When you talk about projecting offensive linemen into the NFL, or drafting them, everybody seems to focus on left tackle. Not everybody can play left tackle, though. Plus, you do need guys at the four other positions.
That is where the subject of today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile comes in. Miami's Orlando Franklin is a 6-foot-7, 315-pound bull of a blocker who is projected as either a guard or right tackle at the NFL level. Of late, I have seen some of the multi-round mock drafts projecting Franklin to the Giants, maybe as a long-term eventual replacement for Kareen McKenzie on the right side.
Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot-7, 315 pounds
Projection: Second Round
From CBS Sports:
Pass blocking: Flashes the initial quickness and depth in his kick-slide to consider remaining outside at tackle if he plays on the right side in the NFL. ... Possesses the physical traits to develop into a top pass blocker.
Run blocking: Only marginal initial quickness off the snap, but comes off surprisingly low and hard. Can knock defenders off the ball.
Initial Quickness: Too often is a beat slow off the snap. Has the bulk and power to maintain his position squarely in front of the defender while protected inside at guard, but doesn't consistently show the initial quickness to handle blocking on the outside against NFL athletes.
Overall: Miami's history of churning out quality offensive linemen doesn't get the attention it deserves. From former first-round picks Bryant McKinnie (2002) and Vernon Carey (2004) to quality lower-rated prospects like Eric Winston (2006) and Jason Fox (2010), the 'Canes have been a consistent producer of NFL-caliber blockers. In Orlando Franklin, the Hurricanes boast another talented big man capable of warranting a high NFL draft selection.
From National Football Post:
Impression: Strikes me more as a right tackle prospect only in the NFL who could end up maturing into a potential starting caliber guy with some time, but I would bet he's more of a versatile reserve guy only. Isn't the type of big-time prospect he's being made out to be.
Franklin's a great combination of size and speed. Knee bend, hip sink, hand play and feet are sounds in pass protection. Fires off the ball low in the running game. Wins interior battles with a strong initial blow and constant leg drive. Shows good football IQ in pass protection. Plays with a mean streak.
Can struggle with quicker defensive lineman who make him move laterally. Not as comfortable moving and sliding as he is locking onto a defender in pass protection. Can be tested by the bull rush on occasion. Production level dipped a bit during senior season.
Franklin's got a chance to emerge as a starting right tackle but could also settle in as a guard. Has very impressive measureables. Outstanding run blocker who gets off the ball quickly and is capable of holding up at the point or pulling and getting to the second level. Does a great job locating blitzers, staying home against stunts or helping out when not covered up. Can be tested when asked to mirror quicker pass rushers. Relentless player who wants to finish every block like its his last. Franklin has the physical gifts and on-field smarts to be selected early in the draft.