Winston Justice OT 6’6 300 USC Jr.
By: Robert Davis
As long as Winston Justice has been on the field, he has been the marquee talent on USC’s offensive line the past three seasons. He moved into the starting lineup the second game of his true freshman season and has not let the job go, aside from a suspension in 2004. He was suspended from school for a year for brandishing a fake firearm at a fellow student, who did not realize it was fake. As a freshman in 2002, Justice was a freshman All-American. All Pac 10 honors came his way as a sophomore, and he was on his way to big things until the suspension occurred. He started all 13 games at right tackle for USC this season, though he was the only USC starter to not be named All Pac 10 on the offensive line.
Justice has all the talent in the world at the tackle spot. He has played RT his entire career, but that is Matt Leinart’s blind side, so he has experience protecting the QB’s backside. Justice is a very good athlete, with the ability to adjust to counter moves by defenders. In the run game, he shows the ability to control his man at the point of attack to open up holes for his backs. During his year off, Justice showed great determination by working out constantly, taking up boxing and getting himself into the best shape of his life.
Despite all the talent, Justice has struggled this year. He has shown a lot of rust. He can get beat by quick edge rushers. It has resulted in quite a few holding penalties, or just getting flat out beaten. Even though he has started every year he’s been on the field, he’s still raw, and needs more time to develop. Before enrolling at USC, Justice was picked up for soliciting a prostitute, making that two run ins with the law, along with the aforementioned suspension.
Justice has almost as much upside as any tackle in this draft. He is not quite the explosive athlete D’Brickashaw Ferguson is, but he’s up there with any other tackle in the draft. He has not been the standout on the field his talent suggests, but his upside is tremendous and will make teams consider him high. While not a character risk, his maturity does need to be looked into as he has gotten into trouble with the law twice now since leaving high school. Justice had an impressive showing at the combine, posting Top five performances in every offensive lineman drill, aside from the 40, which he did not participate in. He has a chance to be the second tackle selected, but is a first round lock no matter what.
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