2014 Sleeper OT: Justin Britt
By Ken Scudero
In the 2014 NFL Draft, there are about two handfuls of offensive line prospects who possibly could be starters in next season. Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, Greg Robinson of Auburn and Taylor Lewan of Michigan are three of the top offensive tackles in the draft and will certainly be 1st-round draft choices, and several other tackles are likely to come off the board before the end of the first round.
There are several other talented tackles who may slip through the cracks and fall to later rounds. Among them are Seantrel Henderson of Miami, Charles Leno of Boise State and Justin Britt of Missouri.
Britt measured in at the Scouting Combine at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds. For a man of his size, you can't expect much in the 40-yard dash, but Britt ran a respectable 5.19 on Saturday. His hands measured in at 101/4 inches and his arm length was 331/2 inches -- decent measureables all.
Britt started 36 games in his last three seasons, though he missed the last three games in 2012 after tearing his ACL against Florida. Britt recovered impressively and was ready for opening day this past season. As a second team All-SEC selection in 2013, Britt was an integral part in blocking for an offense which rushed for 3,330 yards and passed for 3,540 yards.
Britt recognizes blitzes accurately and has quick feet. He covers the edge extremely well and his quickness allows him to get in good position. He's very strong and has displayed the determination to work and continue to get better. Britt's weakness lies in his inability to hold blocks long enough. He protects the blind side well but needs to be more consistent in sustaining blocks. He also needs to improve on penetrating the defensive line for short running plays.
Britt was mostly a left tackle but has played other positions on the offensive line. He may be better as a right tackle early in his NFL career rather than a blind-side blocker. He has the versatility, quickness and athletic ability to play anywhere on the line. He has a great football IQ while his strength, size and quickness give him the ability to play in the NFL right away. With some work, Britt will be an NFL starter. Look for him to be selected sometime on the last day of the draft.