David Shaw sees three first-round picks on Stanford O-line


Stanford left tackle Andrus Peat is considered one of the most talented offensive tackles in the college game and a possible first-round NFL draft pick, but Cardinal coach David Shaw went way beyond Peat in expressing how much potential he sees in his offensive line as a whole on Tuesday.

How about three first-round picks and five NFL players on the same college line?

"I'm looking at five guys, all five starters right now, five guys that are going to play in the NFL, all from one class," Shaw said on the Jim Rome Show. "And I think that's extremely rare. You can have guys from different classes, guys that go on, you see Texas A&M put guys in the first round kind of year after year, but we're talking about one class, where I think there is going to be three first-rounders in this class. I think the other two guys are going to play significantly in the NFL."

Although Shaw didn't specifically say which three starters he expected to be first-round picks, he described Peat as the best tackle in football, right tackle Kyle Murphy as possibly the best right tackle in the college game, and left guard Josh Garnett as "an emerging superstar." The other two starters are center Graham Shuler and right guard Johnny Caspers. All five are juniors, and were part of Stanford's 2012 signing class.

Although offensive lines aren't easily judged statistically, Stanford's place in two categories -- rushing yards and sacks allowed -- suggest the group still has some work to do. Stanford averages 158.7 yards per game on the ground, which ranks just 72nd in the nation, and has allowed two sacks per game, which ranks just 66th.

"We're not there yet. We're not to that point where this is a superstar group. I think we're growing. Every single game, they've gotten better," Shaw added.

A year ago, Tennessee was said to have NFL talent throughout its veteran offensive line, but the draft didn't treat that group too kindly. Ja'Wuan James was a first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins at right tackle, but highly-touted left tackle Antonio Richardson went undrafted, as did center James Stone. Guard Zach Fulton wasn't picked until the sixth round, but he has emerged as a starter with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Shaw has been around the NFL enough to know what to look for, however. The fourth-year Stanford head coach spent nine years in the NFL coaching with the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread.*

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