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ESPN’s Kiper analyzes the top O-linemen in the draft

Bless you, Mel Kiper! Material for three blog posts from one teleconference. That’s outstanding production–exactly what you’d expect from ESPN’s loquacious draft guru.

Kiper has the Redskins selecting Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen in his latest mock draft, but he acknowledged during a teleconference last week that the Redskins could draft an offensive lineman with the fourth-overall pick.

If so, he believes the Redskins would choose from Rutgers LT Anthony Davis or Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung, which at this point is the general consensus around the league. Kiper currently has Davis rated higher than Okung, with both players going in the top 10. (And for what it’s worth, ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Redskins actually drafting Davis.)

Here’s what Kiper had to say about both of the elite tackles.

"Anthony Davis is enormously gifted. He’s a little inconsistent from game to game, even from series to series sometimes. But he had the great weekend in October against Greg Romeus, the defensive end from Pitt. Big, athletic, great feet. He could be as good as a Walter Jones. When Walter Jones came out of Florida State, you looked at him and he had a similar evaluation. So Anthony Davis deserves to be up there in terms fo the elite in the first round."

"Russell Okung had a year that didn’t start out great. That’s when I thought that Davis maybe gained that kind of ground early on. … He has that nasty streak, the long arms. He’s got a lot of talent. In a year where you didn’t have an Anthony Davis, Okung would be guaranteed to be the first tackle off the board. But with Davis emerging, Okung probably goes somewhere in the top 10, but more somewhere towards eight, nine or 10."

After Davis and Okung, Kiper expects the offensive tackles to be drafted in the following order: Oklahoma’s Trent Williams, Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga and Maryland’s Bruce Campbell. His take on those three:

"Trent Williams, who’s a versatile kid, played left tackle, ultimately will be a right tackle, which is where he was as a junior. He can even play on the interior on the offensive line, as well."

"I think Bryan Bulaga, who’s a left tackle, will probably end up being a right tackle in the NFL."

"Bruce Campbell will be a phenomenal workout guy. His numbers at the combine or individual workout should be spectacular. Bruce Campbell, even though he didn’t always play like a first-round pick, his physical gifts and his potential will almost put him in the late first-round area. People will say, ‘If he’d had gone back [for his senior season], he could have been a top 10 pick next year.’"

In noting that the Redskins might look to draft both a quarterback and offensive lineman early, he suggested that they’d get the best value by drafting a quarterback fourth-overall and hoping Bulaga or Campbell falls to them at No. 37 overall (the fifth pick of the second round).

Problem is, even Kiper has Bulaga and Campbell going in the first round. So sure, the Redskins would get the best value by getting two first-round talents in the first and second round, but even he doesn’t expect those two tackles to be available. I tried to ask him which tackles would provide the best value if Bulaga and Campbell were off the board at No. 37, but the teleconference moderator moved on to the next question. D’oh!

So my question to you, then, is which tackle do you like most for the Redskins at No. 4? Davis or Okung? Leave a comment for me, shoot me an email or drop me a line on Twitter @Rich_Campbell.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/redskinsjournal/2010/02/22/espns-kiper-analyzes-the-top-olinemen-in-the-draft/

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