The topics in this week's Rivals Roundtable surround the NFL draft, and the memories many of the analysts have of the first-round picks in high school. One thing seemed certain, even back then: Top pick Cam Newton looked destined for the spotlight of Thursday's NFL draft. But does anyone resemble...[details]
Notes: Father, Bill, was an offensive lineman at Illinois (1973-76). Anthony - who broke his leg as a sophomore - was a two-way lineman who also competed in track and field (discus, shot put) as a suburban Chicago prep, but was too lean at 225 pounds to attract the attention of recruiters. Attended Fork Union Military Academy (Va.) in '06 before becoming the first B.C. freshman to start on the offensive line in a decade. Despite being listed at 262 pounds, started all 14 games at right tackle in '07 opposite Lions '08 first-rounder Gosder Cherilus, protecting Falcons '08 first-rounder Matt Ryan. Made the transition to left tackle in '08 and started all 40 games over the next three seasons (2008-10). Missed '10 spring practice while recovering from a broken right foot. Team captain. Biochemistry major who intends to conduct cancer research and become a doctor after his football career and was nominated to be a Rhodes Scholar.
Positives: Excellent arm and body length. Very mentally tough. Extremely intelligent and hard-working. Understands angles and maintains positioning. Runs his feet on contact and can torque defenders off the ground. Flashes a mean streak. Works easily to the second level, maneuvers surprisingly well for his size and gets good second-level fits. Uses his hands very well to steer and recover. Outstanding in pass protection - sets quickly and is able to cut off the wide rush. Can shuffle, slide and mirror. Aggressive run blocker - attacks the line of scrimmage and plays with urgency. Versatility is a big plus - lined up at every position on the line but center at the Senior Bowl, fared equally well on the right and left sides and showed more pop than he did in season. Rises to the challenge against better competition - fared well against Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers. Moved very comfortably in Combine positional drills.
Negatives: Will overset and give up the inside. Not powerful in the run game. Lacks lower-body base core strength - will rise out of his stance, get outleveraged by shorter defenders and struggle keeping his cleats in the ground. Tends to play too tall and coast against lesser competition. Ankles appeared tight at the Combine.
Summary: A Day One starter who can be plugged in readily at almost any position, Castonzo is not flashy and still must continue to improve his lower-body strength and anchor, but he is very smart and dependable, seldom gets beat and could start at left tackle for the next 8-10 years.