Scout's Eye: Offensive Tackles


Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz sat down to discuss prospects at several positions of need leading up to next month's draft. This is the fourth installment of a five-part series:defensive linemen, inside linebackers and safeties.

The Ravens like their youth on the offensive line, but they could use* *more.

Veteran Bryant McKinnie finished the year as the Ravens' starting left tackle and is now an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn't return, Baltimore may be looking for a tackle of the future.

The Ravens could slide Michael Oher back to left tackle, where he played most of the year. Or they could draft a left tackle to take over the position for years to come.

Here's Hortiz's take on five prospects who could be possibilities for the Ravens:

D.J. Fluker, Florida StateJunior; 6-foot-5, 339 pounds, 14 starts at right tackle
"He really looks like he has a couple Volkswagons on his feet when he's running. Big hands, big feet, just a big man. He's naturally big and plays big, plays physical."

  • Suited for the right, power side of the line
  • Looks to be assertive in the run game
  • Absorbs guys in the pass game
  • Lost about 19 pounds before the combine, so he's made a commitment to getting in shape

Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
Senior; 6-6, 303, 11 starts at left tackle
"He wrecked the combine. To me, he's one of the combine's stars."

  • Former quarterback at Kilgore Junior College who converted to tight end at Oklahoma, then added defensive end duties
  • Moved to the offensive line in the spring of 2011 and struggled at right tackle; played both right and left tackle in 2012
  • Improved in his career, but still has some developing to do from a strength standpoint as well as understanding angles and pass sets
  • Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds, the second-fastest among all linemen

Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Senior; 6-5, 306, 12 starts at left tackle
"He definitely has helped himself over the course of the all-star process and the combine."

  • Had Division I football scholarship offers but went to Arkansas Pine-Bluff so he could also do shot put in track and field
  • Put on a display at the combine in the sense of a big man running fast (broke the 40-yard dash combine record for offensive linemen at 4.71 seconds)
  • Not as polished as an athlete or mover;* *he's got a little stiffness
  • Had a good week at the East-West Shrine game, but had a baptism by fire at the Senior Bowl after showing up mid-week

Kyle Long, Oregon
Senior; 6-6, 313, started 10 games at left tackle
"He obviously has the pedigree from his Hall of Fame father and All-Pro brother, but he just doesn't have the big-game experience. He didn't even start one full season in Division I college. He'll have some technical growing to do."

  • Son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long
  • He was a left-handed pitcher at Florida State who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox
  • Played defensive end, then moved to offensive tackle in two years at Saddlebrook Junior College
  • Battle an ankle injury at Oregon, then worked in a rotation for much of the year

Manelik Watson, Florida StateJunior; 6-5, 310, started 12 games at right tackle
"Football is definitely his background. It's not deep. It's a shallow pool of information and knowledge. He'll get better just because he doesn't know enough. What he is right now is a big, athletic, talented guy who is very raw."

  • Hails from Manchester, England, where he had a tough upbringing
  • Joined a traveling basketball team in Spain and went on a two-year tour of the United States, then played basketball at Marist College
  • Boxed after basketball, then fell in love with football after watching the Seminoles play
  • Would have been good to see him with another year of college football experience
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