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Four senior OTs look to make good final impression in bowls


There have been 22 offensive tackles taken in the first round in the past five drafts, including five in each of the past two, and there is a handful of players at the position who could go in the first round in the 2015 draft.

Of note is that there are five seniors who likely will go in the first or second round: Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings, LSU's La'el Collins, Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi, Colorado State's Ty Sambrailo and Iowa's Brandon Scherff. Collins, Ogbuehi and Scherff considered turning pro after their junior seasons, but each stayed in school and it should pay off in the draft.

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Sambrailo's final college game was a mixed bag. He had his moments against Utah pass rusher Nate Orchard, but Orchard got past him for a sack and Utah blasted Colorado State in Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl.

The other top senior tackles will get their moments in the bowl spotlight in the next 10 days. Here's a quick look:

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Pitt's T.J. Clemmings

Particulars: 6-foot-6, 315 pounds.
Bowl: Armed Forces Bowl vs. Houston, Jan. 2.
Skinny: Clemmings has played just two seasons at tackle after moving over from the defensive line. He has played on the right side for the Panthers, and while he remains a bit raw, his upside is high and he has shot up numerous draft boards. He is a good athlete for a tackle, and plays with aggressiveness and good balance. Despite a lack of bulk -- he actually looks somewhat lean -- he can be a road-grader in the running game. An interesting question for NFL teams is whether they think Clemmings can play on the left side at the next level.

LSU's La'el Collins

Particulars: 6-5, 321.
Bowl: Music City Bowl vs. Notre Dame, Dec. 30.
Skinny: Some analysts think he might be a better fit as a guard because of his physical nature and run-blocking ability. He is susceptible at times to speed rushers and needs to be more consistent with his technique. Once he gets locked on, though, it's over. He's aggressive and can be a mauler in the running game. Watch an LSU game, any LSU game, and notice how often Collins gets to the second level and mows down whomever is there. Staying in school definitely helped Collins become a more complete blocker.

Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi

Particulars: 6-5, 305.
Bowl: Liberty Bowl vs. West Virginia, Dec. 29.
Skinny: Ogbuehi played right tackle in 2013 and looked to be an elite prospect heading into this season. He moved to left tackle and remains a top prospect, but he did have an uneven senior year, to the point that he was moved back to the right side after injuries struck other positions in an effort to stabilize the line. NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt told the New York Post that Ogbuehi "carries his hands a little low, which is nit-picking. ... I think he's probably a right tackle." Fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah told the Post that Ogbuehi has "the best feet of any of these tackles. Lack of strength has been a little bit of a concern." The left tackle/right tackle "argument" about Ogbuehi is worth watching going forward, as it could affect how early he is drafted.

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Iowa's Brandon Scherff

Particulars: 6-5, 320
Bowl: Taxslayer Bowl vs. Tennessee, Jan. 2.
Skinny: Scherff might be the strongest lineman in the 2015 draft, and he is known above all else for his run-blocking ability; he's a seek-and-destroy guy on a running play. His ability to hold up against speed rushers is a question, though. "I don't think he's an elite athlete on the edge," Jeremiah told the Post. But Jeremiah also called Scherff "a people mover in the run game" and compared him to Zack Martin, a rookie from Notre Dame who played left tackle in college and starts at guard for the Dallas Cowboys. There also are some analysts who think Scherff might fit best at right tackle at the next level. Scherff revels in being aggressive and described himself as a "big, physical player who likes to finish blocks" at the recent College Football Awards Show.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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