NFC South: Branden Albert

Now that Carolina’s trade of Jeff Otah to the New York Jets has been voided because he couldn’t pass a physical, it might be a good time to revisit the 2008 draft as it pertains to offensive tackles and NFC South teams.

There’s an old school of thought that you’re not getting any sure things with an offensive tackle unless you take one in the top half of the first round. That, very much, holds true when you look back at what happened in 2008 and how the careers of the tackles have played out.

The No. 1 overall pick in that draft was Jake Long by Miami. He was viewed as a sure thing then and that’s turned out to be true. Long has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. Denver selected Ryan Clady at No. 11 overall and he’s been to two Pro Bowls.

After those two is when you start to see a drop off. Kansas City selected Branden Albert at No. 15. He’s started 60 games, but hasn’t been to any Pro Bowls. It’s a similar story for Gosder Cherilus, who went to Detroit at No. 17. He’s started a lot of games, but doesn’t have any real accolades on his résumé.

Now, we’re getting toward the back half of the first round where there’s an even bigger drop off and, sadly, that’s where the NFC South comes into the equation.

The Panthers already had drafted running back Jonathan Stewart, but they felt they really needed a tackle and they saw the good ones were coming off the board in rapid order. They made a trade to get Otah at No. 19. Otah was pretty good his first two seasons, but he was playing right tackle. You don’t need to reach for a right tackle (the Panthers had and still have Jordan Gross on the left side), and I think time has shown the Panthers reached on this one. Otah started having knee problems and played in only four games the past two years. At least for the moment, the Panthers hold his rights. But they’re ready to go with Byron Bell at right tackle and they have some depth behind him. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Panthers work out an injury settlement and release Otah. I would be surprised if he ever plays for Carolina again.

Carolina general manager Marty Hurney has made a lot of good draft picks through the years. But the final verdict is in on Otah and he clearly was not a good draft pick.

The final verdict isn’t in on Sam Baker just yet. The Falcons still hope Baker can overcome injury problems and be their starting left tackle this season. If Baker doesn’t have a good season, then you can label him as a bad draft pick. At the time, a lot of people said the Falcons were reaching when they traded to get Baker at No. 21. That may turn out to be true in the final analysis.

But the Falcons wanted a left tackle to protect the blind side of quarterback Matt Ryan, who they selected third overall in that draft. They didn’t have the currency to move up any higher and there weren’t many other options. The only other tackle taken in the first round was Duane Brown by Houston at No. 26. He’s been a solid starter for the Texans, but the Falcons must have had Baker rated higher.

After Brown, no tackle was taken until the third round. John Greco went to St. Louis with the No. 65 overall pick. Chad Rinehart (Redskins) and Oniel Cousins (Ravens) were selected late in the third round. Greco has made four career starts. Rinehart spent two seasons in Washington before moving onto Buffalo, where he became a starter at guard last season. Cousins has made only five career starts.

The lesson here is pretty obvious. If you want an elite tackle, chances are good you’re not going to get one unless you’ve got a pick in the first half of the first round.

Morris addresses QB trade talk

August, 26, 2009
Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- There could be even another element to the quarterback situation for the Buccaneers.

The team could be looking to trade one of its quarterbacks for a draft pick. Coach Raheem Morris wouldn't confirm an report that the Bucs are shopping three of their quarterbacks for a trade, but he didn't deny it either.

"Oh, man, they're Nostradamus," Morris said when asked about the report. "Everybody in this league, all 32 teams around this time start calling front offices. I can't control who calls us. Everybody's interested in everybody's roster and everybody's looking to nit-pick off everybody's roster. Everybody has talent and you're trying to accumulate the best talent on your football team. That's just all that talk is what that is."

But it makes total sense for the Bucs to at least try to find out what the market value might be for Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown or Josh Johnson. They're not about to let go of rookie Josh Freeman, who they call their franchise quarterback.

But that's likely in the future. For now, it appears the Bucs will open the season with either Leftwich or McCown as their starter. They're about even at this point and a potential trade could play into Morris' decision, although the Bucs likely would be able to get only a late-round pick (at best) for any of their quarterbacks.

Leftwich, a former starter in Jacksonville, probably has more trade value because of his experience. McCown has only seven starts. Johnson, a second-year pro, has yet to play in an NFL game and probably wouldn't bring much in a trade.

Tim Shaw, Oakland Raiders, Derek Anderson, Antonio Gates, Tom Coughlin, Dick LeBeau, Derrick Mason, Pat Bowlen, Michael Johnson, Al Davis, Three and Out, Stephen Nicholas, Jacksonville Jaguars, Matt Cassel, Denver Broncos, Robert Ferguson, Mike Smith, Kansas City Chiefs, Josh Johnson, Mike Tomlin, New York Giants, Jay Cutler, Michael Vick, Tyler Thigpen, Scott Pioli, Luke McCown, Brandon Marshall, Carson Palmer, ESPNEWS, Joe Flacco, Brady Quinn, Philadelphia Eagles, Rich Gannon, James Harrison, St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, JaMarcus Russell, Matt Schaub, Michael Turner, Jerious Norwood, Byron Leftwich, AFC North, Justin Tuck, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Eric Mangini, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jack Del Rio, Matt Ryan, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Kyle Orton, Josh Freeman, Tony Gonzalez, Double Coverage, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Gary Kubiak, Chad Ochocinco, QB battles 09, Josh McDaniels, Aaron Smith, Aaron Webster, Adam Schefter, AFC West chat, Ahmard Hall, Andre Smith, Anthony Collins, Arrelious Benn, Austin Alburtis, Bennie Blades, Bill Martin, Bill Self, Branden Albert, Brandon Chillar, Brandon Graham, Brandon Minor, Brian Brohm, Brian Iwuh, Brian Kelly, Brian Waters, Brodie Croyle, BT best worst 09, Casey Hampton, Cedric Benson, Chris Henry, Chris L. Rucker, Chris SimmsChris Simms, Clint Ingram, Clinton Portis, Cody Green, Cody Hawkins, Dan Hoch, Danny Baker, Danny Fortener, Darren McFadden, Daryl SMith, Dave Casper, Denard Robinson, Desmond Bishop, Donovan Warren, Earl Thomas, Ed Reed, Emerging stars, Emerging stars 09, Evander Hood, George Walker, Gerald McRath, Golden Tate, Harlon Barnett, James Butler, James Davis, James Farrior, Jarred Salubi, Jason Murphy, Jay Finley, Jeremy Ware, Jerrod Johnson, Jerry Reese, Jimmy Clausen, Juice Williams, Junior Hemingway, Justin Durant, Justin Fargas, Keith Butler, Keith Nichol, Kelvin Grady, Kendell Davis-Clark, Kenny Phillips, Kirk Cousins, LaMarr Woodley, Laron Landry, Larry Birdine, LaTravis Washington, Lawrence Timmons, Lucas Patterson, Marcus Hyde, Mardy Gilyard, Marion Barber, Matt Flynn, Matt Gutierrez, Matthew Mulligan, Michael Bush, Michael Floyd, Mickey Okafor, Mike Gundy, Mike Sherman, Mike Zimmer, Nick Barnett, Obi Ezeh, preseason, Raymond Chester, Rich Rodriguez, Rocky Boiman, Rodger Saffold, Ross Weaver, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Sam Swank, Shane Lechler, Shawn Watson, Shayne GrahamShayne Graham, Tate Forcier, Terrance Ganaway, Terrelle Pryor, Thomas William, Tim Hiller, Todd Christensen, Tom Brandstater, Tom Cable, Tony Pike, Trenton Robinson, Troy Polamalu, Will Muschamp, Zac Lee, Zach Miller, Zoltan Mesko