Scouting Report: If I was building an offensive tackle in a lab, he's look like Bulaga. He's tall, but has a low center of gravity, huge wingspan, and is rock solid. Going into the season, what I wanted to see from Bulaga was his run blocking. Because his pass protecting is text book. He's got nimble feet, moves well laterally, and shows great control over defenders in pass protection. He uses that reach to re-direct players and dictate the action. he is strong enough he doesn't get beat with the bull rush, and is so smart, he does really well in assignments and picking up blitzers. On to his run blocking. This season has been a tough read, because of the Thyroid condition that sidelined him for the first few games and has limited him up until just the past 2 or 3 games. But what I have seen lately is, he's improved in his run blocking. He's going much better in space, getting to the second level and has improved in finishing his blocks in the run game. His strength has improved a ton, and the run game is where it really shows. He's showing a great punch.
Draft Status: Going into the year, I had no doubt Bulaga would have a huge season, declare and battle Russell Okung for that top spot at tackle. But his Thyroid problem really set him back. Having said that, he's rallied in a huge way, and that should motivate him to head to the NFL. The window of opportunity for these guys is small, and he needs to go now, while he can. Iowa is getting a ton of media attention, and he's played exceptional the past few weeks. He's a lock for a first round pick, and a strong finish and offseason could put him firmly in the no.2 tackle spot, which would mean top 15 pick and top 15 money.
Final Analysis: I love the lunch pail type head knocking offensive linemen. Bulaga is that guy. One thing you can never underestimate in an offensive lineman is a nasty streak and a complete disdain for his opponent and Bulaga has that like no other player in this draft. Seems his Thyroid problem is under control and will not be an issue in the future so we focus on what is good. He's an elite LT prospect, great pass protector, and shows a ton of potential as a run blocker. There really isn't much else you could ask for, is there? He's not the flashy prospect of some tackles the past few seasons, and he isn't getting the media attention he should, but his game really does speak for itself.
Reminds me of: Michael Oher, OT Baltimore Ravens-Similar builds, both exceptional pass protectors and both improving every week as run blockers. Very similar in size and style and Baluga looks to have a similar impact on the team that drafts him, that Oher has had for the Ravens.
Red Flags: Medical
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy