How high is too high to draft a right tackle?

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INDIANAPOLIS | Coach Mike Shanahan has said right tackle Jammal Brown must prove his left hip is healthy and fluidly run in order for him to make the Redskins’ roster in 2012. Considering Brown’s hip continues to be problematic more than two years removed from surgery to repair a torn labrum, there is major uncertainty at right tackle.

The Redskins could use the sixth-overall pick to draft a right tackle, but teams historically don’t value right tackles so highly.

The Dallas Cowboys, however, drafted Southern California right tackle Tyron Smith in with the ninth-overall pick last year. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett at the scouting combine on Thursday explained the thinking behind using such a high pick on a right tackle.

“Pass rushers don’t only come from that one side,” Garrett said. “They come from the other side, too, and they come from down the middle…so you have to be good across the board up front. Certainly the tackle positions are the ones that get the marquee rushers more than anybody else. So whether it’s on the left side or right side you better be good over there because you’re going to get challenged.”

Smith, though, appears to have been a special case. He had a standout rookie season on the right side. And moments after Garrett said that, he revealed the Cowboys are moving him to left tackle and shifting incumbent left tackle Doug Free to the right side.

“One of the reasons we drafted Tyron so high is we like him as a right tackle; we like him as a left tackle, too,” Garrett said.

So if the Redskins were to use their first-round pick on a right tackle – whether it’s the No. 6 pick or whether they trade back – perhaps he’d have the ability to push Trent Williams on the left side.

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