All Panther fans can agree on one of our biggest team needs is offensive tackle. Whether it will be a rookie to play the left side, or a rookie on the right and a vet on the left, let's look at the draft and see who we can get to help the tackle position. At pick 25, Carolina picks slightly lower than last season. Perhaps this small improvement ins't too far out to still grab a great tackle prospect, it is a very deep class.
First note, Ronnie Stanley will be going back to school. Cedric Ogbuehi tore his ACL, and Brandon Scherff, Le’al Collins and Andrus Peat will all be gone by 25. That being said, I still feel that leaves four guys that could come in and improve our line on either side they play their rookie year.
Cameron Erving (FSU)- Height 6’-5” Weight 308 lbs
This big man started college on the defensive side of the ball. It was quickly realized he was a better run/pass blocker than run or pass rusher. He started all of 2012 on the left side. and remaining there till Florida State had problems with the center position. They moved this big man over not for lack of skill at the left side, but more for the fact that this was the most veteran and trusted guy they had. This move really helped him learn how to grab and block with little space and play against bigger guys. Playing 36 games on the left side for arguably the best college football team in his tenure, he has played against all types of pass rush! He does need to improve his footwork while becoming more confident in his legs as he tends to rely more on his upper body. Both issues can be fixed, and I feel he would be a nice addition to our line.
T.J. Clemmings (PIT)- Height 6’5” Weight 305 lbs:
Playing just one year on the right side in college, Clemmings makes his way onto this list for his length and athleticism. The measurables scream LT, but the learning curve may be too much for him to make an impact on the left side. He would be my last pick to grab here and even this pick would depend on what corners and or receivers are around. I like his upside very much.
Ty Sambrailo (CSU)- Height 6’5” Weight 315 lbs:
A big man who plays with aggression and has a lot of room to grow, in what is already huge and athletic frame, has the tools to be a solid NFL player. Many scouts agree he needs some time in an NFL training program, but everything else about him is strong, from his footwork, to his aggression, his hand placement, and strength of his hands. Now to clarify he can get by with his already very large size, and he is very strong and well proportioned all around, but it can’t hurt to get bigger and stronger. The real reason he has a chance at dropping is the fact that playing in the Mountain West Conference he did not face much NFL ready or quality pass rushers. Everything about him says LT.
Ereck Flowers (MIA)- Height 6’6” Weight 325 lbs:
He is a big athletic man who will be a great LT in the NFL. He has vines for arms and bear traps for hands. These are some of the reasons why he would be my first pick of any tackle at any pick. The reason I think he falls is that he is't the best run blocking OT, but he remains a very good pass blocker. Many NFL teams are looking for the combo style tackle. This guy does not fall into that category. He sometimes drops his head in run blocking and he has a tendency to play over aggressively and not jump off his first guy to get to the next level of defense. He can’t move to other positions along the offensive front compared to the other tackles in this draft, but we are looking for tackles right now, so he fits Carolina’s need perfectly.
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