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Sizin' Up Jake Long, Or, A Prospect Profile

Photo credit goes to Yahoo! Images

Jake Long leads off our prospect profiles, with Glenn Dorsey to follow thanks to voting totals. I'll try to go round by round with this, with the caveat that at some point I'm just pulling stuff out of my ass. Then again, you're all probably used to that by now.

What should you know about Jake Long? He's a 6'7", 313 pound golem from the far reaches of Michigan. His arms are made of granite and he eats like defensive linemen like the goddamn Cookie Monster. Jake Long can beatbox like Rahzel without making a sound. When Jake Long blocks, he prevents souls from reaching the afterlife. Calling Jake Long a legend is deeply insulting to him, and he will rend the offender apart limb by limb for it.

Oh, and then there's the football related stuff. As a blocker, Long brings outstanding reach and instinct that is present in an elite class of offensive tackles. He needs work on his pass blocking, though, and he'll certainly get practice in Miami, St. Louis or Atlanta. A large part of that is due to his footwork, which prevents him from leveraging his full strength. Still, he has all the tools necessary to be a great tackle and already is very good at tangling up defensive ends.

His size is already prototype, and he could add another ten pounds in muscle to become a true behemoth. There's no reason Long couldn't play right tackle, as he has in college, but he projects as a game changer at left tackle in the pros. His Wonderlic score (a solid 26) and history in college (no major problems) indicates that he's got the intelligence and character to stay out of trouble. That's very hard to project, of course, but right now there's no signs to the contrary. With character, talent and few weaknesses outside of footwork, Long is a great bet for a Falcon team in desperate need of competent linemen.

What are the chances he'll be there at #3, though?  Not great. I've heard a lot of whispers about interest at the top of the draft, but with the Dolphins and Rams both interested in line help...well, let's just say the LaRon Landry scenario could well be revisited this year. That would be deflating given that Long is my personal target at the top of the draft, but the Falcons do have other reasonable options there. If Long does make it to #3, there's no reasonable scenario short of trading out of the spot that should keep the team from taking Long. He may not be a once in a generation offensive tackle prospect, but he is a once in this draft, and that's damn well good enough for a team that needs the help.