When will the run begin?

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 26, 2011 – 9:03 am

INDIANAPOLIS–The offensive linemen and tight ends kick off the weekend workouts today and this will be a major event for those teams looking for help on their offensive line. OK, so what teams aren’t looking for help up front, right?

An AFC GM told me the tackle crop is one of the best he’s ever seen and could land as many as eight, nine offensive linemen in the first round. That group includes a nice class of  guards, led by Stefen Wisniewski of Penn State and Mike Pouncey of Florida.

How many linemen are drafted in the first round would seem to hinge on this question: When will the run on tackles begin? If someone pushes the panic button for a big guy early, the dominoes will likely fall quickly and that’ll cause skill-position players — probably a lot of quarterbacks — to fall.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy spoke yesterday about the obsession for keeping your quarterback healthy. He talked about needing big guys and a strong running game to protect the quarterback and limit the need to throw, and that’s why coaches and GMs seldom hesitate to grab a tackle when a quality one is available. Today’s workouts will give us a clearer picture of the prospects at tackle, which include these headliners: Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin, Anthony Castonzo of Boston College, Nate Solder of Colorado, Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State and Tyron Smith of USC.

Posted in Vic Ketchman Blog
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