Mike Otto   OT/OG   Purdue

 

STRENGTHS 

Mike can play any position on the offensive line.  He has natural athletic talent and very good technique to go along with leadership qualities and excellent mental toughness.  Mike has quick feet so he can be used in an offensive system that pulls its offensive lineman.  He is a powerful kid and has good lower body strength to go along with his quick feet in order to finish his blocks on running plays.  He shows excellent balance and knee bend to keep himself steady when pass blocking.  Mike is a football player and the teams that pass on him who need a football player (much less a plug in offensive lineman) will be making a big mistake. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

There might be some question about Mikeís lateral agility, but this should not be a reason to hesitate in drafting this kid.  He has Pro Bowl lineman written all over him. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1

Mike might not be a great Left Tackle at the next level, but he is a Left Guard just waiting to happen.  I think he could be a good LT -Ė good enough to start and become a core player.  However, there is no doubt in my mind that this kid would be a Pro Bowl stand out left guard at the next level who could start for you the day after the draft.  Mike was born to play football.  Some kids are like that.  They love everything about the game from the locker room to practice to the game to meeting the fans.  Itís who they are.  Mike is that kind of player.  He never gets down on himself or his teammates.  He will be a draft choice that will make your team and you will never look back.  There are no questions about Mike on the field or off the field.  I see it all in his play on the field and his interaction on the sidelines.  In all of the film that I have seen of this kid, he has never given me one reason to think that he will not be successful at the next level.  I have never seen him play the center position, but I have no doubt that he could handle that position just as well as any other position on the line.  He might be downgraded because he is being evaluated as an LT for the next level and like I said, Iím not sure he has the perfect lateral agility to be a Left Tackle for the next level.  The fact is that, in my book, this doesnít matter.  He is a football player and to downgrade him is just splitting hairs.  The Draft should be used to pick players who you know for a fact are going to be excellent players no matter what position they play in college.  Passing on any player that plays on the offensive line or defensive line that you know is going to be a good player is just foolish.  Thatís why the Giants last year took Kiwanuka in the first round in spite of the fact that they had a good amount of D-linemen already.  If you pass on Mike Otto and you need an offensive lineman, you should have your head examined.  Mike reminds me a lot of Nick Mangold (OC New York Jets -- see archives).  He has the same type of athletic talent, strength, smarts, leadership and mental toughness and, like Nick, you can plug him somewhere into your line right away.  I call him Mike (Ready Whip) Otto because he is ready to whip the guy over him all game long.

Drew Boylhart

January/2007