In the weeks leading up to the 2008 NFL Draft (April 26-27), BR.com will offer a look into the top prospects by position. This week, defensive tackles take the spotlight, with LSU's Glenn Dorsey leading the way.
The suspense is gone for LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. In light of Jake Long's pre-draft signing with the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, any hopes of becoming the No. 1 pick were dashed.
For a player that many draft analysts rated as the top prospect in the Class of 2008, including ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., occupying that first spot was an "ultimate goal." But, he'll now have to settle for second - or beyond.
Why would clubs pass on a first-team All-American with a mantle struggling to support the Outland and Lombardi trophies? Oh, and throw in the Nagurski and Lott Awards, along with a BCS National Championship.
"The National Championship is the ultimate award, so I feel like I have achieved everything I wanted to," said Dorsey, 6-foot-2, 297 pounds.
Except the No. 1 pick.
The knock on Dorsey, who over four years in Baton Rouge became a force of nature for the Tigers' defensive line, is a history of troubling - but certainly not career-threatening - injuries.
Even though he didn't miss a game, Dorsey suffered a variety of leg injuries and even back spasms throughout his career.
As a junior in 2006, he played most of the season with a stress fracture in his right tibia that forced him to take a painkiller before each game. Last season, a chop block against Auburn gave him a knee sprain that continued to bother him throughout the year.
Dorsey mustered 133 tackles and 10 sacks as a whirling dervish in opponents' backfields, earning comparisons to Warren Sapp. He still faces a constant barrage of questioning about his health entering the NFL.
"I have not missed a game since I got to LSU," Dorsey reassured a bevy of reporters at the NFL Combine. "Everybody gets bruised up. That's the way I look at it. Who does not go through a season without getting bumps and bruises?
"I don't think it's an issue at all. I've played every game since I've been at LSU, my whole four years. I do not think it's a problem at all."
Such proclamations haven't quelled speculation about Dorsey's durability. After not working out at the Combine because of the untimely death of his grandmother, he had to prove he was the player shown in 30 career starts at LSU's Pro Day earlier this month.
Dorsey did what he's always done: excelled. The Gonzalez, La. native ran a respectable 5.14-second 40, bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times, and most notably, was nimble and limp-free during defensive line drills.
A gregarious interview, Dorsey had something important to say when his battery of medical tests were over.
"I don't think I came out here today and looked like my tibia was hurting," he told the media at the time.
Dorsey thinks the questions surrounding his injuries are finally answered. Obviously, he won't be the second consecutive Tiger to be selected first overall, after the Oakland Raiders took former LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell to open the draft last year.
Still, he should definitely be the second consecutive Tiger in the top five.
"I just need an opportunity," Dorsey stated. "Any team that gives me an opportunity, I'm going to give them 100 percent. I'm just going to be thankful and grateful to the team that drafts me, and I'm going to give them my all."