Originally posted on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 4/30/12

As the 2012 NFL Draft comes to a close and the grades are handed out to the teams, Atlanta's draft hinges on their most questioned pick, Lamar Holmes.  Holmes was universally seen as a reach by Atlanta. Many draft prognosticators had him as a sixth or seventh round prospect. Many fans questioned why Atlanta had passed over prospects like Alameda Ta'amu, Ladarius Green, and Orson Charles for a left tackle that they hadn't heard of before.

A reach or a steal?

Thomas Dimitroff addressed the puzzled world about the pick of Holmes during an interview in which he stated, "Lamar is a guy who is really ornery, he plays with a certain edge." He also added that Atlanta had been keeping an eye on him for quite some time now. To be sure Thomas Dimitroff and the Atlanta Falcons know Holmes better then any of us.

Lamar Holmes never caught my eye when I went through the Southern Miss film, but for the most part I was looking at Cordarro Law who plays on the defensive side of the ball. When I went back and looked more at the offense of Southern Miss I noticed just how good of a player Lamar Holmes is. To say Holmes has good feet for a 320+ lb man is an understatement. He has excellent feet for a man his size, and he mirrors the rusher with the best of them. If that doesn't give you an idea of just how athletic Holmes is, than I will point you to the video of him catching a screen pass and taking it to the house; it's not everyday that OTs get to score on screen passes.

In addition to his great feet, Holmes possesses several great intangibles, most notably his size and arm length. At 323 lbs, Holmes is a hard guy to bull rush, and with 35" arms he's even harder to run by. When he gets his hands and arms locked on you it's over. He has a very strong anchor point, he absorbs the inital punches well and keeps the rusher from crossing his face by redirecting inside moves. To say the least, Lamar Holmes is one of the best pass blocking OTs in this draft.

Despite his great pass blocking skills, Holmes is extremely raw in run blocking. He gets knocked off balance easily while trying to run block, he lacks coordination between his hands and feet, and he bends at the waist a lot. He's a project for sure, but the upside is there, and Atlanta has the right coach to turn that potential into reality. Pat Hill has worked magic with offensive line prospects over the years, when he coached Fresno State his programs produced one of the best guards in the game in Logan Mankins. Hill is highly regarded in NFL circles, and generally talked about as one of the best in the business. Holmes is already at an NFL level with his pass blocking, it's his run blocking that needs to be worked on. Luckily, it's easier to teach run blocking technique as opposed to pass blocking technique. Holmes himself is also very motivated in the post pick interview he had with Dave Archer Holmes said, "He was going to take someone's job." That is what you want to hear from your new players.

Holmes is the focal point of this year's draft, Peter Konz is a plug and play starter he'll be a great player for the next decade if everything goes right. Bradie Ewing was the best FB in this year's draft, and had 30 blocks that led to touchdowns. Jonathan Massaquoi is a proven pass rusher and the staff can get him back to his old form. Holmes is the unknown, he's a great and polished pass protector, but a raw and clumsy run blocker. If Holmes works out people will look back and praise Dimitroff for making so many great selections with so few picks. If he busts, TD will be criticized for massively reaching on a boom or bust project and this draft will be looked up as mediocre with only one or two impact players coming out of it.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker