As the NFL Combine kicks off today, let’s move back into the first round and look at yet another offensive tackle. Today we’ll look at Anthony Castonzo, a solid four-year starter out of Boston College who has been linked to the Giants in many mock drafts early on.

This year’s tackle class is talented at the top, with a legitimate possibility that six prospects could go in the first round; but as we stand today there’s no clear-cut favorite across the board. Like I said in my profile of Tyron Smith, it all depends on which experts you give your trust to. Everyone seems to have a different favorite; but Castonzo is consistently somewhere in the top-five.

Let’s take a look at some pre-Combine reports on Castonzo, and see if he’s the right guy for Big Blue in round one.

Anthony Castonzo
Senior, OT
Boston College
6-7, 295

From Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
• Ideal size with a large frame, long arms and big hands
• Very good athleticism, quickness, agility and balance
• Shows relatively nimble feet to slide laterally and mirror
• Displays the ability to recover and adjust in action
• Effective run blocker who generates sufficient movement
• Polished technician who understands positioning / angles
• Able to stun with initial punch and uses hands well overall
• Mobile with range to work in space and get to second level
• Extraordinarily smart with great instincts and awareness
• Competitive, aggressive and active with a terrific motor
• Mature and a fiery leader with an outstanding work ethic
• Durable with a ton of experience against top competition

Weaknesses:
• Still developing in terms of weight / strength
• Is not overly stout at the point of attack
• Narrow base and struggles to anchor / sustain
• Isn’t a powerful, road grading run blocker
• Can be inconsistent with knee bend / leverage
• Had some trouble with elite speed off the edge

Notes:
Stepped into the starting lineup at right tackle as a true freshman despite weighing just 250 pounds — Moved to left tackle and didn’t miss a single game the next three seasons — Fantastic program pedigree and is the next in a long line of top BC blockers, following in the footsteps of guys like Tom Nalen, Pete Kendall, Damien Woody, Marc Colombo, Dan Koppen, Chris Snee, Jeremy Trueblood, James Marten, Josh Beekman and Gosder Cherilus — Is battle-tested after facing elite pass rushers such as Gaines Adams, Derrick Morgan, Allen Bailey, Robert Quinn and Da’Quan Bowers during college career and holding up well — Could project to either left or right tackle at the next level — Not incredibly talented or physically imposing but gets the job done as a pass protector and run blocker while overcoming weaknesses with first-rate intangibles — Not flashy but should be a quality starter in the pros for a really long time

Here’s the report from National Football Post:

A tall, natural athlete for the position who displays good length and above-average athleticism when asked to reach the edge. Does a nice job sitting into his stance off the snap and is very comfortable playing from a three-point stance. However, isn’t as technically sound as advertised. Struggles to consistently keep his base under him and will bend at the waist and overextend into blocks — especially from a two-point stance — and his footwork on his initial kick-slide isn’t the cleanest. Has a tendency to get a bit overextended, will open up his hips prematurely and get caught with his feet parallel to one another vs. speed to the corner. Now, is a natural athlete with fluid hips and displays the ability to cleanly/quickly redirect and cut off blocks inside and counter moves. However, isn’t real heavy handed and doesn’t have the kind of power to simply lock out and keep defenders from pumping their legs through contact.

Displays good range and body control on the move in the run game. Is natural when asked to get around defenders and seal on perimeter runs, and he looks comfortable chipping at the line and reaching the second level as well. However, again, doesn’t generate much power from his lower half on contact. Has a tendency to roll his hips into contact and doesn’t get much movement off the snap. More of a finesse guy who understands angles, leverage and does a nice job of getting his hands inside on the target, but lacks the natural strength to simply eliminate defenders from the play.

Impression: The size, length and natural athleticism is there, but he needs more time to mature physically. I don’t think he’s a guy who you can pencil in as a starter on the left side from day one, but with some time he has the skill set to eventually develop into a serviceable starting left tackle in the NFL. However, as of now, isn’t an elite offensive tackle prospect by any stretch in my book.

This really shows the disparity between scouts’ views of this year’s tackle class. Draft Countdown has Castonzo ranked as the second offensive tackle right now; while the National Football Post’s Scouting Department has Castonzo fifth and says he “isn’t an elite offensive tackle prospect by any stretch…” With such a big difference in scout’s opinions on Castanzo and everyone else at the top of the offensive tackle class, it’s hard to even try to predict where the Giants have him on their big board.

With everything Castonzo bring to the table – athleticism, size, the Boston College pedigree, work ethic, intelligence, even Tom Coughlin’s ties to BC as a coach – it’s hard to not like this pick.