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http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=nonamesmovetothefrontoft&prov=tsn&type=lgns

Quote:
There might not be an offensive tackle worth taking in the first round of the draft, including Florida State's Alex Barron. And now, there isn't a reason to reach for one, either.

NFL teams can pass-block, run-block and win games without premium talent at the offensive line position. The Patriots proved this lesson. They won the Super Bowl with a second-round pick, a fifth-round pick and three scrapheap pickups. The Falcons reinforced it. They led the league in rushing with three seventh-round picks, a fourth-round pick and a 2002 veteran free-agent pickup.

The lesson was driven home by the Chargers, who were third in the NFL in points per game playing two rookies, a journeyman with his fourth team, a guard who had been considered a bust until last year and a 2004 veteran free-agent signee.


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Falcons offensive line consultant Alex Gibbs prefers lower-round picks and undrafted free agents because he believes offensive linemen need to be developed and that high-round draft choices aren't afforded time or patience for development.


Quote:
"You can take pressure off the blocker by running the ball, using the play-action pass," Falcons general manager Rich McKay says. "If you are a team that has to throw 65 percent of the time and you're a dropback team, you're putting a lot of stress on your tackles. You better be able to protect."



=D>

What do you guys think?

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March 31st, 2005, 6:08 pm
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First, I would be shocked if Barron doesn't go in the first round.

Second, the teams he uses for examples tend to be exceptions to the rule:

New England - Woody was a first-round pick. They play the "team game" better than anyone and I think teams get quite a bit of pressure on the QB. How many times do you see Brady under pressure, but stay calm and deliver a perfect pass to a WR. Not many QBs can pull this off.

Atlanta - presents a whole different problem. With Vick running around in the backfield, traditional blocking (and knowing where the QB will be) goes out the window.

San Diego - Brees doesn't hang onto the ball very long or throw deep. Their leading receivers were Gates (TE) and LT (RB).

I think all three are bad examples to compare to most teams in the league. Not that I think that there is no validity to his arguement, I think he has a point. Minnesota has a history of developing late round draft picks into solid offensive lineman.

On-the-flipside, the most dominating offensive linemen, particularly tackles, were early first-round picks. See Orlando Pace, Walter Jones, Tra Thomas, etc...

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March 31st, 2005, 6:24 pm
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Pablo XXbazooka.gif My argument

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March 31st, 2005, 7:35 pm
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I gotta agree with Pablo that the arguments given weren't very convincing. Just because these teams don't have a cache of first round blockers doesn't mean that linemen aren't wortha first round pick. I think any of these teams would gladly take Orlando Pace or Walter Jones, but have their money tied up in other positions, such as their QBs. Baltimore and Tampa Bay gave us examples of how having 'average' QBs can take you to the SuperBowl as well.

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March 31st, 2005, 8:03 pm
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I kind of agree with the article. Look at what the Lions got from all their high picks expended on McDougle, Backus, and Raiola? You would cry if you went back and looked at who we passed up I am sure. None of those guys are much better than the projects Indy and NE developed from UNFA fodder.

The mental side of the position and the technique makes the OL the quintessential development position other than the QB. Look at GB. They lost Wahle, Riveria, and Andruzzi, but all those guys were long time projects that just cashed in during FA. They just signed O'Dwyer and another decent guy for under a million. You know what? I doubt there will be that much of a drop off.

I also agree that skill can make your OL look better than it is. Barry did that. Detroit's lines were nothing like the hogs of that era.

I do agree that the great OL are gotten early. Also I do not mind picking them in the top 10 because more often than not those guys are sure things. However, Barron is not that type of guy. You could pick a guy in the seventh round that will turn out better than him.


March 31st, 2005, 11:25 pm
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Pablo wrote:
Atlanta - presents a whole different problem. With Vick running around in the backfield, traditional blocking (and knowing where the QB will be) goes out the window.


The Lions rocked Vick's world 6 times last season and effectively shut down their offense. Maybe their OL was having a bad day, our D was unstoppable and Jauron knew what he had to do, or Vick's OL is overrated.


March 31st, 2005, 11:27 pm
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Yorick wrote:
I do agree that the great OL are gotten early. Also I do not mind picking them in the top 10 because more often than not those guys are sure things. However, Barron is not that type of guy. You could pick a guy in the seventh round that will turn out better than him.


I am one of the biggest proponents of taking DJ, however, if a guy like Robert Gallery were available, I would be ALL ABOUT pimping him as the Lions' first round pick because he would be a BPA-type talent at a position of need. Since IMO, Barron is no Gallery (and Rolle no Sean Taylor), I default to simply BPA strategy....

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April 1st, 2005, 12:56 am
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conversion02 wrote:
...Vick's OL is overrated.


Vick is way overrated. Just because he can run like crazy doesn't make him a quaterback. If I rember correctly, we also shut him down the time we played him before. I don't think any oline could protect him the way he jumps around all the time. If Vick would make the switch that McNabb did, then he might be a good qb.

Anyway, they were the best rushing team in the league last year, and oline gets to take a little credit.

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April 1st, 2005, 8:53 am
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Vick is not overrated. He is the most dangerous player in the game. Just because he doesnt have excellent command of the WCO yet doesnt mean he is not a great player. His team is 5-11 without him and then makes the NFC championship game with him. He can covert ANY down and distance with his legs vs ANY team in the league. He embarasses good defenders on a play by play basis. Even without a quality receiving core he is a dominant offensive player. The only reason that the Lions won that game was bc Mora was too busy faking FGs and running trick plays vs his buddy Mooch. All he had to do was let Vick get out of the pocket, a strategy that paid off later in the season.


April 1st, 2005, 9:39 am
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Vick is a quaterback and should behave like one. I'm not saying he doesn't have mad skills, but he isn't the player many think he is. He is largely 1-D. Philly contained him pretty well, didn't they? 26 yards. If a team plans right, they can contain him.

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April 1st, 2005, 9:47 am
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As far as I remember, Vick was trying to get out of the pocket and couldn't. He was shut down, sacked 6 times and fumbled twice I believe. Dunn even got shut down, 18 for 44 yards.

They had 1 fake punt that scored, I don't remember any fake FGs.

Would you spend $130M on Vick?


April 1st, 2005, 10:04 am
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conversion02 wrote:
Would you spend $130M on Vick?


If he could throw like he can run, in a heartbeat, but he can't, so I wouldn't have. Thats just one man's opinon.

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April 1st, 2005, 10:07 am
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Well, that was my question. Given his production NOW, would you spend that much? His 56% completion rating, 14 TDs 12 picks and his 900 some rushing yards. Would anyone spend that much? I wouldn't.


April 1st, 2005, 10:15 am
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Well you should watch games more closely then. The Falcons had a chip shot FG attempt, instead they had the holder pass it to Jay Feely, the play didnt work...


April 1st, 2005, 10:17 am
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Maybe I should take play-by-play notes.

Either way, adding a FG to a 17-10 game doesn't win the game.


April 1st, 2005, 10:21 am
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