With the lack of premier offensive guards in this year's class, it was probably a good move for Branden Albert to fore go his senior year at Virginia and enter the NFL Draft. Albert was named to the first-team All-ACC squad this year and earned honorable mention honors as a sophomore. He even earned a handful of All-Freshmen accolades during the 2005 campaign. But the best award was being named a Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press. It is that steadiness that makes the former Cavalier captain such an attractive player. Albert will be consistent play after play and game after game. Injuries have not been a big problem and he has 36 career starts under his belt at UVA, which is an impressive number for a junior. Albert has only been playing football since his junior year in high school, so he still has some room to grow. Prior to that he was using his 6-7 frame on the basketball court, which has helped develop his footwork. Albert should be one of the first two offensive guards taken and he could be off the board before the first day of the draft is over -- which, this year, is after the second round. The early third round is a distinct possibility, but a team who needs a guard will be happy to use a second round selection on him. 2/27 Update: Branden Albert did not separate himself from the rest of the pack at the combine in this slim group of offensive guards. He will still be one of the first two taken, but his numbers at the Combine did not jump out at anybody. He should still be a first day selection, but many teams will have the stronger Roy Schuening from Oregon State as the top OG on their board. 3/21 Update: Many are beginning to believe that Branden Albert can play tackle and that versatility should move him up a bit in the draft, perhaps even into the first round. With his long arms and solid footwork, it is not a big surprise that he could move to tackle; when the scouts started to take a closer look at the combine, they started to believe it. By most accounts, Albert interviewed well and should be able to quickly pick up a blocking scheme and everybody likes a big and smart lineman. 4/18 Update: Nobody is jumping up draft boards faster than Branden Albert. The early entrant's natural ability was overlooked by many scouts, but once he declared for the draft, people started to take a closer look at the game tape. And they liked what they saw. His versatility is a huge plus and it would not be that surprising if Albert went in the top ten or even in the top five. His momentum will probably keep going up until draft day and a team like the Bears who could have been thinking about taking him with the 14th overall selection just a couple of weeks ago, now will be very lucky if Albert was still on the board at that point.