Darren Page, DLD Staff Writer
For anyone with an obsessive interest in the NFL Draft, this is the “What Could Have Been Bowl”. Had Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus Smith suffered a torn ACL, we’d be seeing him go up against one of the more highly rated offensive tackles in this class. Even so, there are a few good prospects in this class worth keeping an eye on.
#79 Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
While an offensive tackle may not be at the top of the Lions’ needs, Eric Fisher has been a fast-riser up draft boards lately and is worth keeping an eye on. Fisher has plenty of experience as a starter with the Chippewas, including spots all over the line. Wednesday’s game will be his 28th start at left tackle, with four at right tackle, and two at right guard. At 6’8″ 305 lb., Fisher is a tall and lean tackle but doesn’t really play like one. He is a tenacious run blocker with leg drive and sustains blocks very well. He makes up for generally high pad level with heavy hands to control defenders. Fisher is able to keep defenders off his body by extending his long arms, but if he misses with hand placement he can be beaten badly. Consistency seems to be the big issue, but there’s no reason Fisher can’t be a first round pick at offensive tackle come April.
#4 Jahleel Addae, SS, Central Michigan
Jahleel Addae is the do-it-all safety for the Chips. He’s another experienced prospect with three years of starting experience under his belt. He’s been very productive in the interception department with 4 as a junior and 4 more as a senior. His highlight interception was baiting (the now incredibly popular) Kirk Cousins into an interception as a junior. Addae is also a productive tackler, leading the defense in tackles as a junior. He’s used mostly as a nickel corner for Central Michigan, where he thrives in zone coverage in the intermediate passing game. He displays a great ability to arrive with the football with violence and tackle with proper technique. His lack of significant athleticism will likely make him a late-round option, but Addae is a guy who will be tough to write off.
#76 Adam Smith, OG, Western Kentucky
At 6’5″ 325 lb., Adam Smith has all the size you look for in an NFL offensive guard. The problem is that he doesn’t carry his weight as well as he needs to. He has stiff hips with lateral agility that can be exposed by quicker defensive tackles. Even so, he’s a polished run blocker with proper hand placement and shows the ability to scrap on the inside. Smith shows a stout anchor in pass protection and can win the hand battle. With 46 career starts and the frame of a mauling run blocker, he can be good depth on an NFL offensive line.