Drew K is busy today, so I'm filling in for today's post, and it's probably a good thing, because I happen to like this guy. Now, the 49ers have recently spent high picks on the offensive line, and when I say high picks, I mean first rounders. Both first round picks in 2010 went to offensive linemen, Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis, respectively. With Joe Staley on the left side and a guy taken eleventh overall on the right side, it's unlikely that the 49ers take another tackle so high, but there have been weirder circumstances. Perhaps the 49ers trade down out of the seventh pick and end up at the back-end of the first round, and today's guy, Anthony Castonzo out of Boston College, falls a little bit. In a best player available (BPA) scenario with potential Joe Staley injury concerns, could the 49ers pull the trigger? Alex Smith says "Absolutely. Definitely. No question."
Still, like Drew K mentioned when he wrote up the post on Derek Sherrod (a guy I think has a bigger chance of landing in San Francisco, if he falls out of the first round), he wanted to make this a combination of players that San Francisco could be targeting, and a big board or sorts. He also noted that there were a lot of folks who disagreed with the Anthony Davis pick last year, which is a definite thing to consider ... there were a lot of teams who weren't so hot on Davis, but I still get the feeling that's not enough to put Castonzo high on their board.
Either way, we'll take a look at Castonzo and what he brings out of Boston College, which in itself exudes lofty expectations.
As you can see from the video, Castonzo excels in pass protection. He has good burst off the line and is in the face of defensive linemen and pass rushers quicker than any other offensive tackle in the draft. When the quarterback is back to pass, he doesn't even have to worry about his left side. His footwork isn't the best, and after completing a block and moving on, he has trouble re-setting and re-engaging for the longer plays. One of the key plays to watch is just before the final play, the Florida State rusher comes in and tries for a spin move which I believe to be generally well-executed, and Castonzo stays right with him and brings him to the ground.
Summary: Castonzo is the most athletically gifted tackle (in the things that matter) in this draft and is probably best suited to start right away, in comparison to others that will be taken as high as he will. The discussion regarding his ceiling is all over the board, but I think it's definitely up there, personally. He's a bit of a wild card, and I don't like that in offensive linemen, so while I believe his ceiling to be high, I wouldn't want to do any kind of reaching for him if I had a need at the position. Best suited for left tackle in the NFL, he'll protect your quarterback from most rushers in the NFL, but I've found him susceptible to bull rushers time and time again. The best thing about him is that he's hard-working and intelligent, and even when he's technically beat on a play, he'll still throw himself in the way and do whatever he can to make a block.
PREDICTION: 1st Round