2011 Senior Bowl: Offensive Tackles On Display

One of the great things about this week's Senior Bowl from a New York Giants perspective is that most of the top offensive tackles in the country are on display there this week.

Here is NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan with his thoughts on three of those players after Day 2 of practice for Saturday's game:

The first thing to jump out at me after watching the North squad practice twice was the quality of the offensive tackles. Three North tackles came into the week with a first-round grade and so far, and they are passing the eye-ball test. The Bengals' coaches are moving them around from the right side to the left side and even giving them a little work at guard.

Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi is close to 6-foot-7 and will play in the 325-pound range in the NFL, and the first trait that surfaced was his competitive attitude. He served notice in the first practice that he will play to the whistle on every play and you are in for a rough day if you line up opposite him. He is very capable of establishing the point of attack in a power running game and could be more of a right tackle than a left tackle. He has the technique to play the left side, but after two practices I like the mauler part of his game the most. During the Tuesday practice he also showed the feet to pull and fold block.

Boston College's Anthony Castonzo impressed me with his feet and pass protection skills. He has patient hands and a timely punch. He was beat in a one-on-one session by California's Cameron Jordan, but quickly recovered and dominated the next opportunity. Castonzo has natural knee and ankle bend, and looks better suited for the left side. He will have to do a good job against the bull rush the rest of the week to erase some doubts about his lower body strength. He demonstrated enough bend, however, to win with leverage. He also flashed the athletic ability to handle athletic rushers like Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan. I also really liked how he sustained his run blocks. He's not a power type, but has the feet to lock on and stay on the defender. He is quick out of his stance and gains leverage and position on the defender. He made the defensive tackle look slow out of his stance with his initial quickness a few times during Tuesday's team drills. The former tight end has above average athletic ability for his position.

Colorado's Nate Solder is a massive man close to 6-9 and more than 300 pounds, but he could stand to add some bulk as he matures. On Monday, he struggled a little with rushers getting to his chest and knocking his hands down, but he quickly recovered and finished a few blocks it appeared he might lose. That is what NFL line play is all about. The ability to recover is a necessary trait for pro offensive linemen. Solder impresses me with his mobility and athleticism for a big man. Often guys this tall struggle with their ankle and knee bend, but he has it. He is advertised as an NFL left tackle, but after two practices I'm not so sure that's his best position. I will report back on him later in the week. He had a few waist-bend situations when the defender used a spin move or converted speed to power. I would like to see some more explosive pop from him, especially when they ask him to pull and trap.

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