With the overwhelming amount of skill players in the draft this year and increasingly every year, teams seem to be scrambling to get the talented 300lbers as fast as possible. There is no reason to think this will change as rushing the passer is becoming more difficult to stop and great offensive tackles are worth their weight in gold.
Like with Justin Pugh last year, it seems like teams are willing to reach for tackles and linemen in general to make sure they do not miss out on getting them. As a result, players that might warrant going in the second or third round could end up going in the first. Joel Bitonio of Nevada is a good example of a player who could benefit. While he is not getting a ton of publicity, he just shows up and seems to play well.
Bitonio looked effective at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, won his weigh-in and looked the part of a tackle, which were all questions for him. It would not be a surprise to see him go at the end of the first round and put at right tackle.
I just have a feeling that more 300lbers will go in the first round while teams wait and capitalize on value with other positions such as cornerback, safety wide receiver or running back. It is a simple matter of supply and demand. Teams need two good tackles to be secure anymore and there are not that many available each year.