|Bob Stanton/USA TODAY Sports|
|Stanford head coach David Shaw sees rare ability in offensive tackle Andrus Peat.|
LOS ANGELES -- David Shaw has gone through the NFL draft on both sides of the process. He evaluated players for pro teams for nearly a decade in helping front offices make picks as an NFL assistant, and he's had plenty of players he's coached on the other side of it.
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However, among the hundreds of players the Stanford head coach has laid eyes on, his current left tackle was the one he singled out and compared to a Hall of Famer on the offensive line.
"I don't know if there's been anybody else in our conference, in the last eight years, that is as good as Andrus Peat has been and can be. In my entire career, nine years in the NFL, the only offensive lineman that was a step above of where Andrus can be is Jonathan Ogden -- one of the best tackles to ever play," Shaw said Thursday at Pac-12 Media Days. "Besides that special, special player, he's the most talented I've ever been around.
"And he's still scratching the surface. He can be phenomenal. Hopefully we have him for two more years."
That might be wishful thinking on Shaw's part, as the junior is regarded by many to be the premiere tackle on the West Coast and one of the best underclassmen at the position in the country. He teamed with Minnesota Vikings fifth-round pick David Yankey to form one of the best O-line duos in the sport last season as the Cardinal powered their way to another Pac-12 title.
With Peat expected to be the foundation of Stanford's offense in 2014, when the team makes a bid for a third consecutive league title, Shaw thinks the preseason All-American brings not only the smarts to dominate the position, but the athleticism that scouts rarely see from a player of his size.
"There are so many things that he does naturally that people work years and years to do. He's right around 6-6 and 300 pounds but moves like a tight end," Shaw said. "Against (Vikings first-round pick) Anthony Barr last year, we did not help him one play. You would never want to put a sophomore against one of the best pass rushers in the nation and say 'We're not going to help you by sliding your way or chipping a back your way.' But we did."
The high praise for the left tackle is to be expected from his coach, but given the impressive tape that Peat has already assembled during his time at The Farm, perhaps he's the rare player who deserves those types of compliments.
You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.