Michael Oher unlikely to fall past top 10

The National Football Post is reporting that Ole’ Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher might not slip past the 49ers at No. 10 in next week’s NFL draft.

Granted, the National Football Post also said last week that Tony Gonzalez had cleaned out his locker in Kansas City and was heading to Atlanta via a trade, but I agree with their projection on Oher, who I have going to Cincinnati at No. 7 in each of my last two mocks.

Oher arguably doesn’t have the upside of Baylor’s Jason Smith or even the talent of knucklehead Andre Smith of Alabama. But he flashed outstanding athleticism in college and he has great size at 6’4”, 309 pounds. The only problem is that he uses his strength too much instead of relying on having solid footwork, but a good coaching staff will recognize that and make it a top priority for Oher to work on this summer.

One of the arguments I keep hearing from draft followers is that Oher is slated to go picks 15-20 and that any team that selects him in the top 10 would be reaching. But I’ll say the same thing here as I did in my mock write up on Oher – if he turns out to be a Pro Bowler in two to three years, nobody is going to look back and say, “Well, the Bengals reached for him.”

If the guy can play, he can play, and Michael Oher can play. He’s a lower risk than Andre Smith and he’s worth a long look from teams like the Bengals, Raiders and 49ers, all teams desperate for offensive tackles.

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