Mike is an extremely athletic and big offensive tackle. He is a very powerful run blocker, has quick feet and moves very smoothly into his man to make his block. Mike is a smart kid and understands how to work with his left Guard in pass blocking and when run blocking. He knows exactly what he is doing at all times on the field. He has the athleticism and foot speed to be used for screen plays and glides to the second level with a sense of urgency I do not see in most left tackles at the college level. He moves effortlessly and really loves to block for the run. His pass blocking is solid and will get better at the NFL level if Mike respects his coaches more than he does right now. Mike has leadership qualities and a nasty streak in him that makes him the type of player you love to have as a teammate, but hate if he is your opponent. The truth is Mike could be considered as the second best left tackle in this draft if problems off the field had not become an issue for him on the field.
Mike needs to work on his pass blocking techniques. He gets beat to the inside, which is surprising because of his size and natural powerful strength . He does a good job off the snap, but struggles with second moves by defenders because he is off balance at times and plays to high. All he has to do is start to concentrate more and listen to his coaches and Mike will become one of the best left tackles in the NFL in all areas. This kid has the talent, intelligence and mental stamina to be one of the best. He is a bit of a trash talker on the field, which may turn some teams off also. Teams are going to have to interview this kid and see if he has matured to the extent they trust him enough to give him big time money! That's the key: trust!
Mike has top ten Left Tackle talent, but because of his off field issues, he has negatively impacted his draft position and status. I can easily see him being drafted in the first round after his workouts, the Senior Bowl and the Combine. I'm not sure that would be a bad thing. The draft is about taking calculated risks. I think with a strong team around Mike and a strong veteran presence in the locker room, Mike could get through the first few years of being handed millions of dollars and still realize that means he now has to work harder to prove he is worthy of the money. I can see playoff teams with offensive lineman needs, like the Packers, Giants and 49er's all looking to upgrade the tackle position and drafting Mike. I know I would look hard at drafting him at that point. You don't get many chances to draft potential Pro Bowl left tackles as a playoff team; therefore, it's hard to pass them up if they are going to fall to you. Mike's off field issues are a concern, but let's face it -- are they any more of a concern than some of the others in this draft? The selling of memorabilia and the tattoo issue? I'll be honest -- this does not really concern me but there are other issues that do. I think Mike is smart enough to know what is expected of him from now on, but it will be all up to him.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan /12