Senior Bowl: Top 5 Tackles

The Ravens are scouting the nation’s best seniors this week, with tackles on the mind.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

With the Senior Bowl kicking off this week in Mobile, Ala., the Ravens have a few key positions to scout among the nation’s best prospects.

Offensive tackle is certainly one of them.

The Ravens posted a 12-4 record in 2010 despite playing out of position on their offensive line.  Tackle Jared Gaither’s back injury threw things out of whack, and Michael Oher’s up-and-down performance has the Ravens potentially willing to move him back to the right side.

Luckily, several tackles who will go high in the draft are participating in the Senior Bowl festivities.

Here is a look at the top tackle talents showing their wares at the All-Star event:

Nate Solder (6-foot-8, 315 pounds), Colorado: Solder is a converted tight end who added nearly 90 pounds to his frame during his time in Boulder.  The tall blocker is known for his work ethic and intelligence, in addition to a high level of athleticism.  Solder finished his senior campaign as a finalist for the Outland Trophy – given to the nation’s best lineman – and was named the Big Twelve Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Gabe Carimi (6-foot-7, 327 pounds), Wisconsin: Carimi replaced Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas for the Badgers and they didn’t miss a beat.  Carimi started 47 games in his career and the Outland Trophy recipient paved the way for the nation’s 12th 12th-rated rushing attack.  Carimi gets high marks for his toughness and desire to finish his blocks 10 yards downfield.

Anthony Castonzo (6-foot-7, 305 pounds), Boston College: Another former tight end, Castonzo started in 2007 at right tackle to protect current Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan at 260 pounds.  Costanzo started all 53 games for the Golden Eagles, so durability is not an issue at all, and the biochemistry major has the brains to excel at the next level.  At his height, Costanzo would do well to add more weight to his lanky frame, though.

Derrick Sherrod (6-foot-5, 305 pounds), Mississippi State: Sherrod was named to several All-America teams and also was a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete last season. Playing in 49 of the Bulldogs’ 50 games in his career, Sherrod emerged as a nimble athlete despite his size.  Some draft analysts have expressed their desire to see more nastiness out of Sherrod, but his production cannot be denied. Sherrod helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to lead the SEC and finish ninth nationally in rushing with 227.6 yards per game.

Jason Pinkston (6-foot-4, 308 pounds), Pittsburgh: Making 40 consecutive starts for the Panthers, Pinkston was a cornerstone of the Pittsburgh line.   As a senior, he earned his second consecutive All-Big East award with a stellar performance, helping clear the way for running back Dion Lewis to lead the conference in rushing.  Pitt’s offensive line only allowed 15 sacks, as well.  At Pinkston’s size and strength level, he may project to right tackle, or guard, in the NFL.

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