Michael Oher was an immediate success as a freshman for the Rebels in 2005. He started 10 of 11 games at right guard, earning Freshman All American honors in the process. He shifted over to left tackle as a sophomore, starting all 12 games and being named to the All SEC 2nd team. Oher continued to improve as a junior, keeping alive his consecutive start streak and running it to 34 games. He earned 1st Team All SEC honors, and various All America honors. The accolades did not stop as a senior, again earning All SEC and All America honors.
Oher has the ideal left tackle frame, with a lean body and long arms. He easily controls defenders at the line of scrimmage in pass protection. His long arms keep defenders from getting into his body, and his nimble feet allow him to re-direct laterally to keep his quarterback upright. Oher also has been able to drive lineman off the ball and open up huge running lanes for his running backs. He is the complete package physically, and has a ton of experience in the SEC. He has been very durable during his career, and has extensive time at both tackle and guard.
There isn’t much to dislike about Oher. He has dominated in college, and has the talent to dominate in the NFL. Even though he can dominate at the point of attack, he does not always play as hard as he should He will rely on his talent to block instead of finishing and driving the player back. Teams will also test him out quite a bit in interviews and see how well he can pick up an offensive scheme at the pro level. Much was made of his upbringing as a child and his struggles to get his grades in order in high school in the book, “The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis. He hasn’t had any issues at Ole Miss, but teams will do their homework to make sure there is nothing standing in the way of an all pro career for their investment.
Oher almost kept his name in the draft last year but decided to return to school for his senior year. He has arguably the best package of talent available at the tackle spot and could be the first tackle selected. Oher should not have to wait very long on draft day to hear his name called.