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In our second installment of Gladiator Profiled for Seahawks, we turn our attention to the big uglies - offensive guard. Games are won and lost in the battle in the trenches. Our once formidable line is now ordinary, talented and young...yes, but in need of another ugly.
The best fit would be Ben Grubbs. Ben has power, intensity and athletic ability to be that next great dominant guard. He has good size at 310 pounds and great quickness. Seahawks expect their blockers to fan out in pass protections more than most teams, and getting to the second level defenders. They must have the athletic ability to excel in pulls and traps. This is where Grubbs is outstanding. Unfortunately he will be Tubbs opponent on game day. Ruskell would do well to trade and move up in the draft and he will, but the target will not be Grubbs. That is a topic for another day.
With Gray and Womack returning, the offensive line has a year to prepare the rookie for action. Argue if you will, however slotting a rookie with 2 other youngsters with only 16 starts between them in the interior, would cause opposing defenses to salivate.
Andy Alleman out Akron offers great value out in the 3rd round. He is projected to be selected at 77-90. He fits the mold for what the Seahawks need in the draft at offensive guard. Like Grubbs, Alleman is a former defensive lineman converted to guard and yes, he brings a little nasty to the line. He is a bit raw, however he will have the time to be groomed for his future role. Another small school prospect, but Ruskell has stated that they have no glaring needs thus providing the options to take players that they could develop into productive starters.
Alleman, developed his game growing up in the hotbed of football factories in Massillon Ohio, has been tabbed as one of the nations workout freaks. Alleman played right guard for Akron, struggled a bit early in 2006 and came on strong in the last half of the season.
Alleman can explode off the line and has the lateral slide agility to get out on the edge for pass protection. He is more of a technique style of drive blocker rather than a mauler. He maintains proper pad level to gain leverage and control his defender. He has good ability to seal off a would be tackler in running plays. Alleman is acutely aware for the blitz and picks up stunts quickly. Effective turning the corner on pulls and seeks out second level defenders as he takes good angles to engage defender.
Andy has only 2 years experience on the offensive side of the ball hence his need for time to develop more. Relies on his strength over technique, he is very strong. Needs to improve his footwork as he crosses his feet some and falls off his block. Needs to work on eliminating false starts. Given a year of good coaching plus mentoring from a grizzled vet Gray, Alleman will become productive at the right guard spot.
Meet your right guard of the future -- Andy Alleman.
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