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March 24, 2008

Panthers, others wait to see Otah

Originally, this might have been the day for some Panthers brass to descend on Pittsburgh, where the university of the same name was holding its pro day workouts.

Pitt’s Jeff Otah is considered by most to be one of the top four offensive tackles in the NFL draft.

But today’s drills went on without Otah, who is sidelined with a high left ankle sprain and is believed to be about two weeks away from being back at full strength. He’s now scheduled to work out for the NFL folks on April 9.

Otah, who is 6-foot-6 and 322 pounds with long arms that give him excellent leverage, is a possible first-round pick in the April 26-27  draft but is listed behind fellow tackles Jake Long, Ryan Clady and Chris Williams on many draft lists. He was an all-Big East pick last season and started 12 games despite being bothered by the ankle.

-- Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on March 24, 2008 at 08:34 PM | Permalink


Otah is seen by most to be a "raw", "project"-type player, which wouldn't seem to fit our needs given our desire to find a new, immediate starter at OT. He'd be a better fit in a situation where he could learn behind an established pair of starters at the position for at least a year, although his size, among other reasons, give him TREMENDOUS long-term upside.

Posted by: Tyler Hansbrough | Mar 24, 2008 9:42:16 PM

i would rather have a lineman with tremendous upside (otah) than a lineman that has peaked in college (williams).

Posted by: butch davis | Mar 24, 2008 10:00:44 PM

At least you know the guy has reached that peak (if you believe that.) No guarantee on Otah.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 24, 2008 10:23:57 PM

Sounds like the "Perfect" situation if the Panthers were to sign,hmmmmmmmmmm,I dont know say Barry Sims?

Posted by: Ghost of Sparta | Mar 24, 2008 11:47:07 PM

Wonderlic results

Chris Williams-32

Jeff Otah- 28

Ryan Clady-13

Posted by: m | Mar 25, 2008 8:32:55 AM

225-lb. reps:

Jeff Otah-27

Ryan Clady-24

Chris Williams-21 (third-worst by any player at his position at the combine)

I'd rather have a guy with strength than a guy who fills out bubbles well. That won't save you when you're on an island against John Abraham.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 25, 2008 8:36:10 AM

Does anyone know what Chris Williams arm length measures are? I heard that they are short. That makes me think bust, Gallery had really short arms as well.

Posted by: Steven | Mar 25, 2008 10:00:29 AM

There is absolutely no way the Panthers should draft Clady given his Wonderlic score....the LT needs to be able to make quick decisions, read the defense, be in tune with the QB,etc.

Thomas Davis has all the athletic ability in the world but a rookie middle linebacker had to give him his assignments last year. Jarrett was a star in college but was too dumb to even learn the playbook.

The last thing the Panthers need this year is a bust with one of the top 2-3 draft selections. A Wonderlic score has been proven to be a good indicator in interior linemen and QBs as to whether they will adjust to the pro game or not.

A player can work with a trainer to get stronger, but if he is dumb there is just not much you can do about that.

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 10:36:13 AM

Bench press reps won't help when you are on an island against Abraham.

Posted by: m | Mar 25, 2008 10:42:58 AM

MP: It might not save you on the inland (one-on-one) but it might save the day the time Abraham stunts inside and you have to pick up someone else.

Posted by: Thorrez | Mar 25, 2008 11:34:25 AM

good point....

Posted by: rhackney | Mar 25, 2008 1:09:36 PM

Otah has reschedule a workout because of an ankle that hampered him all last season. The big fella has had the entire off season to rehad whst's considered just a sprain(?) Injuries that linger this long should be looked at closely. Does anyone remember Natrone Means or Greg loyd? Even more recently number 55.

Posted by: Big CAT | Mar 25, 2008 1:35:05 PM

Arm Length:
Chris Williams - 32.8" (6'6.1" height)
Jeff Otah - 34.6" (6'6" height)
Ryan Clady- 36.6" (6'6" height)

So you're talking about the same Thomas Davis who scored a 25 on HIS Wonderlic (3rd among SSs that year, would have tied for 7th among OLBs, ahead of Derrick Johnson AND DeMarcus Ware), right?

And if we're planning on starting Clady at TACKLE, why are we worried about the implications of the Wonderlic and INTERIOR linemen?

I've taken the Wonderlic, and it's not really all that applicable at all to football intelligence. Clady won't be visualizing shape patterns or counting apples or ages of brothers and sisters as part of his pickup adjustments. The guy is huge, AND athletic (good for zone blocking...Otah, particularly lumbers.) There's a reason he's very likely to be gone before our. Have you seen ANY mocks with Williams or Otah already taken by #13?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 25, 2008 2:09:21 PM

Intelligence is intelligence - there is no such thing as football intelligence and regular intelligence.

If Thomas Davis scored a 25 - then it is REALLY scary to think how stupid Clady is. They are coached on how to take these tests you know.

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 3:03:19 PM

I've taken it too, alot of the first part is just common sense. But for a guy to get a 13 on it has to be questioned though. If you can barely put 2 and 2 together....

Posted by: rhackney | Mar 25, 2008 3:08:46 PM

A) www.draftek.com has the Panthers taking Chris Williams at #13

B) Todd McShay at ESPN has Williams going #12 AND the Panthers picking Otah at #13

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 3:09:52 PM

You're right...with my lack of football knowledge, I'm probably wrong in assuming Travelle Wharton wasn't drawing shape patterns in the dirt when Hartwig barked out line calls.

There is absolutely such a thing as standardized testing intelligence compared to on-field awareness. Hell...Tyler Hansbrough's IQ might not be in the double digits (I've taken a class with the guy), but he's a hell of a basketball player. Jake Delhomme graduated cum laude from what's now ULL, but do you think he's really meant to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Mar 25, 2008 3:12:33 PM

Procton, I can see how you got a low score you misspelled Wonderlick.

Posted by: John | Mar 25, 2008 3:33:05 PM

According to Paul Zimmerman, examples of average scores include for each NFL position (note the HIGHEST average score).

Offensive Tackle - 26
Center - 25
Quarterback - 24
Guard - 23
Tight End - 22
Safety - 19
Linebacker - 19
Cornerback - 18
Wide receiver - 17
Fullback - 17
Halfback - 16

While an average football player usually scores around 20 points, The Wonderlic, Inc claims a score of at least 10 points suggests a person is literate. Furthermore, when the test was given to miscellaneous people of various professions, it was observed that the average participant scored a 24. Examples of scores from everyday professions included,

Chemist - 31
Programmer - 29
News writer - 26
Sales - 24
Bank teller - 22
Clerical Worker - 21
Security Guard - 17
Warehouse - 15

If you read all of that, you will note that Clady is barely literate AND his score was HALF the average score of NFL offensive linemen.

Maybe he will be a star in the NFL....but I just don't think the Panthers are in a position to risk it.

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 3:50:13 PM

I still say just do whats best at the time...who knows what will happen...not even the best GMs know exactly whats gona happen. take whats going to help out right now thats what the first round is all about.

Posted by: randy | Mar 25, 2008 4:25:15 PM

wonderlic scores

Vince Young-6

Dan Marino- 16

Brett Favre-22

Posted by: jrb | Mar 25, 2008 4:30:18 PM

I say we draft the Chemist....

Posted by: rhackney | Mar 25, 2008 4:35:27 PM

Vince Young - ran a Norm Chow offense that was designed around him - somehow I doubt that is done for a tackle, he has a new offensive coordinator next year. He is still unproven.

Dan Marino - took the test only the 2nd year it was available, there was no coaching back then because no one else had taken the test

Brett Favre - He scored close to what an average QB scores, not 13 points below it. He also took the test many years ago (1991) before test coaching became widespread.

I am sure that there are zillions of examples of good players who had poor Wonderlics. However, I will say it AGAIN, I don't think the Panthers should RISK it. I am not saying that there is absolutely no way that Clady will not become a Pro Bowl tackle. I am saying that it TOO MUCH OF A RISK FOR THE PANTHERS TO TAKE! They cannot afford a mistake with this pick and selecting an offensive tackle who is STUPID would be STUPID!!!!!

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 5:20:09 PM

"Stupid" is such a harsh word. Maybe the guy excellent sensory cognative ability. I would think instincts take you further in the trenches than the ability to read and write blue prints. After all, great athletic ability and instincts are what football is all about, right?

Posted by: SYRPIS | Mar 25, 2008 5:41:34 PM

It is athletic ability, desire, instincts, and intelligence in combination. And, as stated above, offensive tackle is one position where you want a very bright player. It is a huge red flag.

Posted by: ZZ | Mar 25, 2008 6:05:14 PM

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