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Old 04-08-2010, 06:30 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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The short answer is, Bryan Bulaga can do the job

Keeler: The short answer is, Bryan Bulaga can do the job
Updated 6:14 pm

SEAN KEELER sekeeler@dmreg.com April 7, 2010

Last year, it was Shonn Greene's hands. This year, it's Bryan Bulaga's arms.

Apparently, they're too short. The former Iowa offensive tackle's pipes reportedly check out at 33 1/4 inches apiece. The scouts would prefer 36. Oh, the humanity!

"I mean, everyone's got something they've got to be nit-picky about," Bulaga says with a chuckle. "I've never really had a problem with my short arms, I guess. I never really got myself in a position where I thought, 'Gosh, I wish my arms were longer.' "

You don't have to have a sense of humor when it comes to the NFL draft. But brother, it helps.

"Predictions right now are just predictions," says the 6-foot-5, 314-pound Bulaga, who's expected to be off the board by the middle of the first round. The last Iowa college player drafted in the top 10 was Robert Gallery, another tackle, who was selected with the second pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2004.

"Everyone," Bulaga says, "has their own opinions."

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But all signs point to Bulaga being the first Big Ten Conference player chosen two weeks from today, when the draft kicks off at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Illinois native ranks No. 6 on ESPN/Scouts Inc.'s top prospect list and as the No. 2 tackle; Bulaga's rated the No. 3 tackle and No. 10 prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com. He's projected to go as high as No. 5 (to Kansas City) or as low as 23 (to Green Bay), as close as you can get to a can't-miss.

"It's either him or (Oklahoma State's Russell) Okung," offers Jerry Jones, the longtime draftnik and publisher of the Drugstore List. "It's just a matter of who you talk to. You get a few more points if you have a little bit more experience, but a lot of guys think Bulaga is a much better down-the-road guy."

And yet the run-up to April isn't so much about what you can do as it is about what you can't. Everyone knows Bulaga tossed his college competition around like rag dolls. What the men with the clipboards are trying to figure out now is: Will he struggle with speed rushers at the next level? And what about the thyroid condition that forced him to miss three weeks of action last fall?

"I'm pretty sure I explained it 25 or 26 times, to every team," says Bulaga, who says he's in perfect health and has had no recurring thyroid issues. "At the end of (the combine), I had it down pretty well. That was a common theme of every room that I went into."

So was this: Could you play right tackle, if asked? Left tackle - the position where Bulaga excelled in Iowa City - protects a right-handed quarterback's blind side, but many teams would prefer to break a rookie in on the right side. Nor does it help that Bulaga sometimes - unfairly - gets lumped into comparisons with Gallery, who's had a nice NFL career but blossomed as a guard, not a tackle.

"Some think (he's) a right tackle," ESPN's Mel Kiper says of Bulaga. "He had some struggles against O'Brien Schofield from Wisconsin and Brandon Graham from Michigan."

The big lug also smothered the heck out of Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan - another potential first-rounder - during the Orange Bowl. What's your point?

"I told teams I can play on the right side," Bulaga says. "I'm a naturally right-handed guy. I've been really working hard on my right-handed stance just for that reason. In the NFL, you have to earn your keep."

It'll be a nice keep, too. The second tackle chosen in last April's draft, Cincinnati's Andre Smith, wound up signing a six-year deal worth up to $42 million. The third tackle, Eugene Monroe, went at No. 8 to Jacksonville and signed for five years at $35.4 million. We should all have arms so short.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:06 AM   #2
Brainiac Brainiac is offline
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I don't know about you, but it makes me kind of nervous to use a #5 overall pick on a guy with alligator arms.

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Old 04-08-2010, 08:09 AM   #3
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Here's some game footage of Brian Bulaga

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Old 04-08-2010, 08:56 AM   #4
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Was this written by Brian's mom?
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:06 AM   #5
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It's a game of inches. Robert Gallery had 32 1/2 inch arms and it cost him.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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Was this written by Brian's mom?
Keeler is the Des Moines Register's combo of Teicher's cluelessness and Whitlock's attempts to piss people off. Great writer.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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t-rex arms hahahah
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #8
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For the record I believe Bulaga and Joe Thomas have the same length arms so it isn't that bad.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:59 PM   #9
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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The short answer is, Brian Bulaga has far less upside and will cost more than Branden Albert, and he looks to be nearly maxed out.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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The short answer is, draft linemen in round three and beyond please...
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
The short answer is, Brian Bulaga has far less upside and will cost more than Branden Albert, and he looks to be nearly maxed out.
The other side of that though, is that Bulaga will show up day one better than Albert, and Albert MAY never reach is full "potential".

Not that I want Bulaga, unless he drops to 36, but I hate "potential". You take a shot on "potential" in round 4-7.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:57 PM   #12
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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The other side of that though, is that Bulaga will show up day one better than Albert, and Albert MAY never reach is full "potential".

Not that I want Bulaga, unless he drops to 36, but I hate "potential". You take a shot on "potential" in round 4-7.
That's a great way to end up with a team full of Tamba Halis.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:00 PM   #13
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That's a great way to end up with a team full of Tamba Halis.
I'm not seeing the negative here.

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Old 04-08-2010, 09:23 PM   #14
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If you haven't noticed tons of people think Tamba Hali is the ****ing man, this is the nature of the fan base.
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Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.Mecca has just been standing around suckin' on a big ol' chili dog.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:48 PM   #15
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(I don't think hali is the ****ing man, but he's a decent piece at the very least. it's not like anybody else that year who went after him was worth a damn except for demeco ryan if memory serves)

as to bryan ****ing baluga, what job are we talking about? post-hole digger? ditch digger? mortician? construction? I'm sure he'd do perfectly well at all of those jobs. left tackle for the chiefs? the position has already been filled. **** off, baluga.
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