One of the prevailing narratives coming out of the 2013 NFL Draft has been the talk of drafting “fatties” with five offensive linemen going in the first 10 picks. Many teams added help at this spot in the early rounds, but two teams stood out among the fray as examples of teams that had lines that were laughably embarrassing at times last year, and are now primed to enter the discussion of the league’s best next season.
Chris Johnson must be happy about the lengths Tennessee went to bolster the interior line this offseason. Back when the Titans get could good push in CJ2K’s first couple years, Johnson was able to make a name for himself. He’s not the type of back to prove he can consistently gain yards behind poor blocking, and it showed as he danced around the backfield in 2012.
Now with adding left guard Andy Levitre in free agency and left guard Chance Warmack with the 10th overall pick — I guess we’ll see who moves to the right side — Tennessee could suddenly generate as good a push in the run game as anyone. And the pieces are already there at LT (Michael Roos), RT (David Stewart) and C (Fernandos Velasco)
Last year, the Eagles offensive line showed that you can have the greatest guard in the world in Evan Mathis yet still get your quarterback killed and not get consistent push in the run game. Now if this five can stay healthy — a HUGE if — then you’re trotting out perhaps the NFL’s best pass protecting line of LT Jason Peters, LG Mathis, C Jason Kelce, RG Todd Herremans and RT Lane Johnson.
The selection of Johnson, at pick No. 4, gives Chip Kelly the type athletic offensive tackle that makes his transition to the pro level even more exciting. As Giants and football fan in general, I’m a combination of worried and intrigued.