NFL Football draft picks preview for all-Big East offensive tackle from the Pittsburgh Panthers, Jeff Otah taken as the #19 pick in the 2008 NFL rookie class by the Carolina Panthers with their 2nd 1st round pick.
Number 19 Pick: Carolina Panthers – Jeff Otah (OT, Pittsburgh)
With the Panthers first selecting a running back, getting someone to protect him was their next concern. They got just that in the 6’6, 340 offensive tackle out of Pittsburgh. Otah has great power, good size and agility. The Panthers hope he can open up many holes for the newly acquired Jonathan Stewart out of Oregon.
In two seasons at Pittsburgh, Otah started all 24 games and compiled an 81.58% blocking rating. He was able to commit 101 knockdowns and 13 blocks that led to touchdowns. In 2007, he was awarded the Ed Conway Award which is given to the team’s most improved player. He also was awarded with the All Big East Conference team accolades.
Otah only played one season of high school football as basketball was his sport of preference. Due to this, he was not highly recruited out of high school. So, Jeff elected to attend Valley Force Military Academy for two seasons before heading to Pittsburgh.
NFL scouts noted that Otah had the tendency of playing too high sometimes, which causes him to lose some of his power. As we have noted with many of the other athletes, this seems like a problem NFL coaching can solve. Carolina could be a dangerous team to defend this upcoming season.
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