe selection in the sense that he also projects as a starting guard and could start quickly in that role.
7. Tony Hills, 6-5, 310, Texas
This big and mobile prospect developed nicely over his college career, but he is still rehabbing a broken leg suffered in early November.
8. Carl Nicks, 6-5, 340, Nebraska
Nicks is a raw prospect with the package to start at right tackle but only after some critical development in technique. One of the biggest boom or bust linemen in this year's class.
9. Kirk Barton, 6-5, 310, Ohio State
While not physically gifted, he is very technically sound and will always give his team a solid day's work from start to finish. He will be a great middle round value for a patient club.
10. Brandon Keith, 6-4, 340, Northern Iowa
Keith has surprisingly sound technique and is one of the biggest sleepers in this class. He has the look of a diamond-in-the-rough prospect.
Frank Coyle is a nationally known NFL scout who publishes Draft Insiders' Digest and www.draftinsiders.com. In it's 16th season, Draft Insiders' Digest is dedicated to year-round coverage of NFL and NCAA Football. He covers the NFL Draft and free agency extensively with a veteran scouting staff that provides insightful and unique information on players and team potential in the coming seasons. Draft Insiders' Digest is an extensive publication that produces 15 issues throughout the year and a Draft Yearbook with over 450 in-depth scouting reports.