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A "Blind Tasting" of two tackles

Pretend your favorite team needs to draft a left tackle and that they will probably use a first round draft pick to do so (How hard is that!) Consider the following two players: Player 1: Combine results show 6'5", 300 lbs, 5.05 40 yd. Played at a Mountain West Conference School, has great tape and dominated elite competition at the Senior Bowl, very mature, extremely hard worker, very smart with high football IQ, considered a locker room leader. Player 2: Combine results show 6'4 1/2", 302 lbs, 4.95 40 yd. Played at a Western Athletic Conference School, has great tape and dominated elite competition at the Senior Bowl, very mature, extremely hard worker, very smart with high football IQ, considered a locker room leader. Would you pick either one in the first round? If so, which one--the measurables show a very similar player. If you chose the lighter, slower Player 1, congratulations! You are the Carolina Panthers and you just selected Jordan Gross with the #8 selection in the 2003 NFL Draft! If you were to choose the heavier, faster Player 2, then you will select Joel Bitonio with the 28th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft! Joel Bitonio may not have the same type of career, but Gross showed that a lighter, more athletic tackle can dominate in the NFL, and that he does not need to be moved to guard. A starting left tackle with the 28th pick, compared to the 8th, seems like an outstanding value that the Panthers ought to carefully consider.

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