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Scouting the Seahawks' Draft class: OT Justin Britt

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Breno Giacomini's heir apparent?

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As is usually the case during and after a John Schneider/Pete Carroll draft, there were a lot of "what?", "who?" and "from where"'s flying around twitter, as well as filling my email box throughout the course of last week, with regard to several of Seattle's selections - particularly in the mid-to-late rounds.

Thus, I thought I'd take some time to go back and look closer at several of these players myself, and then offer an in-depth scouting profile on each one, as I see them on tape.

*****

Justin Britt

OT
Mizzou
#68
6'6, 325
5.19 40-yard dash
33 1/2-inch arms

Positives:

Possesses a long, well-proportioned frame, and is a natural bender on contact exhibiting good lower-half flexibility.  Demonstrates a fluid kick-slide and maintains ideal foot spread and low position all the way to the edge. Understands and exploits angles and depth as a pass-protector, enabling him to usher speedy rushers past the pocket with their own momentum. Angle awareness allows him to make quick adjustments without panicking if beaten off the snap.

Clearly understands leverage and does a good job of getting under his opponent to anchor and thwart the bull-rush, when able to get set off the snap. Maintains active hands in pass protection, making each punch count to jar and knock his target off balance. Quick off the snap when asked to trap or pull, and keeps his head on a swivel while targeting decisively at the second level. Possesses strong hands and exhibits an "attack" mode when squaring up with an opponent. Good awareness in space, and does a good job of recognizing and reacting to blitzes, utilizing angles and arm extension to fend off multiple pursuers. Versatile lineman who has seen action at multiple spots up front.

Negatives:

Inconsistent hand placement leads to defenders getting into his space and knocking him back easily at times.  Bends at the waist and drives into his targets too often at the second level, rather than squaring and snapping, resulting in a dive bomb (whiff).

Despite strong punch, doesn't consistently demonstrate a tendency to lock on and control his opponent. Doesn't always set up deep enough in the pocket as a pass-protector, forcing him to fight primarily with his upper half, and rendering his base relatively useless. Will over extend off the snap when firing through to the second level,  and lacks suddenness and fluidity when asked to redirect on the run.

Summary:

I still think Britt was a bit of a reach for Seattle, even as a right tackle, as one of the core traits of your right tackle is anchoring strength, and ability to power defenders out of the box.  While Britt possesses the skill-set and tools necessary to be a contributor of this type, the consistency isn't there, in my opinion, to warrant a 2nd round pick. That said, there certainly was a substantial drop-off in OT talent not long after Seattle took him, so this was a case of Seattle blending need with highest-rated player available for their system.

Regardless of where they selected him, the Seahawks have a guy who could conceivably start at right tackle from week one this year, considering how quickly they've moved some pretty raw linemen along in this system (JR Sweezy, Alvin Bailey, Michael Bowie), and could settle in as the long-term answer there if he's able to demonstrate better snap timing and handwork.

And although he's not a ballerina in space, he's certainly athletic and agile enough to become a better-than-average run-blocker downfield. The feet are fine. The body and strength are exactly what you look for. And the lower-half technique is further along than some tackles taken before Britt in this draft, so he has a chance to become a significant piece quickly if he's able to make the necessary adjustments. He'll compete with Michael Bowie for the starting right tackle role, but don't be surprised if he's tried at guard and left tackle as well, as both Bowie and Bailey were last year.

More:

Scouting the Seahawks' Draft class: OT Garrett Scott - Field Gulls