Mayock On the Draft: Offensive Tackle, Interior Line

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Former Florida lineman Marcus Gilbert has been shooting up draft boards over the last few weeks. (Michael Conroy/AP file photo)

Every year since he became the NFL Network’s draft analyst, Mike Mayock has sat down with the Daily News before the draft and broken down each position into 3 categories: the top player, a player who is moving up league draft boards, and a sleeper. Yesterday, he looked at running back, wide receiver and tight end. Today, he analyzes offensive tackle and interior line.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

The Best

Anthony Castonzo

6-7, 311

40-time: 5.21

Boston College

Mayock: ``Very close between he and (USC’s) Tyron Smith. I’m going with 52 consecutive starts (Castonzo) over a 20-year-old right tackle (Smith). I don’t think this class is anywhere near as strong as a year ago, when (offensive tackles) went 4, 6 and 11. But I like Castonzo. I like his intelligence. I like his feet. He needs to get stronger. His core and lower body both need to get stronger, and he has a tendency to overextend and get beat inside. Having said those things, I think he’s a starting left tackle in the league for 10 years. He’s got some work ahead of him, but I think he’ll go somewhere in the first round between 13 and 20.’’

Round projection: 1

The Riser

Marcus Gilbert

6-6, 330

40-time: 5.41

Florida

Mayock: ``Has long arms. Is a strong kid. I thought he was a pretty solid player on tape. I liked him even better at the Senior Bowl. He looks the part and is a solid second-round pick, but it wouldn’t surprise me if somebody took him late in the first.’’

Round projection: 2

The Sleeper

Jah Reid

6-7, 327

40-time: 5.32

Central Florida

Mayock: ``Has 34 ½-inch arms. I think he’s a right tackle only, which is not a good thing to be. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t look good in drills. I saw him at the East-West game. He looked horrible in one-on-one drills. But everytime he got into a team setting he did a heck of a job.’’

Round projection: 3-4

INTERIOR LINE

The Best

Mike Pouncey

6-5, 303

40 time: 5.12

Florida

Mayock: ``He’s a plug-and-play guard or center. The only thing I don’t like about him is his frequency of bad snaps in the shotgun. It may sound like I’m nitpicking, but sometimes they come back fine, sometimes they come back knuckleballs, real slow. That’s something he’ll get better at. But he can start right away.’’

Round projection: 1

The Riser

Rodney Hudson

6-2 ½, 299

40-time: 5.27

Florida State

Mayock: ``Played left guard for the Seminoles and was one of the most proficient offensive linemen in the history of the ACC. His best position at the next level probably is center. He’s got short arms, but is a very smart guy. He already has put on the weight necessary (to play in NFL). He’s been carrying it for a while. Florida State typically likes their (offensive line) guys light. He’s a solid second-round pick and a starter at guard or center.’’

Round projection: 2

The Sleeper

Will Rackley

6-5, 303

40-time: 5.25

Lehigh

Mayock: ``He’s not really sleeping anymore. Heading into the season, he was a mid- to late-round pick. He had a foot injury early on and started off slowly. But he started to take off at the East-West game. He held his own against kids from the bigger schools. I don’t think he’ll get out of the third round. Most teams will kick him inside. I think he’s a natural guard with the ability to start in the league.’’

Round projection: 3

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