Friday, January 11, 2008

'08 NFL Draft Profile...Jake Long

by Jason Jones

Jake Long – OT – University of Michigan – 6’7, 315 lbs

Jake Long is clearly the best OT in this year’s draft. Jake Long would’ve been in the top 5 last year as well. He has the perfect build. He is tall enough and long enough to handle big edge rushers. He is heavy enough to not get pushed around by bull rushers. And the most important measurable in this era of football is his agility and speed for his size. Most big, tall and slower OT’s have difficulty measuring up against the elite pass rushers. They have a tendency to over pursue and not have the physical ability to make up lost ground. There is a new breed of OT, and Jake Long possesses all of the attributes to succeed as one of them. Take last years first OT taken, Joe Thomas. They are very similar in almost every way, except one. Thomas is extremely skilled and yet very reserve and even. He’s the guy that goes to a bar and gets hit with a bottle and says, “C’mon man, we’re trying to have a good time”. Jake Long in the same situation is more likely to beat the guy within an inch of his life, breaking him in half and throwing the pieces through a window from a seated position. If Thomas is even and balanced, Long is even with the potential to get excessively physical. Just ask Bobby Carpenter. Carpenter beat him twice in the last regular season game. On the 3rd attempt, Jake Long broke his leg. He doesn’t take to losing well, which can be good if controlled. The other nice factor that Long has, that most do not, is the ability to get up field. If he only blocking one man or two lesser players, he will get up field and block like a receiver on a running play. It is not outside the realm of possibility to see Jake Long 10-20 yards down field continuing to block. Not all OT’s have that ability. Sometimes it is the difference between a top 10 pick and a second or third round OT. If you played Frankenstein, Jake Long is the monster you would create. Regardless of who selects Jake Long, he could be compared to Jonathan Ogden if he had “Roid-Rage”

2008 NFL DRAFT PROJECTION: First Round – Top 5 Pick

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