If history is a guide, left tackles chosen in the first round won't be busts. Picking a tackle in the first round is like picking a hamburger from an intimidating menu--it's the safest thing to do.
In the past 10 drafts, 81 percent of the 43 tackles chosen in the first round have played like first-round picks--or in the case of some younger players, at least have shown the promise to play at a first-round level. That is a phenomenal "hit" rate compared with other positions. Only eight tackles drafted in the first round since 1992 have performed clearly below expectations--Arizona's Ernest Dye, Philadelphia's Bernard Williams, Miami's Billy Milner, Kansas City's Trezelle Jenkins, Green Bay's John Michels, Pittsburgh's Jamain Stephens, Washington's Andre Johnson and Oakland's Matt Stinchcomb.
If McKinnie and Williams are picked in the top 10 and don't succeed, they will be true aberrations. In the past 10 years, every tackle chosen in the top 10 has been a success. Eight of the 12 top-10 picks chosen as offensive tackles since 1992 have been to the Pro Bowl--and a handful, like Tony Boselli, Jonathan Ogden, Willie Roaf and Orlando Pace, could be Hall of Fame-bound.