Russell has good size and very good feet to become an excellent pass blocking LT for the team that drafts him. He takes great pride being responsible for the blind side of his QB. He shows good athleticism when blocking for the run game and is very smart when being used to combo block opponents. He has the athleticism to break out and block for screen passes and understands the stunts that are run at him and blocks them very well. Russell makes the players around him better and shows leadership skills through his play on the field and his mental toughness. He is a franchise LT and the type of player who will make an average QB much better in the passing game.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Russell needs to get stronger in his upper body but that is the norm for most offensive lineman coming out of college. He plays high at times and will get bull rushed at first but he will overcome this also. He will also struggle at first with the speed and will have to learn to move his hands quicker but believe me I'm nit picking. His run blocking is very underrated.
Russell reminds me a lot of Chris Samuels LT for the Washington Redskins. His style of play is very similar but Russell might be a better pass blocker and Chris might be a bit stronger and quicker when run blocking. What I like about Russell is his style of blocking in all phases of his game. He stays on his feet and finishes his blocks and never seems to be fooled. He does at times loose technique but at the college level has the athleticism to recover and is very hard to beat. By the time we get to the draft I suspect that Russell will be noted as the "safe" pick to make in the top ten of this draft. Personally I consider Russell a smart draft pick because I consider the LT position to be a skilled position and one a team must address to have a good QB. When you draft a franchise LT you are improving two positions... the LT position and the QB position. Since drafting Russell will improve two positions and we are talking about top ten money that my friends is bang for your buck. I call him Russell (Dancing Bear) Okung because when he mirrors an opponent when pass blocking he picks his feet up high like a dancing bear.
Drew Boylhart 11/09