This is my opinion.
Is Long an absolutely perfect pass-protector? No.
However, he is still easily capable of being a franchise Left Tackle.
Firstly, what is the difference between Long and the perfect pass-protector? Three sacks a season? Maybe four? Long might get beaten once a game by the elite speed rushers, like Freeney, or the NFL player that Gholston (a potential top-5 pick) will become. But that's it. And even the best, like Orlando Pace, will get beaten every once in a while.
But if Jake Long is not the most dominant pass-protector, he is certainly the most dominant run-blocker that college football has seen for a while. His combination of strength, technique, experience and sheer nastiness is unmatched - and will be nigh-on unmatched in the NFL as well. Compared to Joe Thomas, a great rookie success, Long might not be quite the pass-protector, but I'd maintain that he is and will be the more dominant run-blocker. By some margin.
In my opinion, that more than outweighs any minor limitations in the pass-protection.
The best form of pass-protection is a dominant run game. Firstly, the afore-mentioned speed-rushers will be worn down by the relentless run. Secondly, they will not be able to tee-off on the pass rush, because they'll have to think run first, pass second. Thirdly, the dangerous third-and-long plays will be reduced with a dominant run game.
If we get Long, he and Blalock will form a powerful run blocking left side for a decade to come. Hey, even a 40-year-old Dunn could run behind the two of them (yes, I'm expecting Blalock to be all the better for his tough rookie season).
For the sake of three extra sacks a season (compared to Pace, Jones or Ogden, for heaven's sake!), I'll take a dominant run game with both hands.
That's why we need Jake Long. Fingers crossed.
TD 2011 catch-phrase: "explosive"