April 21, 2008


Charean Williams
McClatchy Newspapers
(MCT)

LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey has a leg up on most players in this year’s draft. But it is his right leg that is NFL teams’ sole concern.

Dorsey injured his right tibia before his junior season, and it never healed properly. An NFL team doctor said Dorsey’s back, an ankle and a knee also provide questions about how long Dorsey will last.

But there is no question about Dorsey’s ability.

“Love Dorsey as a player,” said Billy Devaney, the St. Louis Rams’ executive vice president of player personnel. “I think he’s an impact guy; he’s an everydown guy, first, second and third. He elevates people around him. He has a passion for the game, his work ethic … The guy’s going to be a great pro.”

Dorsey finished his four-year career with 179 tackles and 13 sacks, including 69 and seven last season when he won the Nagurski (top defensive player), Lombardi (top lineman), Outland (top interior lineman) and Lott (top defensive impact player) awards. He also helped the Tigers win the national championship.

“The national championship is the ultimate award, so I feel like I have achieved everything I wanted to,” he said.

He is one of six players invited to New York on draft day. Two other defensive linemen, Virginia’s Chris Long and Ohio State’s Vernon Gholston, will join him. Dorsey might be the best player there.

“I saw him last year at his best against Notre Dame when he was healthy, and he’s a force,” Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian said. “He can do it all. He can stop the run; he can rush the passer; he can beat you one-on-one. I’m not sure there are many people who can win a battle one-on-one against him in pass protection.”

Dorsey never missed a game during his four seasons, something he uses to defend himself whenever the medical questions arise.

As long as team doctors concur, he will be a top-five choice.

“You want to love the kid, because he’s a warrior and played hurt,” said Mike Mayock, a draft analyst for NFL Network. “But you better make sure you’re not buying damaged goods, and I’m not saying they are. I’m just saying you better be sure.”