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Prospect Profiles: T Bryan Bulaga

(See Bottom Of Page for All Previous Prospect Profiles)

Bryan Baluga is a very solid, but perhaps unspectacular Offensive tackle in the 2010 Draft class. Baluaga entered the season as a potential first round pick and played up to par.

He is perhaps the second best OT in the draft (the case for the second best is wide-ranging) as he will compete with Anthony Davis, Trent Williams, and Bruce Campbell for the second best tackle in the draft over the next few months.

Measurables

6’6 312 pounds

Born 3/21/1989

ProDraft Party Video Highlights

Bryan Baluaga

Draft Board Insider

Scouting Report: If I was building an offensive tackle in a lab, he’s look like Bulaga.  He’s tall, but has a low center of gravity, huge wingspan, and is rock solid.  Going into the season, what I wanted to see from Bulaga was his run blocking.  Because his pass protecting is text book.  He’s got nimble feet, moves well laterally, and shows great control over defenders in pass protection.  He uses that reach to re-direct players and dictate the action.  he is strong enough he doesn’t get beat with the bull rush, and is so smart, he does really well in assignments and picking up blitzers.  On to his run blocking.  This season has been a tough read, because of the Thyroid condition that sidelined him for the first few games and has limited him up until just the past 2 or 3 games.  But what I have seen lately is, he’s improved in his run blocking.  He’s going much better in space, getting to the second level and has improved in finishing his blocks in the run game.  His strength has improved a ton, and the run game is where it really shows.  He’s showing a great punch.

Draft Status: Going into the year, I had no doubt Bulaga would have a huge season, declare and battle Russell Okung for that top spot at tackle.  But his Thyroid problem really set him back.  Having said that, he’s rallied in a huge way, and that should motivate him to head to the NFL.  The window of opportunity for these guys is small, and he needs to go now, while he can. Iowa is getting a ton of media attention, and he’s played exceptional the past few weeks.  He’s a lock for a first round pick, and a strong finish and offseason could put him firmly in the no.2 tackle spot, which would mean top 15 pick and top 15 money.

Final Analysis: I love the lunch pail type head knocking offensive linemen.  Bulaga is that guy.  One thing you can never underestimate in an offensive lineman is a nasty streak and a complete disdain for his opponent and Bulaga has that like no other player in this draft.  Seems his Thyroid problem is under control and will not be an issue in the future so we focus on what is good.  He’s an elite LT prospect, great pass protector, and shows a ton of potential as a run blocker.  There really isn’t much else you could ask for, is there?  He’s not the flashy prospect of some tackles the past few seasons, and he isn’t getting the media attention he should, but his game really does speak for itself.

Reminds me of: Michael Oher, OT Baltimore Ravens-Similar builds, both exceptional pass protectors and both improving every week as run blockers.  Very similar in size and style and Baluga looks to have a similar impact on the team that drafts him, that Oher has had for the Ravens.

Red Flags: Medical

Draft Bible.com Scouting Report

Pros: Shows great balance and quick feet in pass protection. He nimbly shifts his weight from one foot to the other, not conceding any lanes to the oncoming pass rusher. The 6’6” junior can spin and stay with athletic pass rushers step-for-step. Throughout the game, he steers his man where he wants and dictates the action. In the running game, Bulaga has the brute strength to move defenders off the ball. At one point, he delivers a bone-rattling punch to his opponent, which (needless to say) slows him down.

Cons: Heading into the season Bulaga appeared well on his way, coming off an outstanding sophomore campaign which he capped off with a dominant performance against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. However, his junior season did not start off the way he expected as he missed significant time early on with an undisclosed illness. Still, no one doubts his first round talent—at 6’ 6” and 315 pounds he has the size, feet and athleticism to man the all-important left tackle position.

Skinny: Bulaga could be next in line of Big Ten top-ten picks at offensive tackle. The conference has produced three in the last three years—Wisconsin’s Joe Thomas (third pick in 2007), Penn State’s Levi Brown (fifth pick in 2007) and Michigan’s Jake Long (first pick in 2008). Iowa is no stranger to the top of the draft—Robert Gallery was the second overall pick in 2004.

NFL Draft Spot

Overview:

Bryan Bulaga entered the season as a very highly touted left tackle prospect.  At the start of the season Bulaga battled a thyroid condition that kept him sidelined him for the first few games of the season, and limited him for a few more games beyond that.  But by seasons end Bulaga appeared to be back to his old form.  Bulaga finished his career at Iowa with a very impressive performance against Georgia Tech in an Iowa win in the Orange Bowl.  Bulaga’s stock is back on the rise, and should be at worst the third tackle taken in the draft.  Bulaga started 28 games in his career at Iowa, 5 of them at guard during his freshmen season.

Strengths:

Bryan Bulaga is a prototypical NFL left tackle.  He has an ideal frame with long arms.  He has terrific feet, and text book technique in pass pro.  He plays with excellent leverage and balance.  He bends well at the knees.  He appears to have adequate strength.  Bulaga does a very good job of redirecting would be pass rushers.  From most accounts Bulaga is very intelligent with a high football I.Q. and has a very good work ethic.

Weakness:

Obviously Bulaga is going to have some medical concerns.  I’m not a doctor, but I do believe the thyroid condition could be an issue again in the future.  In addition he has had some other injuries throughout his career.  Though much improved, his run blocking does need some work, more specifically blocking in space and at the second level.  Bulaga also isn’t as experienced as some of the other tackle prospects in this class.  With only 28 starts in three seasons, 23 of them at left tackle there’s not an abundance of good tape on him.

Analysis:

Bryan Bulaga appears to be a player that can be plugged in at left tackle and start immediately for a team who needs a left tackle.   He will have a bit of a learning curve, but he’s as technically sound in pass pro as any other prospect out there.  His NFL career is going to hinge on his durability.  Right now his stock appears to be on the rise and we could even see Bulaga sneak into the top 10.  Though he may not be drafted quite that high, I do feel he’s at worst a top 20 pick

Big Board Rankings (1/22)

Draft Board Insider 47th

NFL Draft Bible 13

Drafttek.com 20th

Football Fan Spot.com 16th

ESPN’s Scouts Inc 27th

Draft Scout.com 24th

Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

The Offensive Tackle Class for the 2010 N.F.L. draft is a peculiar one. Why? Becuase there is no consensus on who the second best Tackle is in the class.

The best Tackle is Oklahoma State Russel Okung, but after that the waters get muddy.

Maryland Bruce Campbell is expected to have a monster off-season in his workouts, but is somewhat of a raw prospect. Great upside though.

Anthony Davis out of Rugters, is a bruising, pounding, mammoth of a tackle who has questionable pass blocking skills. He pass blocks pretty well, but does he have LT athleticsm and feet in this speed game? that’s the question. Anthony Davis is THE best run blocking tackle in the draft.

Next up Bryan Bulaga who is probably a safer bet than Bruce Campbell or Anthony Davis, but perhaps not with the same upside. He is a very sound, good tackle and athlete.

The other two tackles who could end up being the second tackles drafted are USC Charles Brown, and Oklahoma’s Trent Williams.

I am not opposed to the Giants drafting a Tackle at 15th. My two favortie choices right now are Bulaga and Anthony Davis (as far as tackles go).

I don’t think Bulaga has a high bust rate, and I think that Anthony Davis might be able to bring a mean streak to the Giants offensive line that they may have been missing this past year. Imagine Brandon Jacobs running behind huge Anthony Davis and Chris Snee. That could be a beautiful thing.

Final Verdict

Are the Giants even interested in drafting a tackle in the first round? I’m not sure. They may feel comftorable that David Diehl could move to either RT or LG and Beatty can play LT so that they may not need a Tackle this year (as they would try to get by one more year with either Subert or McKenzie).

And if they are intersted in a Tackle who do they like: Anthony Davis? Bulaga? Campbell? Charles Brown?

I like Davis and Bulaga. Brown is a nice player, but to me he is very similar to William Beatty, so I’d rather see them get a little bigger tackle to plug in on the right side.

If The Giants DO draft Bulaga, fear not, it is not a bad value pick.

Previous Prospect Profiles

OT Anthony Davis

DT Brian Price

ILB Brandon Spikes

S Earl Thomas

ILB Rolando McClain

RB C.J. Spiller

S Taylor Mays


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13 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: T Bryan Bulaga”

  1. Jeremy says:

    The more I look at this draft class and our previous drafts we have ignored the offensive line for three years now not including Will Beatty, so Earl Thomas in the first. Then O-Line in the second. We have so many mid round linebacker draft picks that if none of them are starter material they are all busts. With the potential Cover-2 scheme they should be Scratching and clawing for playing time. Linebacker in the third should be fine especially with the supposed depth this draft is suppose to have.

  2. […] I watched a lot of Bulaga this season, and in every game, I was impressed. He’s a left tackle, but I think he will be a stud at right tackle, where I would pencil him in for the 2010 season. Mauling, but quick. Great pass blocker, and improving run blocker. His prospect profile is here. […]

  3. […] I watched a lot of Bulaga this season, and in every game, I was impressed. He’s a left tackle, but I think he will be a stud at right tackle, where I would pencil him in for the 2010 season. Mauling, but quick. Great pass blocker, and improving run blocker. His prospect profile is here. […]

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