Gene Smith went both safe and smart with the selection of Eugene Monroe, Offensive Tackle from Virginia with the eigth selection in the 2009 draft. WIth the offensive line decimated from injury last year, the addition of Tra Thamas and the addition of Eugene Monroe assures the line will not only get better but continue to get better year after year. A great long term value pick.
If character was a selection criteria, Monroe certainly qualifies. Not only a top athlete but a top student as well. He is known as inquisitive, hard working and always ready to learn. He will emerge asa leader on this team in the coming years.
Eugene Monroe faced Chris Long in practice every day of his junior season and worked next to Brandon Albert ORG drafted by Kansas City. He comes from a great program and solidified the left side of Virginia for two years. He went 25 straght games without a sack.
The only concerns are his knees. He dislocated his knee cap in his sophmore year. Working hard in the weight room and rehabilitation, he came back to have very solid junior and senior years.
He is most experienced left tackle coming out this year with a great head on his shoulders and a wonderful maturity. This is an immediate upgrade to both the offensive line and the character of the team.
Overall - A WONDERFUL selection.