OT Johnny Culbreath (South Carolina State) - Round 7, Pick No. 209
Going into the 2011 NFL Draft, most analysts harped on the Detroit Lions' need to revamp their offensive line. What they failed to realize is that the Lions' offensive line is in relatively good shape going into the 2011 season. In a year or two it may be necessary to add new potential starters into the mix, but for now the important thing is to develop younger players for the future. Keeping that in mind, the Lions took Johnny Culbreath in the seventh round, throwing another developmental tackle into the mix on their offensive line.
On T Johnny Culbreath
"Johnny, four-year starter at South Carolina State, big man, good athlete, lower-level competition, but I spent a lot of time with him. Myself, Dave Sears our area scout, and Jeremiah Washburn our assistant o-line coach went down to South Carolina's workout. We happened to be able to see South Carolina State's also. It was raining so they came over to the indoor facility. They had a really, really good workout and his tape was good so we brought him in here to spend some time with our coaches. We like his size, we like his athletic ability, he's a little bit of a developmental project, but he has the tools. He's a guy that our coaches are very anxious to work with."
On whether he'll be an inside or outside player
"It's probably too early to say. He's played tackle, could play left and right; but there's a possibility to move him to guard. He's a good athlete, bends really well, again, four-year starter. I don't know if this is the gospel truth, but he committed to Florida State out of High School and didn't have the grades, so he ended up at South Carolina State. He's got a pretty good lineage. We didn't pick him because he supposedly committed to Florida State, we picked him based on his tape from South Carolina State, based on his size and based on the workout that he had and also for when we brought him in for a physical. He wasn't at the combine, so we needed to bring him here to get a physical."
He is an undersized OT who needs to add bulk to his frame and has raw tools. He is clearly a developmental project at this point.
Outlook for 2011
Culbreath will join Jason Fox and others as backup offensive linemen on the Lions' roster. It's possible he could be kept around on the practice squad to develop, or the Lions could decide to keep him on the active roster if they give the spot of a veteran backup to Culbreath. Whatever the case, Culbreath is a guy that will take some time to develop.