The Senior Bowl presents unique opportunities to every individual. For offensive tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan, the week affords him the chance to prove himself against elite competition having played in what is considered an inferior Mid American Conference (MAC) as opposed to the always dominant Southeastern Conference (SEC). So far, teams looking for an offensive lineman early on in the draft (ahem… St. Louis Rams) like what they see.
Fisher has been favorably compared for former Chippewa Joe Staley and at 6’7” 305lbs., his frame entering the draft is nearly identical to Staley’s, who was 6’6” 306lbs at that time. The similarities don’t end there between the two athletic bookends from the same MAC school. Staley began his career at Central Michigan as a tight end before adding 80 pounds to his frame and settling into a spot at tackle. Fisher was only 242lbs. when he arrived on campus, but he too added some 60-plus pounds to his frame to develop into a role on the offensive line.
For Fisher, the idea of proving himself against the upper-crust of college football was certainly an appealing idea. Regarding the Senior Bowl, he said: “I think a lot of people, including myself, wanted to see me go against the elite competition. Going against these guys from the SEC and stuff in this game will be great for me I think just to prove that I am worthy of being here. It’s a great honor to be here. Not many players get to come here. I think I’m only the third player out of Central Michigan to come here.”
Some have pegged Fisher right between the Rams’ 16th and 22nd overall picks, while others now believe he is destined to be taken somewhere closer to the top 10 in the upcoming NFL Draft. For the Rams, they would certainly love to see him on the board when their first selection is put on the clock. Both starting tackles on their roster at the moment are relatively uncertain heading into the 2013 season, as right tackle Barry Richardson is set for free agency and Rodger Saffold on the left side is entering the final year of his contract.
This year’s selection festivities will undoubtedly include some guys in the trenches for the Rams. With the way quarterback Sam Bradford has been abused so far during his brief career, improving his protection is imperative this offseason. If the team can somehow manage to make one of the additions along the offensive front be Eric Fisher, Bradford would be a lot better insulated for years to come.
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