Bob McGinn, the excellent Packers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, had a fascinating story Sunday on this year's offensive tackle class.
For it, he asked 19 NFL scouts to rank the five best offensive linemen. Jason Smith barely topped Eugene Monroe. Both were quite a ways ahead of Andre Smith and Michael Oher.
But there was a very telling quote from the article.
"In another draft none of these guys would be top five," Seattle Seahawks scout Charles Fisher said. "They're good players, but I wouldn't consider any of these guys as pure franchise cornerstones. Branden Albert is more athletic than all these guys."
This article is a must-read. I don't want to steal all of McGinn's stuff, so make sure to check it out.
Reading it, you start to wonder a little bit more about these players. For instance, can Smith thrive in St. Louis, where he would be asked to be an in-line blocker, an area he is somewhat unproven.
Then you think about Monroe, who could slide to the sixth pick and Cincinnati. He's been mostly regarded as not being tough or having a killer instinct. How, then, would he hold up against the gritty AFC North?
This tackle class is one that I've thought about a lot recently. None of the top four seem to be anywhere as good as Joe Thomas or Jake Long coming out, let alone the great tackle prospects like Jonathan Ogden or Tony Boselli.
It's things like McGinn's article that make the draft so interesting to follow. You start to hear more about these players and, at this point, what teams are really thinking about them.