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Friday, February 15, 2008

Travelle Wharton Not Likely A Guard; Crumpler?

A lot of the local news media blogs are blogging the same thing (after all, they're tied at the hip). But let's be honest - Travelle Wharton isn't a guard, and they're not likely going to spend $6 million just to move him to a lesser position. The contract he signed is indicative of nothing - the guards last year got a full million more, in the open market. The ceiling for tackles isn't set yet (and believe me, Jordan Gross will inexplicably set it).

But, the guard fodder is just that. It's just noise, indicative of nothing. The team drafted Wharton as a tackle, it kept him from playing guard as long as it could in 2004, and did so out of necessity after playing a total of four other linemen there. They immediately moved him back to tackle, and kept him there. There's no reason to suggest otherwise right now.

And while it doesn't keep the team from taking a tackle, certainly once they're done shelling out an estimated 85-90 million between two linemen, I don't believe they're going to do anything else drastic at tackle. I believe they're making these moves to make sure tackle is stable, while the market is low, so they can make waves at offensive skill and draft defensive impact.

And, to be honest, Wharton lacks the push to be a consistent guard against big DTs. He's never been huge, he's never been a guy who can push the pile inside, and he's always relied on athleticism over brute force. He's relatively opposite what we need at left guard. Yet the biggest buzz over Wharton, cluelessly, is at guard as if the media and fanbase has locked into drafting a tackle so much that other options are unnecessary.



Also: Sign Alge Crumpler. ASAP.

The former Falcon, cut today, had some minor knee issues, sure. He also had a string of Pro Bowls and killer plays against us. We have nothing but youth at TE, and a relative lack of skill; some have criticized Crumpler's blocking, but he was good enough to stay on the field without a requisite replacement or addition, while the team led the league in rushing for 2004-2006, and he led each of those teams in receptions.

A valid criticism is that he's been a vocal complainer, a bit in 2006 and certainly in 2007.
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