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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Around The Draft: Various OTs

Once again, I'm doing 60 prospects in 60 days, and as I noted earlier today, I'm way behind thanks to ...life.

But, as my QB post moments ago, I want to canvas some later OL.  From a need standpoint, the team can use a backup C, they have severe uncertainty about their guard health, and depending on where some pieces fit, one starting OT and one backup OT.  So, they can use pretty much any backup OL.

*C Bryan Stork is about what you'd hope for at the end of 4 or 5.  He's started a ridiculous amount of games at Florida State (40, 6 of which were at swing guard). He's fairly athletic, and he's strong.  But he's not thick in the lower end, so he's not as good at drive blocking, so he relies on his technique and quickness.  Guys like that are valuable, they're just not blue chip.  Stork seems like that type guy - more Hangartner than Kalil, and you need both.

*USC OT Kevin Graf is an intriguing RT prospect with 38 games started, who has a great first step and solid athleticism.  He showed a lot of skill on tape, he plays with urgency and attitude.  He plays well on the second level and plays the angles of the running game well.  He doesn't play exceptionally well on an island and against speed rushers, but that's where I think Carolina can help.  Since the 2013 tackles spent a lot of time playing a drop technique that has them retreating instead of fanning a defender, Graf's abilities could be serviceable as a backup.  You attack the defender a few yards back instead of forcing him a few yards out.  I don't know if Graf can play G at 6'6, and I don't know if he has the stout haunches you might like in a RG, but he's an intriguing prospect.

*G Kadeem Edwards of Tennessee State could be the next small-school guard Carolina throws out there - having drafted one in the top four rounds of the last two drafts.  Edwards might be a 4th-5th type player, but he has ideal size, strength, and above average arms. He has to improve his consistency and technique, but (having never met or even watched him much) I'm reading he's motivated and coachable.

*Belhaven OT Matt Hall is intriguing.  He was a high recruit who's struggled in circumstance (some of his own doing - he got a DUI), and spent time at Arkansas and Ole Miss.  6'8, 320, he's strong (225x32 in bench).  He's another player you'd have to project into being a good techician, right now he struggles to stay low.


So there's a quartet of later linemen.  Carolina should make at least one of these type picks in every draft, if for no other reason to get that occasional gem.
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