Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #17 – Detroit Lions – Gosder Cherilus

NFL Draft 2008 Logo Having traded down once, the Lions didn’t take much time to make their pick: Tackle Gosder Cherilus of Boston College.

Scouts, Inc.: 31st

Strengths: Has a massive frame and good feet for his size. His arms (36.2 inches) and hands (11.6 inches) are enormous. Plays with a mean streak. Is big enough to engulf defenders if he’s in position, can wear them down over the course of a game and has the frame to add even more weight. Won’t take many false steps, is efficient and generally gets into sound position. Drives legs once in position, shows above-average lower body strength and is a powerful run blocker that can get movement in short-yardage situations. Plays with good motor, stays under control when gets into space and is an effective downfield blocker. Efficiently gets into pass set and uses long arms to ride pass rushers past the pocket. Moves feet well for size, stays balanced and flashes the ability to counter double moves. Keeps head up, shows good awareness and can pick up the blitz as well as line stunts.

Weaknesses: Plays entirely too high. Has quick feet for his size and good overall strength but both can be compromised by his marginal leverage. Though he gets good hand placement and rarely loses battle once locked on to the defender, he doesn’t deliver a powerful initial punch. While big enough to hold ground most of the time, he bends at the waist rather than the knees and powerful bull rushers should have some success pushing back into the pocket.

Overall: Cherilus redshirted in 2003, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in March 2003, and then went on to start every game in his playing career at Boston College. In his first three seasons (2004-06), he made 37 consecutive starts at right tackle. As a senior, he moved to left tackle and started all 14 games. Gosder needs to work on staying lower to the ground and he appears to be a better fit at right tackle than left tackle. Regardless, Cherilus is a four-year starter who possesses a very good overall talent, including a massive frame, quick feet for his size and a mean streak to finish off blocks. He projects as a late-first or early second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Rick Gosselin: 26th

Mel Kiper: 31st

This certainly looks like a reach but this is a copycat league and there has been an unprecedented run on linemen in this draft.

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