Saturday, April 28, 2012
Wait, the Cardinals needed a tackle?
By Mike Sando
OK, Arizona Cardinals fans, time to back off a little.
Your team finally selected an offensive tackle in the 2012 NFL draft. Bobby Massie from Mississippi was projected as a second-round choice by some draft analysts; the Cardinals did not have a choice in that round, but they did have a need for a tackle (the headline was intended in good fun).
Massie stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 316 pounds. He projects as a potential starter for the Cardinals, presumably at right tackle, with Levi Brown the leading candidate on the left side.
Scouts Inc. gave Massie above-average marks in most categories.
The Cardinals need to improve their pass protection for quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. They haven't used early choices for their line since 2007. Massie was a fourth-round pick, chosen 112th overall, two spots before Seattle selected Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard.
"Above-average upside in this area," Scouts Inc. wrote of Massie's pass protection. "Sets too high and gets knocked off balance by power rush, but ability to recover from initial power surge and reset is excellent. Protects the edge well even though initial quickness is just average."
There was also this from Nolan Nawrocki, draft analyst for Pro Football Weekly: "A big, surprisingly athletic right tackle who appears to be more naturally suited for the left side. Flew under the radar in the fall, but has shown well against better competition."
That included what Nawrocki described as a pancake block against LSU's Michael Brockers, the St. Louis Rams' first-round choice.