04/30/2012 - The Ravens' haul of eight draft picks included four players apiece on offense and defense. The Ravens needed to identify potential replacements at guard with Pro Bowl offensive guard Ben Grubbs signing a $36 million contract with the New Orleans Saints; at strong-side linebacker after Jarret Johnson signed a $19 million contract with the San Diego Chargers and at running back after Ricky Williams abruptly retired after the season. "You always try to draft the best player out there and try to make your team as strong as you can," Harbaugh said. "There's also the element of need. All three of these guys (Upshaw, Osemele and Pierce) are probably at positions where they can help us right away. We have some opportunity in there for these guys to play." - The Sports Xchange
That's pronounced kah-LETCH-ee oh-sem-AH-lee, and pro scouts know it well. Osemele may be stronger than he is big, which is saying something. While some players use a strong base and others rely on a powerful upper body, Osemele has both.
He has incredible reach (35 1/4-inch arms and an 85 1/2-inch wingspan) and massive hands (10 3/8-inches) that make him hard to escape. He seems to enjoy using that strength most on run blocking, where he overwhelms most defenders. He is a bit more tentative as a pass blocker and must work on recognizing what is happening there.
A hard working student on and off the field, Osemele made the academic Honor Role three times and was selected All-Big 12 Conference first team in 2011. He played in 49 games and started 43 in a row despite missing most of one game last year with a severely sprained ankle.
Pass Blocking: Keeps shoulders square to the defender and puts himself in very good position to be effective. Does a nice job bending his knees, sinking his hips and anchoring at the point of attack with a naturally wide and strong base. He has ideal length (84-inch wingspan) and extends his arms to keep rushers at bay, but needs to refine his hand use and develop a more aggressive punch. Heavy footed, but has enough lateral quickness to mirror in tight areas - limited range and looks best inside. Uses his eyes well and has really improved staying patient in his stance and not allowing himself to become overextended. Has a bad habit of stopping his feet at contact, allowing savvy defenders to burst pass him. Tends to give up on plays once rusher gains a step - poor recovery quickness.
Run Blocking: Thickly built with plus upper-body strength to control rushers and take them where he wants - shows the powerful hands to redirect rushers. Strong at the point of attack and flashes good power in the run game - has mauling ability to create run lanes. Has an inconsistent motor and doesn't show much passion or finishing ability in his blocking. Needs to improve his hand positioning in order to control rushers.
Pulling/trapping: Wasn't asked to do much pulling at the college level. Struggles to be consistent blocking in motion and doesn't have the natural foot quickness to cover a lot of ground. Understands angles and stays balanced with coordinated body control.
Initial Quickness: Quick setting up after the snap and slides well to the outside, staying patient and balanced off the snap. Has quick reaction skills to mirror in tight areas. Can be inconsistent in this area at times because of his lackadaisical playing style and needs to keep his weight under control. Has had more than a few false start penalties over his career.
Downfield: A short-area blocker with limited range and doesn't consistently get to the second level. Will play undisciplined at times, especially in space. Lacks a finishing attitude.
Intangibles: Started 44 consecutive games to end his collegiate career, despite battling an ankle injury most of his senior season. Versatile skill-set with experience at offensive tackle and guard. Work ethic is not a strength for him, with questionable conditioning and passion - his weight needs to be monitored. Natural instincts and football IQ are a large concern. Far from a finished product, but obvious upside is there if his field attitude develops - needs to prove mental midget notion is wrong.
NFL Comparison: Michael Oher, Ravens