Monday, April 20, 2009

Talking Tackles

by: Michael Steffes

The Green Bay Packers defintely have tackle high on their priority list. Because of this, Packers writer Bob Mcginn went digging for information on this year's tackle class. It is a fascinating read, and a much different approach than the article we linked to yesterday written by Dave Boling.

The Seahawks definitely could use a franchise, cornerstone tackle to replace Walter Jones. But considering that this player would likely make a nice chunk of change learning from Big Walt, I think it is fair to ask if we really want to take the chance with this year's group. Essentially, that is what McGinn is saying as well.

McGinn surveyed 19 scouts with a "national perspective." He got all kinds of different answers, as you might expect. Seven liked Jason Smith, six liked Andre. Eugene Monroe got a lot of second place votes, but not many were really ready to endorse him. Oher also got some votes. What was more telling was some of the quotes, including one from a Seahawks Scout, Charles Fisher:

"In another draft none of these guys would be top five," Seattle Seahawks scout Charles Fisher said. "They're good players, but I wouldn't consider any of these guys as pure franchise cornerstones. Branden Albert is more athletic than all these guys."
Maybe it is a smokescreen, right? Well, sure, but he is not the only one who feels this way. Check out this quote from an AFC personnel director:
"The tackles, you can find reasons why all of them will struggle," an AFC personnel director said. "One with weight (Andre Smith), one with anchor (Jason Smith), one with passion (Monroe) and one with intelligence (Oher)."
San Francisco's personnel director was also polled and seems to share the same opinion:
"I like the group," said Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. "But it's like the wide-receiver group: There's something in each one of them that makes you uneasy. The safest of the group is Monroe."
So maybe as long as you get Jason Smith, everything would turn out alright? He was, after all, rated the best of the bunch. Not so much:
"When I saw Jason Smith during the fall, yes, I thought he'd be a solid first-round pick for somebody," Savage said. "But I never dreamed people would be talking about him as the first pick in the whole draft. You've got to be kidding me."
Well, here we are again -- back to the beginning. The Hawks are just going to have to take the guy they think will be the best player available at any position and run with it. This is simply not a great year to have a top five pick. Sigh. ~END~