Written by Courtney Wills

1. D’Brickashaw Ferguson

D’Brickashaw Ferguson, an explosive offensive tackle from the University of Virginia, is entering this year’s 2006 NFL Draft.  Ferguson is an experienced four-year starter who knows how to defend the pass rush staying low and controlled at all times on the field.  Analysts from Pro Football Weekly say Ferguson uses his hands well, is an effective blocker,
understands angles and positioning and at a moment’s notice can change directions.

Ferguson is a 6-5 foot, 295-pound offensive tackle that has strong upper body strength, which allows him to “pack a powerful punch that jars and reroute defenders,” say scouts. In an interview with Sporting News, Ferguson says that the best way to get in an opponent’s head is “the stare-down. Walking down the field, I try to and walk on their side of the
line of scrimmage and look at them dead in the eyes.  I’m probably one of the most physical, a mile-a-minute guy.”

If Ferguson can develop more a mean streak and strengthen his lower body in order to handle ball rushes more, this will be a tough offensive tackle to overcome in the NFL.  “Just a monster when it comes to talent,” says one AFC scout.  “If he can grow into his frame, there’s no telling what kind of player he could become.”

2. Winston Justice

Winston Justice, an experienced three-year starter at the University of Southern California is awaiting his destiny in this year’s NFL Draft.  Justice is a strong offensive tackle that knows how to use his hands and legs well when trying to control defenders at the point of attack.  Sporting News analysts say Justice has a wingspan that makes defenders take a wide arc.

Justice, a 6-6 foot, 300-pound offensive tackle has defended both his two Heisman trophy winners while at Southern California.  He knows how to show solid blitz awareness and stays under control maintaining balance.  Compared to Ferguson, Justice has been able to develop a mean streak on the field allowing him to “strike with a pop which creates movement” says Pro Football Weekly.

Scouts say that Justice needs to overwhelm his defenders and become quicker in trying to stop some of the most elite speed rushers in the game.  Even though some scouts say that Justice still needs more time to develop, he still will be an effective offensive tackle one who can defend a top NFL quarterback.