Ok, The True Comparison Jake Long vs. Joe Thomas. last years #3 Pick -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I have pulled some Scouts comparisons for Jake Long vs. Joe Thomas. last years #3 Pick This one below is for Joe Thomas: Strengths: Possesses excellent height, big hands and adequate bulk. Still has room to add weight to his frame. He is extremely agile and athletic, especially for such a tall lineman. He displays good upper body power and a powerful hand punch. Exceptional when asked to protect the quarterback's blindside. Gets set quickly in pass pro and stays very much under control. Rarely loses to speed off the edge. Stays balanced and shows the lateral mobility to work back inside versus athletic double moves. He takes solid angles as a run blocker and general gets very good positioning. He has become feistier with more experience and continues to improve his consistency when it comes to sustaining blocks. Weaknesses: Despite a smooth recovery, there's still concern regarding long-term durability as a result of 2006 knee surgery. He lacks ideal lower-body bulk and strength. Plays with a narrow base at times and is susceptible to a powerful bull rush. He's not an overpowering run blocker and he can be a bit of a "finesse" blocker at times. Also, his arms are not as long as his massive frame would indicate. Overall: Thomas played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2003, nine of which were as a blocking tight end before he switched over to defensive end for the Music City Bowl vs. Auburn. He took over as Wisconsin's starter at left tackle for the entire 2004 season (12 games). In 2005, Thomas once again started every game (13) for the Badgers at left tackle, earning consensus First Team All-Big Ten honors several All-American recognitions. He did, however, suffer a torn left ACL while filling in along the defensive line during Wisconsin's Capital One Bowl victory over Auburn. Thomas had off-season surgery and missed 2006 spring practice while rehabilitating. He retuned healthy in the fall and captured the Outland Trophy as the nation's top offensive lineman, among many other individual awards, after starting all 13 games at left tackle. Just months removed from off-season knee surgery, Thomas looked a bit mechanical and seemed to lack confidence early in the 2006 season. However, he made huge strides as the season progressed and was fully returned to form by midseason. Thomas possesses an ideal combination of size, athleticism and upper-body power, which is why he projects as a future perennial starter at left tackle in the NFL. In our opinion, Thomas ranks as one of the elite prospects in the 2007 class and he should be off the board within the top-five overall selections. Jake Long: Strengths: An experienced, technically sound OT prospect with great size-potential. Is versatile; has experience at left and right tackle and could play either/both in the NFL. Also has proven capable of performing at a high level in power-run scheme and new zone-blocking scheme. Possesses excellent height, adequate bulk and the frame to get bigger if necessary. He has a massive wingspan with long arms and big hands. A natural knee-bender; he gets set quickly in pass pro, plays with good body lean and rarely gets caught lunging. He shuffles his feet quickly and can get back inside to defend double move. Uses long arms and powerful punch to jar defenders and run them wide as pass rushers. Shows excellent awareness in pass pro; consistently gives inside help and does an great job of picking up stunts, twists and blitzes. He takes very good angles as a run blocker. Has adapted very well zone-blocking and shows the mobility to execute in a similar scheme in the NFL. He has good upper-and-lower body strength as a run blocker. Also works hard to sustain and shows a good mean streak. Great intangibles. A leader and hard worker on-and-off the field. Good student in the classroom and intelligence carries over to the field, where he picks up techniques, schemes and assignments quickly. Weaknesses: Lacks elite mobility for an elite OT prospect. Has enough quickness and balance to perform at a high level in the NFL, but he is not as nimble as former top OT prospects such as Orlando Pace (Rams), Jonathan Ogden (Ravens), D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Jets) and Joe Thomas (Browns). Had some trouble versus Ohio State DE Vernon Gholston's elite speed rushers. Durability is somewhat of a concern after he missed the first seven games of the 2005 season with an ankle/foot injury. Overall: Long was redshirted in 2003. In his first active season at Michigan (2004), he appeared in 12 games, starting the last 10 at right tackle, and was selected to the Freshman All-America team. As a sophomore in 2005, played five games (four starts) at right tackle. He moved to left tackle in 2006, and went on to start all 26 of the Wolverines' games over his final two seasons. He was a first team All-America selection and the Big Ten Lineman of the Year in each of his last two seasons. Long missed the first seven games of 2005 while recovering from spring shoulder surgery and suffering from foot and ankle injuries. Long has outstanding experience to go along with his massive frame, above-average quickness for his size, a powerful upper body (37 reps), long arms (35.6 inches) and big hands (11 inches). He is not as athletic as last year's top tackle prospect Joe Thomas (Browns), but Long has more than enough range to effectively protect the quarterback's blindside in the NFL and he's bigger, stronger and more physical than Thomas was coming out of school. One year later, Long grades out slightly lower than Thomas (No. 3 overall in 2007) but he could actually come off the board earlier in what projects to be a weaker class. By Comparison It appears we shouldn't have any real concerns with Jake. What you want when drafting a high pick is no bustability (if that's a word) We need to make this a pick that can play and have upside as well as dominate for the next 10 years.