It's been a couple of weeks since we've done a Rumblings Draft Scouting piece - the Buffalo Bills' firing of Dick Jauron and the subsequent rumor mill chatter kept us pretty busy - but now that things have died down some, our weekly scouting piece returns.
At the time that this post was published, Buffalo currently has five healthy offensive linemen - Andy Levitre, Geoff Hangartner, Jonathan Scott, Kirk Chambers and Jamon Meredith. One might argue that, at a maximum, two of those players are legitimate NFL prospects. Demetrius Bell might be considered legitimate, too, but he's having trouble staying healthy, and it might not be wise to count on him as a starter in 2010.
Naturally, we thought y'all might enjoy talking about 2010 NFL Draft prospects on the offensive line. Away we go.
1. Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State (6'5", 300-pound senior)
- The nation's top pass protector without question. Possesses elite athleticism and footwork. Has been dominant against top-flight competition as a senior. Still something of a liability in the run game, and can be overwhelmed at the point of attack. Smart kid with a good work ethic and the frame to add a little bulk. Okung is really the only tackle that is a mortal lock for the Top 10.
- Many scouts will tell you that Davis is a road grader who fits best on the right side. I don't see it. I see a powerful guy who can play the left side, even at his weight, and who is slightly better in pass protection than he is run blocking. I really like his athleticism, and he plays the game with the right demeanor. I'll consider Davis the most well-rounded tackle if he declares, but his ceiling is lower than other players'. I'd take him in the Top 12 without hesitation.
3. Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa (6'6", 304-pound junior)
- I really like Bulaga as a prospect, but he's just not the elite player that you see taken at the very top of the first round these days. Bulaga's very technically sound and has a great reach to help him in pass protection, but he's not an astonishing athlete, and again, his upside might be somewhat limited. He's a safe pick, however, and could be considered an instant starter on the blind side.
4. Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland (6'7", 310-pound junior)
- Campbell might be the highest-upside tackle in the nation right now. He's a phenomenal athlete with great length, and he's really come on as an elite lineman as a junior despite playing for a very mediocre Maryland team. But he's also missed a lot of time with nagging minor injuries, much like Bell, and that's a pretty major concern. He's pretty boom-or-bust, and he might not declare, but he's definitely a Round 1-type prospect.
5. Charles Brown, OT, USC (6'6", 298-pound senior)
- I look at Brown as a poor man's Okung. He's an elite pass protector with great footwork and the ability to consistently mirror. He plays with surprising power and isn't one-dimensional, but like Okung, he can still be controlled at the point of attack. He's a bit of a project player in that he'll need a year or two in a weight program to reach his full potential, but he's got elite left tackle written all over him. Right now, I consider him a fringe Round 1 prospect.
Others to keep tabs on: Jason Fox (Miami, FL), Selvish Capers (West Virginia), Trent Williams (Oklahoma), Ciron Black (LSU)
1. Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State (6'3", 297-pound junior)
- I don't think Wisniewski will enter this year's draft, but it's still at least possible. Centers are becoming hot commodities - two were drafted in the first round last year - and Wisniewski has the look of a top-end NFL anchor. He plays with great leverage and really understands angles and how to open up run lanes.
2. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida (6'5", 318-pound junior)
- This guy is fun to watch. He's a really big kid and plays a very physical brand of football. He can bend and anchor, and even better, he looks completely at ease on the move when pulling or getting to the second level. Many scouts will consider him the best center in the draft, even ahead of Wisniewski, and it'd be hard to argue with them.
3. Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho (6'5", 330-pound senior)
- I consider Iupati the most NFL-ready lineman currently playing college football. He's huge, moves extremely well for a man his size, and is absolutely dominant at the point of attack. He's also an incredibly motivated and humble young man. The big question surrounding Iupati is whether or not he'll be able to adjust to a pretty massive change in competition level, but as far as run blockers go, Iupati is the best of the best this year. Another immediate starter.
4. Eric Olsen, C, Notre Dame (6'4", 305-pound senior)
- If Buffalo's new regime digs versatility as much as the one currently on its way out, Olsen will be high on their board. He was a guard up until this season, when he shifted over to the pivot. He's had a great season and made the switch seem effortless. He's not a top-end athlete, but he's well-rounded enough to be a starter at either center or guard in the NFL for quite a while.
5. Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida (6'5", 320-pound senior)
- Yes, he's the brother of Maurkice. No, he's not as talented as his younger brother. But Mike is an excellent pro prospect in his own right - he plays the same physical style of football and is fluid enough athletically to block at all levels. He's not the borderline first-round prospect that every name on this list is (with the exception of Olsen), but he, too, has the look of a guy a team can plug in at guard immediately and let him play for a long time.