Drew Boylhart February 2008
Branden Albert   OG   Virginia
 
STRENGTHS 
Branden is a massive, athletically talented offensive lineman.  He is strong and powerful; his quickness for a person his size is remarkable.  Branden shows good quickness out of his stance as well as a competitive streak when he is challenged.  Branden has the ability to be an excellent left guard at the next level.  He is quick and strong enough to handle a bull rush and also does a solid job in pass protection. 
 
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
As with all offensive linemen in a draft, Branden will have to learn to be more consistent in using his techniques.  Because he is so tall, he can get a little lazy off the snap, play high and lose leverage.  At the college level this is not a problem, but he will learn that at the pro level, this will not do.  Branden also does not seem to have the lateral agility to play tackle, but it is possible that he could play RT at the next level in a pinch.  The truth is that left guard will be his impact position and RT might be a back up alternative, but will not be his strength.   
 
TALENT BOARD ROUND 1 
Branden might not be picked in the first round, but he should be.  I guess as he works out, teams will start to notice how big and athletic this kid is.  It was smart of him to come out early because the challenges were not at the college level for this kid and he would have gotten into some bad habits because he is a lot better than most of the opposing players.  In the NFL, the challenge will be there for him to get better and he will.  He looks like a good smart kid, but does have a tendency to play down to the level of his opponent.  The truth is, in this draft, I believe that Branden might be the third best offensive lineman.  Because he is a guard and not a tackle, he might drop a round, but in my opinion, that would be a big mistake.  To me, the left guard position is almost as important in pass blocking as the left tackle position.  Look at the Seattle Seahawks -- when they let their LG Steve Hutchinson go in free agency, they still kept the other linemen.  However, after Steve was let go, they had no one to replace him and the Seahawks have struggled in the passing game ever since.  Branden is under the radar, but I bet after the combine, he will jump up most teamís charts because, as I said, a good Left guard is as hard to find as a good left tackle and this kid blocks as well in the passing game as he blocks for the running game.  Believe me, you jump on a kid like this as soon as you can in a draft.  Donít be surprised if he is drafted in the first round.  In fact, be very happy your team was smart enough to do it.