Barron has the size and athletic ability to be one of the top LT in the NFL.
Everything I read about him says nothing about him being a top LT. They say he'll be a solid tackle, but is often deemed well below the top Tackles in Pace, Jones, Ogden... Tackles of more recent drafts: Gallery and Gross have been mentioned as having the potential. Scouts and analysts make sure that Barron isn't confused with the aforementioned. He's athletic... but won't be a superstar. Sounds a lot like Backus and McDougle.
If he [Backus] resigns in the off season great you have your most solid OL since '91 locked up. If not you can always go with Butler and Rogers next year.
I couldn't disagree more. That means we have a Right Tackle that sucks at run blocking and a left tackle who will never be a top LT in only his 2nd year of the developmental stage. Hardly solid...
Anyway, the book a Backus was he would make a much better RT or OG than LT. So far he's proven to be average to below average at LT. Generally LT are larger and more althletic than Backus.
Also almost all teams in the NFL start a bigger player at LT than RT so where do this mauler thing come from? If anything the RT usally lines up next to the TE so he has help with blocking doesn't need as good of footwork.
I would like to have Backus at Left Guard if we can have a top tiered Left Tackle. Barron won't be one. I wouldn't have minded drafting Gallery last year and doing that.
The mauler thing has to do with a mentality and not size. I think you are confusing the two in you're argument. karateman and I already explained the nomenclature of an offensive line. Generally pass protection on the left side, and run blocking on the run side. Ideally... you want the oline to be ambidextrous... but that's nearly impossible. Looking at Backus style of play... he would just be a liability on the right side.
Which is why, if we do move Backus it's to guard... on the left side.
Now I like Barron's athleticism... I feel much better about him now than I did before. But if we are going to draft a top 10 tackle... I would like his name to be mentioned among the likes of Gallery, Gross, Ogden, Jones and Pace. But he's not. So I'm not feeling Barron at the 10 spot. Maybe trade down. But still he's a pass-protector and Backus does the job fine. And he'd be moved to right tackle where he might not even beat out Kelly Butler.
Although I'm not 'feeling' Barron.. I'm not averse to drafting him. It's just not at 10... trade down. And I'd like him to play as a left tackle... but only if the Lions know for sure Backus won't be our future at left tackle. If all these conditions are satisfied then fine... draft him.
I still have DJ, Rolle, Merriman and James rated higher. Due to the dearth of top 10 offensive talent... and CB's.. one of these guys are bound to fall.