Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Nevada Wolfpack offensive lineman Joel Bitonio speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks Draft Profiles, Offensive Tackles: Joel Bitonio vs. Cyrus Kouandjio

With the draft less than three weeks away, Seahawks fans can finally expect some excitement from a single, much anticipated event; even if it does not include touchdowns. For the Seahawks, the upcoming decision of who to draft first is looming and the front office assuredly has been watching countless hours of film to find their next puzzle piece.

For the next three weeks, I will profile the Hawks top options for certain position groups and give my opinion on who specifically they should take with the No. 32 pick.

Joel Bitonio:

Measurables-

Height- 6’4’’

Weight- 302 lbs

Arm Length- 33 7/8’’

Hands- 9 5/8’’

Overview- This tough left tackle out of Nevada has risen up draft boards as of late; standing out because of his elite athleticism and flexibility. Bitonio seems like a perfect fit for the Super Bowl champs due to his ability to play anywhere om the offensive line, which should catch Tom Cable’s eye. He started 39 consecutive games from his sophomore year to his senior year. As a senior, he was voted to the All-Mountain West Team.

What the experts are saying at NFL.com…

Strengths- Plays with vinegar and seeks to bury defenders — nasty finisher who runs his feet on contact and consistently blocks defenders off the screen. Extremely tough and durable. Highly versatile — can play any position on the line. Outstanding personal character and football character — work ethic, leadership and responsibility are all exemplary. Produced the best 10-yard split (1.69 seconds) and 20-yard split (2.80) of any offensive lineman at the combine.

Weaknesses- Tends to shoot his hands wide and needs to improve placement — too grabby. Slips off blocks and could stand to play more under control. Operated heavily out of a 2-point stance and might need to get acclimated to playing with his hand in the dirt. Average knee bend in pass protection.

Bottom Line- An undersized college left tackle who projects best to the inside in the pros. Displays the tenacity, leg drive and mean streak that is highly coveted by OL coaches and could drive up his draft status. Could require some initial patience moving inside, yet possesses the skill set, intelligence and desire to successfully convert.

Combine Stats-

4.97 sec

22

32 in

114 in

7.37 sec

4.44 sec

40 Yd Dash

Bench Press

Vert Jump

Broad Jump

3 Cone Drill

20 Yd Shuttle

 

Cyrus Kouandjio

Measurables-

Height- 6’7’’

Weight- 322 lbs

Arm Length- 35 5/8’’

Hands- 10 1/4’’

Overview- This giant from Alabama should remind Seahawks fans of another big tackle they drafted in 2011… Physically gifted, Kouandjio (pronounced KWON-joe) has raw talent and athletic ability, but has his work cut out for him in regards to his finesse game. An All-American and All-SEC in 2013, he projects best to a team with a power running scheme, which the Hawks just happen to be.

What the experts are saying at NFL.com…

Strengths- Excellent body mass with extremely long arms. Uses his length to push rushers wide — day trip to run the arc on. Has the ability to drop anchor and stymie the bull rush. Can latch onto, control and maul his man. Can hook and seal or widen the hole in the running game. Flashes the ability to bury defenders. Will be a 21-year-old rookie and has clear potential — is physically gifted with raw, moldable tools.

Weaknesses- Has heavy legs and lacks ideal foot quickness for blind-side protection. Footwork and hand use have to be coached up — looks clumsy at times. Carries his hands low. Struggles to subdue counters and gets beat across his face — limited lateral quickness and needs to strengthen power step and inside punch. Average contact balance — too often bends at the waist and slides off blocks. Inconsistent clearing his feet through traffic and spends too much time on the ground. Labors to cut off fast-flowing linebackers and sustain on the second level. Could stand to develop more of a mean streak. Tied for the slowest 40 time (5.63 seconds) of any participant at the combine.

Bottom Line- Massive, long-limbed, inconsistent, overhyped college left tackle whose sheer dimensions, raw tools and high ceiling are far more appealing than his snap-to-snap performance at this stage of his development. Has enough length and anchor strength to survive on the left side, though he will never be a dancing bear, and he projects more ideally as a bulldozing right tackle in a power scheme.

Combine Stats-

5.59 sec

21

27.5 in

96 in

7.71

4.84

40 Yd Dash

Bench Press

Vert Jump

Broad Jump

3 Cone Drill

20 Yd Shuttle

 

Who the Seahawks take

-Although the Hawks are intrigued by Kouandjio’s sheer size, he seems too much like a James Carpenter clone. Thanks to Bitonio’s versatility, I think Schneider will take the Nevada standout for his exceptional toughness (something Coach Cable will admire) and overall better technique; he looks to be the safer pick, regardless of Pete Carroll’s love for big-bodied players.

Pick-Joel Bitonio

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Tags: Cyrus Kouandjio Joel Bitonio Seattle Seahawks

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