Commentary

Deep tackle class leads linemen

Offensive tackle group lacks elite player but has plenty of talent to offer

Updated: February 24, 2011, 11:01 AM ET
By Steve Muench | ESPN.com

There is a chance no offensive tackle will be taken in the top 10 for the first time since the 2005 draft, but USC's Tyron Smith is a physical specimen who is expected to shine this week, and he could move into the top-10 discussion if he lives up to expectations. Smith is raw, though, and that could keep him out of the top 10.

However, this year's class reminds us a bit of 2008, when Jake Long went No. 1 overall and 21 other offensive tackles were drafted. The 2011 class is just as deep, with 23 players currently carrying draftable grades.

Here's how the offensive linemen shape up heading into combine week.

Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.