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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two Linemen to finish drafting

At the end of the draft, I'll be honest, I was done. I finished the 6th round at a park with my daughter and finished the 7th at a bar with friends. Then my daughter got sick (rotovirus) and so I've just recovered from about five days of no eating. Coupled with a quick trip to Atlanta for Donald Glover, and Mother's Day, well, eventually you have to get back on the wagon.

At any rate: we finally picked linemen. Our final two picks were both compensatory picks, and both fill out the line roster with ability and smarts.

6 (203) - Zach Williams, G/C, Washington State (6'3, 306) is an interior lineman because he's a bit stiff in the midsection, but he has good enough feet for the zone blocking game we're running. He has a nasty streak, has a good punch in his blocks, and slides well. He has experience with the shotgun snap, is able to do so looking forward, and is a technically sound center with good ability to adjust and order teammates around.

7 (244) - Lee Ziemba, T, Auburn (6'6, 317) is a fairly athletic, long armed tackle who started for four years in the SEC. Considered by many to be a top 100 pick, Ziemba could've been picked from the 4th on and it wouldn't have been considered an issue. He's not a great physical prospect - he's already his size, but struggled to pull a 20 x225 bench press, and his 40 time was 5.6. But, he's an aggressive lineman with good feet that can become a good right tackle.

He was also the LT for Cam Newton, but that's a feel-good story and linemen aren't feel good stories.

Williams and Ziemba make a lot of sense, especially this late. While the line is all but set - assuming Ryan Kalil returns, and he should, it means 4 of the 5 expected starters are under contract at least two years - depth is an issue. Certainly, Jeff Otah can't be a guarantee, having missed more time in his three years than anyone on the line, and while Geoff Schwartz filled in well at G and T, he can't do both.

Plus, linemen picks are necessary every year. Did last year's lack of OL doom them last year? Not alone, but that, and lacking anything veteran, did skin them too close after apparently lucking out in 08 and 09 (it's still amazing that Frank Omiyale is so well paid now). This year's pair should work like 08's, to give them a roll of the dice and see who can play at a high level for cheap. You need players like this.
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