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3 Senior Bowl offensive tackles for Bucs and Jaguars to watch

Jamil King

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re going to invest in a franchise quarterback, then you might as well buy the warranty on that quarterback, too. That is where the offensive ackle comes in, especially the left tackle blocking the blindside And, the Senior Bowl this week has a several of the top-ranked players at the position for the draft this year.

Dalton Risner and Yodny Cajuste were the top two tackles coming in the week in Mobile, AL. With Andre Dillard climbing up boards. If you don’t know those names, here’s a little more.

Risner was terrific in pass protection during his career at Kansas State. In his matchups during practice Tuesday with a top D-lineman in this draft in Montez Sweat of Mississippi State, he was able to hold his own. Thus, showcasing why he is one of the top tackles.

Risner has been one of the top linemen in the college game and should be able to play both tackle spots. He very well could produce at guard, if a team wanted to have him there, as well. Even though the Big XII wasn’t loaded with pass rushers like some other conferences, he still was excellent. The only issues with Risner are he has had shoulder surgery, and he also will be a 24-year-old in his rookie season.

Next, Cajuste has long arms to go with 6’5 height. He is known as a prolific run blocker which might be new to some people, since West Virginia was an aerial juggernaut. Cajuste, though, should be able to be a standout tackle in the NFL.

He spent time blocking for QB Will Grier, and while he may not be making All-Pro as a rookie, Cajuste should wind up being very solid.

Dillard is out of Washington State (shown practicing with Grier above) and is rising up draft boards recently. He measured with 34” arms and has showcased excellent mobility at WAZU with Mike Leach’s offense throwing the ball constantly, and continued to do so in the first day of practice Tuesday in Mobile.

Dillard could play himself into first-round consideration with a great week at the Senior Bowl.

It’s too soon to get a good gauge on what the Bucs (fifth overall) and the Jaguars (seventh) are looking to do early in the draft. However, both need to answer questions at tackle on the line.

Answers that they may find starting this week.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

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