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Old 02-25-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, February 25, 2008


INDIANAPOLIS - In the almost 25 years he's evaluated college players for the NFL Draft, Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said he's never seen a more promising group of offensive tackles than the current collection.
Michigan's Jake Long is the best of the bunch -- he has drawn comparisons to Joe Thomas, who made the Pro Bowl last season as a rookie -- but Jeff Otah may be the most intriguing of the tackle prospects.

That is because he got a late start playing the position and his upside is, well as big as the former Pitt star is.

Considering, however, that he checked in at the NFL scouting combine at 6-foot-6, 323 pounds, people would be advised to choose their words carefully when talking about Otah's relative inexperience.

"I wouldn't say I'm just straight raw," Otah said. "A lot of people have been saying that, but I think I am a good player."
He is not the only one.

Otah, a first-team All-Big East pick last season, has impressed NFL teams enough that he is almost certain to be a first-round pick in April's draft.

Considering he is not one of the first tackles projected to be taken, he may still be around when a certain team that shares a South Side practice facility with Pitt makes it first selection of the draft.

The Steelers shored up the tackle position last week when they designated Max Starks as their transition player, making it likely that he returns to the team next season. And assuming Marvel Smith makes a full recovery from back surgery, the Steelers will almost certainly have their top three offensive tackles from 2007 back next season.

Offensive line, nevertheless, is an area of need for the Steelers. And since, as Colbert has said, the team drafts with the philosophy that it can't necessarily count on a rookie contributing right away, Otah figures to make the Steelers think long and hard if he is still available when it is time for them to make their first pick (23rd overall).

"Coming out of (Valley Forge Junior College), you heard about him and you saw him a little bit as a junior (at Pitt) and then his senior year he just continued to get better," Colbert said. "Jeff's an interesting kid that probably hasn't played his best football yet."

Otah, who is from Delaware, didn't start playing offensive tackle until his senior year of high school, and he missed all but three games that season because of a broken hand.

But his stock soared because of the improvement he made from his junior to senior season at Pitt -- and since he has the size, athleticism and footwork (a product of his days as a basketball player) to one day excel as an offensive tackle in the NFL.

"It's a surprise, all this stuff happening so fast," said Otah, who gave up just two sacks during his two seasons at Pitt. "I just feel blessed."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_554100.html
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

I think this article must have been written before Otah tested at the combine...word is coming out that he showed up ..."slow & soft"
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

I would still take Otah. A fast OT is not what I'm looking for and his 192 knockdowns in 2 seasons are not that soft. He does look pudgy like most linemen that need some nutrition, strength and conditioning work.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

otah ran a 5.5+ 40
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

Quote:
Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
otah ran a 5.5+ 40
The last stat I would look at for an OT is his 40 time. Just like I really dont care how many reps a WR can do of 225lbs.

I'm sure Walter Jones, Flozel Adams, Jonathan Ogden didnt have blazing times in the 40 and I'm sure not many of the scouts care. The short shuttle numbers are more telling.

Like Jamie Dukes said on NFL Network "The only time a lineman runs 40 yards in a game is if he missed his block and is trying to find somebody else to hit 40 yards downfield".
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
The last stat I would look at for an OT is his 40 time. Just like I really dont care how many reps a WR can do of 225lbs.

I'm sure Walter Jones, Flozel Adams, Jonathan Ogden didnt have blazing times in the 40 and I'm sure not many of the scouts care. The short shuttle numbers are more telling.

Like Jamie Dukes said on NFL Network "The only time a lineman runs 40 yards in a game is if he missed his block and is trying to find somebody else to hit 40 yards downfield".
that's rather slow for a lineman. it shows he "could" have trouble with speed rushers. the same rushers that colon had a problem with and starks when he was playing RT. it could also show he may have trouble doing long pulls.

if dukes' assessment is valid then a 7 second 40 won't make a difference either. in fact, scouts and coaches won't even bother reading their 40 times if it's a useless stat for linemen. but something tells me they do read them. i get what you are saying though

unfortunately, i can't find the link i used for his times. i can't imagine his 20 yard shuttle number was that good either. i will do some more searching for the link again later. i wish nfl.com would show each person's stats in each drill. so far all i can find are the top ten in each drill.

otah didn't crack the top ten in any drill.
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

Quote:
Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
that's rather slow for a lineman. it shows he "could" have trouble with speed rushers. the same rushers that colon had a problem with and starks when he was playing RT. it could also show he may have trouble doing long pulls.

if dukes' assessment is valid then a 7 second 40 won't make a difference either. in fact, scouts and coaches won't even bother reading their 40 times if it's a useless stat for linemen. but something tells me they do read them. i get what you are saying though

unfortunately, i can't find the link i used for his times. i can't imagine his 20 yard shuttle number was that good either. i will do some more searching for the link again later. i wish nfl.com would show each person's stats in each drill. so far all i can find are the top ten in each drill.

otah didn't crack the top ten in any drill.
http://www.sportznutz.com/nfl/draft/...ve_linemen.htm

Here are all the results for the O-linemen....all combine results can be viewed at this site.

Otah didnt do the Vertical ...shuttle...or cone drills.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

Just read he played through the combine with a sprained ankle. IF that's true, gotta give him credit and performing unlike many many guys who would try to play it safe, not hurt their stock and sit around with a sweatshirt on.

I am not totally sold on him as a lock, but wouldn't have any problem with him as our 1st pick.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

anyone see any wonderlic scores? just going off of the few interviews i have seen he doesn't seem too bright. QBs and O-linemen generally have the highest scores on the wonderlic test. i don't want another kemo. otah doesn't strike me as 1st round material. remember the steelers reaching for the average simmons in the 1st?

now before the otah fans get upset and call me every name in the book, i am not saying he is an idiot for certain. for all we know he could be the next stephen hawking.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers could be interested in Pitt's Otah

Cant find anything on Otah's wonderlic scores. They are not everything, but generally having intelligent O linemen is a positive.

Found a chiefs report that said Heath Benedict scored a 31.

Found a ESPN report that Clady scored a 4.

Honestly, I dont know about a 4. I have taken the wonderlic and honestly a 4 should mean you are developmentally delayed. I cant believe anybody scores a 4.
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