04/24/2013 - 2013 NFL DRAFT RANG'S GANG: OT: David Bakhtiari, Colorado, 6-4, 299, 5.02...With a 4-21 record since moving to the Pac-12, the Buffaloes didn't get much air-time which may factor in why Bakhtiari has slid under the radar a bit. Possessing long arms (34"), adequate athleticism and toughness, he ranks as one of the more underrated offensive linemen in the 2013 draft and a likely Day Two selection. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
While the Buffs haven't been the consistent producer of NFL talent like some of their former Big 12 or current Pac-12 foes, one area in which they've routinely developed prospects is along the offensive line.
Bakhtiari (pronounced Bock-T-are-E) has established himself as a legitimate NFL-caliber talent, following in the footsteps of Nate Solder (New England Patriots) and Ryan Miller (Cleveland Browns), former Colorado standouts selected in the first and fifth rounds of the 2011 and 2012 drafts, respectively.
After redshirting in 2009, Bakhtiari was thrown into the fire at right tackle in 2010, starting 11 games (playing in all 12) and earning honorable mention all-conference honors from the AP. In 2010, he made the switch to left tackle and was recognized as a second team all-conference performer.
While Colorado struggled through yet another poor season in 2012, which ultimately led to the firing of head coach Jon Embree, Bakhtiari against was a bright spot with second-team All-Pac-12 honors.
"I've been contemplating this for a long time," Bakhtiari said in announcing he would leave school a year early for the NFL. "It didn't have anything to do with Jon Embree [former Colorado head coach] being fired. I had always intended to see where the NFL was going to position me after I submitted myself for the review.
"The evaluation came back and had me in the second- to third-round range for a pick, but I also received some good feedback from Steve Marshall [Colorado offensive line coach] and Coach Embree, who spoke with several of their contacts around the league, and they thought I might even go a little bit higher, and that helped, too."
STRENGTHS: Physically looks the part of an NFL offensive lineman. Has long arms and good overall weight distribution. Has a thick lower half and good core flexibility, well suited to anchoring against bull rushers. Good initial quickness. Consistently is the first Colorado offensive lineman off the snap and shows the ability to jump off the ball, turn and seal off defenders in the running game. Gains good depth on his drop and eats up ground with a deep kick-step. Long arms and strong hands allow him to latch on to defenders as they attempt to cross his face when he is in pass protection. Good understanding of angles to cut off defenders who appear to have him beat. Good upper body strength and good hand placement to latch on and control his opponent. Shows some nastiness to his game, looking to knock defenders to the ground when he can. May not possess elite straight-line speed but shows enough burst to get to the second level and is highly competitive once he gets there, seeking out someone to hit. Good bloodlines. Eric Bakhtiari, David's only brother, was a standout defensive lineman at San Diego State and has been on an off the San Francisco 49ers' roster.
WEAKNESSES: May lack the elite combination of height and foot speed to handle edge rushers in the NFL, though he appears well suited to simply sliding inside to left guard. Doesn't have top body control for blocking on the move and will struggle adjusting to moving targets. Too often attacks the outside shoulder of linebackers when blocking on the move, allowing them to "swim" over him and remain in the action. Would like to see him finish his blocks more completely. Often protected with a tight end as Colorado frequently used a dual tight end set...
Compares to: John Greco, OL, Cleveland Browns -- Like Bakhtiari, Greco was a standout left tackle in college (Toledo) but one whose lack of ideal size and foot speed pushed him inside in the NFL. While not a standout, he's emerged as a solid starter and one whose physicality and determination won't be questioned once given an opportunity.