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Tribal Warfare
12-23-2008, 03:06 AM
Top tackles right out of the box (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-081220-dan-pompei-nfl-draft-class,0,4516420.column)
Broncos' Clady is best of group of 8 stellar 1st-rounders

Dan Pompei

On the NFL

11:40 AM CST, December 20, 2008
Click here to find out more!

You might not have realized it if it you are a Bears fan, but the 2008 class of offensive tackles looks like it might develop into the best in history.

Eight tackles were drafted in the first round, and all but two have started the majority of their team's games.

If we could draft the tackles over again based on their first-year performances, this is the order in which they would be picked.

1. Ryan Clady, Broncos

Originally chosen: 12th overall, second among OTs.

Sacks allowed: One-half.

Sizing him up: He and Tennessee's Michael Roos are the only two tackles in the NFL who have started every game and not allowed a full sack.

With Clady anchoring the line at left tackle, the Broncos are on pace to set a team record for fewest sacks allowed and lowest percentage of sacks per pass play.

This physical specimen (6 feet 6 inches, 325 pounds) has shut down Atlanta's John Abraham, Miami's Joey Porter and Carolina's Julius Peppers, who have 451/2 sacks between them.

Clady also has been part of a run blocking unit that has allowed the Broncos to average 4.5 yards per rush even though the team has been forced to place five running backs on injured reserve. On runs to the left, behind Clady, the Broncos have averaged 5.43 yards, third highest in the NFL.

When Clady came out of Boise State after his junior season, the concern was that he was raw and might take time to develop. That hardly has been the case.

"He's very easy to coach," Broncos offensive line coach Rick Dennison said. "You tell him what to do, he does it. He really has worked hard at it too. He doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes. If he makes one, generally speaking, he doesn't make it again."

2. Jake Long, Dolphins

Originally chosen: 1st overall.

Sacks allowed: 21/2.

Sizing him up: The left tackle was the leading vote getter among fans in voting for the Pro Bowl, but he didn't make the team because he didn't get enough votes from coaches and players. Clady was a more deserving Pro Bowl candidate, though Long has had a very good year.

The overachieving Dolphins have averaged 4.1 yards per carry. Long has been penalized just five times all season.

3. Brandon Albert, Chiefs

Originally chosen: 15th overall, fourth OT.

Sacks allowed: 41/2.

Sizing him up: He missed the entire preseason with a foot sprain but started the season opener at left tackle and every game but one since. Alberts acclimated to tackle quickly after playing mostly guard at Virginia.

He has taken well to coaching and showed improvement as the season went on, along with the rest of the Chiefs offense.

Chiefs coaches and players believe he can be a future Pro Bowler.

4. Jeff Otah, Panthers

Originally chosen: 19th overall, sixth OT.

Sacks allowed: 5.

Sizing him up: Though he missed four games with an ankle injury, Otah has been a big part of a Panthers' running game that leads the NFL with 4.8 yards per carry.

The Panthers traded away their first-round pick in 2009 to get Otah, and have no regrets.

5. Sam Baker, Falcons

Originally chosen: 21st overall, seventh OT.

Sacks allowed: None.

Sizing him up: Like the Bears' Chris Williams, he had surgery to repair a herniated disc. But he at least started five games first, and he played exceptionally well.

He played last week for the first time since surgery but did not start and is listed as questionable on the injury report to play Sunday against the Vikings.

6. Gosder Cherilus, Lions

Originally chosen: 17th overall, fifth OT.

Sacks allowed: 6.

Sizing him up: He was promoted to the starting lineup at right tackle in the third game of the season, then started three games before being benched for a game after a substandard performance against the Vikings. He has started eight games since with mixed results.


7. Duane Brown, Texans

Originally chosen: 26th overall, eighth OT.

Sacks allowed: 101/2.

Sizing him up: Brown has started every game and has shown improvement. He has been part of a rushing attack that has averaged 116.4 yards per game, compared to 99.1 a year ago.

8. Chris Williams, Bears

Originally chosen: 14th overall, third OT.

Sacks allowed: None.

Sizing him up: After back surgery forced him to miss the first seven games, he has played mostly on the kicking team.

Though his rookie contributions have been negligible, the Bears remain high on Williams, as they should.

It is completely possible he could be at or near the top of this list one year from now.

Quick hits

It could be one and done for Redskins coach Jim Zorn. He has questioned himself, his players privately have questioned him and you know impatient owner Dan Snyder must be questioning him.

Vikings coach Brad Childress made the right call sticking with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. If Jackson is faltering by halftime, Childress always can make the switch to Gus Frerotte.

The best thing for Mike Holmgren is to leave Seattle. The best thing for the NFL is for Holmgren to be on the sidelines with another team next season.

An era ended in Kansas City this week when team president and general manager Carl Peterson started boxing up the contents of his desk at Arrowhead Stadium. Peterson deserves credit for rejuvenating the franchise, but after 20 years and an ownership change, the time was right for change. Owner Clark Hunt wants to look outside for a new general manager, but he should give his player personnel guy Bill Kuharich a try.

BigChiefFan
12-23-2008, 07:59 AM
Damn. That's a fine OT class.

the Talking Can
12-23-2008, 08:01 AM
Damn. That's a fine OT class.

yeah, it is

but the panthers gave away an extra 1st for theirs...ouch

KC Jones
12-23-2008, 08:05 AM
It's unfortunate that the Broncos got such a stud in Clady. That kid will be going to pro bowls regularly if this year was any indication of what's to come with experience.

Stryker
12-23-2008, 08:13 AM
It's unfortunate that the Broncos got such a stud in Clady. That kid will be going to pro bowls regularly if this year was any indication of what's to come with experience.

He was a reach @ #5 by most on this board - yet many experts had us taking him @ 5.

beach tribe
12-23-2008, 08:16 AM
It's unfortunate that the Broncos got such a stud in Clady. That kid will be going to pro bowls regularly if this year was any indication of what's to come with experience.

I honestly, and not homeristicly, believe that Albert becomes the best lineman taken in this draft. We hit on this pick. The hardest position on the line is now locked down for the next decade. Wooo Hoooo!!

SenselessChiefsFan
12-23-2008, 09:51 AM
He was a reach @ #5 by most on this board - yet many experts had us taking him @ 5.

Albert was the guy all along. Chiefs were prepared to take him at #5 if they couldn't trade down.

If not for Dorsey, the Chiefs would have traded down to #10 when the Saints offered, most likely, and drafted him there.

I am hoping that after a year of getting healthy and a year of training, Dorsey can come back and really make an impact. Considering that much of the NFL had him #1 on their boards, I thought he was going to be the steal of the draft.

So far.... not so much.

RINGLEADER
12-23-2008, 10:13 AM
We traded an "A" defensive end for a B+ OT who will hopefully get even better. If Charles can contribute in a meaningful and consistent way it may end up being a good trade.

But as I posted on anther thread there's no coincidence that the defensive ranking from 31st to middle of the pack and back to 31st this year corresponds directly with the development and departure of Jared Allen. Still believe he covered up a lot of the inadequacies of Gunther Cunningham and a general lack of talent in this squad.

Hoover
12-23-2008, 10:19 AM
Albert "should" be more productive for a longer time than JA. In 3 years JA will be on the downside of his career and BA will be in his prime and have 10 more years in him.

beach tribe
12-23-2008, 10:21 AM
Albert "should" be more productive for a longer time than JA. In 3 years JA will be on the downside of his career and BA will be in his prime and have 10 more years in him.

And now that Carl is gone, we will be able to keep him.

Hoover
12-23-2008, 10:24 AM
I've like the JA trade from the beginning. It sucks to lose a player like that, but we need to be looking to the future, that trade was more about 2011 than 2008 or 2009. Jared is still a favorite player but, think his talent would have been wasted with us this year. We would have been maybe 5-11 with him?

Ultra Peanut
12-23-2008, 11:45 AM
We traded an "A" defensive end for a B+ OT who will hopefully get even better. If Charles can contribute in a meaningful and consistent way it may end up being a good trade.

But as I posted on anther thread there's no coincidence that the defensive ranking from 31st to middle of the pack and back to 31st this year corresponds directly with the development and departure of Jared Allen. Still believe he covered up a lot of the inadequacies of Gunther Cunningham and a general lack of talent in this squad.If you're right, the trade was even greater than you could ever imagine, because having such a terrible defensive line is one of the big reasons why we're about to have a new GM, new coach, and new top 3 draft pick.

beach tribe
12-23-2008, 11:47 AM
If you're right, the trade was even greater than you could ever imagine, because having such a terrible defensive line is one of the big reasons why we're about to have a new GM, new coach, and new top 3 draft pick.

Word. lol

CupidStunt
12-23-2008, 11:53 AM
More interested in where these guys rank in 2010 than right now. Of all of them, Albert has had BY FAR the most difficult transition to an NFL LT. So, after a couple years of learning and experience, let's see where he's at. That he's right there with Clady and Long at this point just speaks to his athletic ability.

Soupnazi
12-23-2008, 11:55 AM
Am I the only one who is wondering why he had to put in the ending snippet about his endorsement of Kuharick for GM? Personnel decisions have not been the strength of this organization during Carl's reich.

MagicHef
12-23-2008, 11:57 AM
More interested in where these guys rank in 2010 than right now. Of all of them, Albert has had BY FAR the most difficult transition to an NFL LT. So, after a couple years of learning and experience, let's see where he's at. That he's right there with Clady and Long at this point just speaks to his athletic ability.

I know I'm completely biased, but I don't think Albert or Long are right there with Clady.

keg in kc
12-23-2008, 11:59 AM
I've like the JA trade from the beginning. It sucks to lose a player like that, but we need to be looking to the future, that trade was more about 2011 than 2008 or 2009. Jared is still a favorite player but, think his talent would have been wasted with us this year. We would have been maybe 5-11 with him?I think people may look at that way the same way they look at the draft. What's the immediate impact? And that's not what either of them are about.

The Allen trade gave the opportunity for the Chiefs to draft the way they did in 2008. Without that deal, they don't get Dorsey, Albert, Flowers, Charles, Cottam and Morgan. They might get 3 or 4 of them. But that deal created that package of players; it's impossible without it. It just wouldn't have happened.

At this point, Albert, Flowers and Charles look like high caliber players. Dorsey's more of a question-mark, but a slow start for a defensive tackle is not unusual. Morgan and Cottam have both contributed as rookies. That's already a productive class, and I'd say maybe some of the best early development we've seen from the top half of a KC draft class. We'll see where they go in 2009 and beyond, and in 2010 or 2011 we'll be able to give the final 'grade' for the trade.