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Left tackle is the premier offensive line position. David Diehl has done a decent job protecting Eli Manning's blind side the past few seasons, but we know he is not a natural left tackle, nor an elite one.
There are several first-round caliber left tackles in this year's NFL Draft class. It will be interesting to see in what order they come off the board, and also whether our New York Giants are one of the teams that grabs one of these elite prospects.
We know all about the defensive needs, but drafting a potential stud at left tackle is an intriguing option. With that in mind, let's look at one of those prospects in our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile. Today's subject will be Bryan Bulaga of Iowa.
Bryan Bulaga Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking the Draft.
Bulaga is as complete of an offensive tackle as there will be available for the 2010 NFL Draft. Clearly advanced for his age, Bulaga shows impressive body control and the nastiness to finish off blocks. His footwork is NFL-ready and he shows technical correctness in his hand use.
From Walter Football.
Summary: Bulaga has very good intangibles and I don't see much bust in him though the Robert Gallery comparisons are inevitable. There is a lot to like about Bulaga, but he doesn't have the amazing size of a Jake Long or elite athletic ability of a D'Brickashaw Ferugson to go in the top four picks. Bulaga will play very early on in his career and I expect him to come off the board between Picks 5 and 14. If Bulaga doesn't pan out at left tackle, he will be an All-Pro right tackle.
Player Comparison: Jake Long. Bulaga doesn't have Long's arm length or height, but they are comparable athletically and play with great technique. I love the physicality they bring to the table.
From NFL Draft Site.
Good pass protector. Athletic and physical. Very good footwork, technique, agility and quickness. Dictates the action with an opponent. Plays with a mean streak. Solid run blocker but inconsistent at times. Might have a thyroid condition that needs to be further examined. Ran a 5.26 at the combine with 26 reps on the bench (225 lbs).
From the National Football Post.
A technically sound offensive lineman who has the footwork, athleticism and body control to win in the run and pass game at the next level. Looks like a guy who can walk in and start from day one at the left tackle spot.
Why Baluga fits with the Giants
Because if the reports are correct he would provide an immediate upgrade to the Giants offensive line. No matter which side he and Will Beatty ended up on, the Giants would likely have bookend offensive tackles to anchor their offensive line for several years to come. The only problem is Bulaga seems likely to be gone before the Giants choose at No. 15.
Why the Giants should pass
Should they? With tackles Russell Okung, Anthony Davis, Trent Williams, Bruce Campbell and Charles Brown also likely to be first-round picks who knows how the Giants -- or anyone else -- will have them ranked. Okung is tops, after that it is anybody's guess. Aside from Okung, Bulaga might be the safest selection of the top-tier tackle prospects.