MEASUREMENTS: 6'6", 312 pounds, 40-yard dash indeterminate and wholly irrelevant. These are subject to change after the Combine, of course.
ACCOLADES: 2008 2nd team All-Big Ten (coaches), 2008 honorable mention All-Big Ten (media); 2009 2nd team All-American (Walter Camp), 2009 1st team All-Big Ten (media and coaches), 2009 Big Ten offensive lineman of the year (media).
THE TWITTER SUMMARY: Can the Young Nastyman regain his 2008 form after being slowed by a thyroid condition? As a first-round prospect, he and the NFL think so.
THINGS THE PROS GET RIGHT: The general consensus about Bulaga's ceiling is absolutely correct. In 2008, Bulaga was the most dominant underclassman lineman in the conference, and he was properly rewarded for that performance 12 months later with an offensive lineman of the year award. That's just how they do things.Of course, in those 12 months, Bulaga's production fell off dramatically in the wake of a thyroid issue that kept him off the field, but Bulaga has gotten a clean bill of health from the Mayo Clinic since the end of the season. That out of the way, there's nothing to stop him from mashing at the second level once again, right?
THINGS THE PROS MAY NOT ACCOUNT FOR: Even as Bulaga improved over the course of 2009, he still wasn't back to his usual form. We still have nightmares of watching Brandon Graham and O'Brien Schofield completely undress Bulaga on the speed rush, even when Bulaga had help from Tony Moeaki. And yes, Graham and Schofield are both going to get plenty of PT in the NFL, well, so will everybody else Bulaga faces from here on out. Further, even though he checked out in that Mayo Clinic visit, there still isn't much way to tell how close to his potential he is--especially not at the combine in shorts and a t-shirt. And while we don't think Bulaga's going to be more 2009 than 2008 for the duration of his NFL career, we do recognize the need for on-field evidence to prove that he's, y'know, "back." There's not a convincing amount of that yet; would a team really make that much of a gamble on an offensive lineman in the first half of the first round?
NON-FOOTBALL THING YOU MAY FIND ENDEARING/CHARMING/INTERESTING: This technically has nothing to do with Bryan Bulaga, but we would be remiss if we didn't bring up Eat Bulaga, the seemingly innocuous Filipino variety show with zero compunction about playing music with the filthiest lyrics imaginable. Take the stroll down memory lane with us, won't you?
TOTAL SUMMARY GRADING OF OVER/UNDERRATED: Well, that depends on where he's drafted, right? If he's really drafted at the no. 6 spot by Seattle, then yes, that is overrated. If he goes 23rd to the Packers, then he's probably a little underrated. We don't expect him to go at six, mainly because any team there that really wants Bulaga can probably trade down to 12 or so and still get him. Value maximization and all.