Friday, June 09, 2006

What makes a good OT

The first of a new series of posts will focus on what makes a good football player for that position. First off is Offensive Tackle. What makes a good OT?:

First, this site does a decent job of describing what OT's are and what they must be able to do:

"On the outside of the guards are the two tackles, again called the left and right tackles. These guys have a very hard job to do. The tackles will often be the biggest guys on the football team - 6'6" or even more, 330 to 350 pounds. The defense is sometimes going to line up 320 pounds guys to try to bowl over the tackles. Other times they will line up a 250 pound speed rusher who will try to push off and run past the tackle. Other times they will line up a 180 pounds safety or cornerback who has near Olympic sprinting speed, and he will try to run around the tackle before he can move. The tackle gets no sympathy, it's his job to keep anyone from getting around the end of the line and to the quarterback, no matter how big and strong or small and fast.

Tackles are chosen to have very long strong arms so that they can reach out and stop guys. They must have very fast feet so that they can quickly slide left, right, or backwards as necessary to protect their quarterback."

However, I'm more interested in hard stats that can be used to gauge/measure potential OT recruits. Even more specifically, what can be used for layfolks like me to judge potential incoming college freshmen recruits? To that end, I've taken a list of all OT's taken in the 2006 NFL draft and listed their prep recruiting stats/bio taken from (free information). [Note: rivals only has info on recruits from the 2002 season onwards so not all players drafted for that position will be listed, only the ones that had information on] That list, broken out into [Draft position, NFL team, Name, NFL Position, College Team, College Position, Rivals Rank (their rank for that year in that position), Rivals Stars, Height, Weight, 40-time, Bio notes rated 1-5 depending on notes in their bio that talk about their smarts, general awesomeness, and if they were all-state, all-conference, etc.] is here:

1) Speed
The first thing that jumps out from the data above is speed. Only 3 players were above 5.0
in the 40 and they were 5.1. As well, they were near or at the bottom of the list in terms of draft position AND Rob Sims taken at #128 has "good mobility" listed in his bio.

2) Height
Honestly, I would've thought that there wouldn't be any OT's below 6'5" but there are 3 at 6'4". Sure they could've grown a bit between prep and college but that's unlikely. There really doesn't seem to be any super gauge WRT height other than 6'4" and above.

3) Bio notes
All OT's had some kind of positive notes in their 'Bio Notes' section on rivals. This ranged from the OMG super wingspan note for D'Brickashaw Ferguson to 'Dominant' for Eric Winston, and other notes of effort/speed/god-like abilities. Well DBF had notes about agility, quickness, AND

Even taking a look at future OMG awesome tackles such as Joe Thomas you see speed stand out more than anything. Mobility on a good frame seems to be the biggest factor, from this standpoint, for successful OT's.

Next: OG/C


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