The second round of the 2011 NFL Draft is in the books and the Pittsburgh Steelers have added a quality offensive lineman prospect with the No. 63 overall pick. The six-time Super Bowl champions drafted their second Florida Gators OL in as many years by snagging Marcus Gilbert, a hulking offensive tackle that is projected play at RT at the NFL level.
A quick overview of Gilbert. The 23-year old from Ft. Lauderdale is 6'6" and 330 pounds. He made 30 starts during his four years in Gainesville, mostly at the two tackle positions. He was the Gators' left tackle for most of the 2010 season, but was moved to the right side after struggling for much of the year.
I'll have to do some reading and film watching on the young man before really having much to say, but for now, it's safe to say that Gilbert's best assets are his (1) durability, (2) above average strength (30 reps on the bench; t-6th amongst OL); and (3) good burst into his blocks when he has the edge.
As for his weaknesses, Gilbert's arms aren't that long, meaning he'll almost certainly play at right tackle in the NFL. There are some questions about his toughness though, at least according to Jim Wexell, who recently tweeted:
Colony's telling me it's Marcus Gilbert. Ugh. Hope I'm wrong about that Florida OT. Big and soft.
We'll see. I suppose if the team believes Willie Colon will be hard to re-sign, then I'm fine with the pick I suppose. Flozell Adams will likely win the starting job at RT in 2011, with Gilbert having the opportunity to see the field on a regular basis beginning in 2012. I do wonder though what happens if Colon does in fact re-sign. What then happens to Gilbert? Obviously Colon can't play left tackle, and it sure doesn't sound like Gilbert projects that well at LT. So would Colon be moved to guard? Gilbert given a shot at guard? We'll find out eventually, but no time soon.
For now we welcome Mr. Gilbert to the Steelers family!