I’ve harped on it many times this offseason already, but the Eagles have a big issue right now. They have established Michael Vick as the guy they want to be their franchise quarterback moving forward. However, the right side of the line failed to protect Vick throughout the season and they need to find some players to protect Vick’s blindside.
Despite giving Winston Justice a contract extension, he failed to play consistently down the stretch and ultimately ended up finding himself on the bench for the Eagles. Although it seemed like Justice could be a solution for the Eagles at right tackle, his inconsistent play have the Eagles thinking otherwise.
Keeping that in mind, the Eagles could look for the right tackle of the future in the first round of the 2011 draft. One option they might have is Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo.
At 6’7” and 311 pounds, Castonzo has a great frame to anchor the outside of an offensive line. He got his first action as a starter at offensive tackle for Boston College as a freshmen and never looked back. Although he spent most of his collegiate career protecting his quarterback’s blindside as a left tackle, he did spend time at the right tackle position early on in college.
With his large wing span, Castonzo is able to deal with speed rushers very well. If they try to get outside of him, he’s able to push defenders even further outside outside which gives his quarterback time to step up in the pocket.
One area of improvement I’ve noticed about Castonzo is when he deals with a late rush, or those trying to over power him. Often times when he backs off the line and doesn’t get an immediate rush, he tends to stand up straight and tries to overpower rushers with his strength.
Although this technique may have worked for him in college, this isn’t something that will be overly effective for him when he enters the NFL. He will need to learn to maintain his leverage and stay lower in the ground to get a better push off power rushers or blitzing linebackers.
With a guy like Howard Mudd dealing with the Eagles lineman, this shouldn’t be a hard thing to teach a guy like Castonzo if he were to end up playing for the Birds.
Overall, Castonzo is a guy who spent a lot of time on the field in college and will be able to translate a lot of it onto the field in the NFL. He’s the type of player who can be an opening day starter with minimal coaching, but behind a coach like Howard Mudd, should be ready to be an anchor on the line for years to come.
Check out highlights of Castonzo in college by clicking here.