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2013 DRAFT PREVIEW: OTs

Overview:  QB and the defensive line appear likely to be the real strengths of the upcoming draft, however, the offensive tackles may not be that far behind. Indeed, as many as a half dozen prospects at the position currently have at least some first round potential. However, it appears at least at this time that only LSU junior LT Chris Faulk, a 325-pound blaster with light feet, is considered to be a surefire top-10 type prospect. On the other hand, massive Alabama junior RT D.J. Fluker, Texas A&M juniors Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, Wisconsin veteran Ricky Wagner and Michigan junior Taylor Lewan are generally considered to be more later first-round prospects, however, each of these guys have a lot of upside with Joeckel and Lewan, both of whom are long LTs with good feet, perhaps the most likely to move into top 10 range as the draft approaches.

There should also be some good depth at the position including wide-body LSU RT Alex Hurst, and LT candidates Oday Aboushi of Virginia, North Carolina junior James Hurst, Justin Pugh of Syacuse and Florida's Xavier Nixon, all solid second-day prospects. Then there is enigmatic Miami junior Seantral Henderson, another massive guy who was the #1 high school recruit in the country back in 2009, but who has has injury issues including a bad back, as well as concerns about his conditioning and passion for the game. Meanwhile, Mark Jackson of Glenville State, a one-time Illinois recruit, is the top small-school prospect; he's another wide-body with the athleticism to also ultimately work his way into the second-day mix. Same story for 6-7 Western Michigan LT Dann McNeill, who originally signed at Michigan before moving across the state to the MAC.

Sleeper file: OTs don't usually sneak up on people, either literally or figuratively, but one unheralded OT to watch is David Quessenberry of San Jose State, who isn't necessarily all that big at just 6-5, 295, but who moves really well and could surprise this coming April. Meanwhile, other lower-level OTs with next level size who have already started to attract attention from pro scouts in addition to Glenville State's Jackson include 6-6 Ryan Schrader of Valdosta State, Terren Jones of Alabama State (6-5, 340), Lamar Young of Delta State (6-6, 315) and East Central's Carlos Savala (6-5, 315).

Top 20 OT Prospects
#
Player
H/W
School
CL
#
Player
H/W
School
CL
1
Chris Faulk 6-5, 325 LSU JR
11
Justin Pugh 6-5, 295 Syracuse SR
2
D.J. Fluker 6-6, 335 Alabama JR
12
Seantral Henderson 6-7, 350 Miami JR
3
Luke Joeckel 6-5, 310 Texas A&M JR
13
Xavier Nixon 6-5, 310 Florida SR
4
Ricky Wagner 6-5, 325 Wisconsin SR
14
Mark Jackson 6-5, 330 Glenville State SR
5
Jake Matthews 6-5, 305 Texas A&M JR
15
Tanner Hawkinson 6-5, 295 Kansas  SR
6
Taylor Lewan 6-7, 305 Michigan JR
16
R.J. Mattes 6-5, 310 North Carolina State SR
7
Alex Hurst 6-6, 335 LSU SR
17
Jeff Nady 6-6, 310 Nevada SR
8
James Hurst 6-6, 310 North Carolina JR
18
Manese Fokoti 6-5, 325 Kansas State SR
9
Oday Aboushi 6-5, 310 Virginia SR
19
Brennan Williams 6-5, 315 North Carolina SR
10
Dallas Thomas 6-4, 300 Tennessee SR
20
Dann O'Neill 6-7, 310 Western Michigan SR

Future file: They keep growin' 'em big down the farm such that there wll be plenty more where that came form even if juniors dominate the OT position for the second straight year. Indeed, sophomores like Malcolm Bunche of Miami, USC's Aundray Walker, Cyrus Kouandijo of Alabama, Iowa's Brandon Scherff and Tayo Fabuluje of TCU already have scouts drooling. Same for redshirt freshmen Brandon Shell of South Carolina, Greg Robinson of Auburn and BYU's Ryker Mathews, who also have pro futures written all over them.

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