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2014 Offensive Tackle Rankings

April 30, 2014

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Offensive Tackle

Prototype in the NFL: Joe Thomas

Best In Class

Best Feet: Joel Bitonio                                       Best Jab: Seantrel Henderson

Best Run Blocker: Greg Robinson                  Best 2nd level Blocker: Taylor Lewan

Best Pass Blocker: Taylor Lewan                   Best Mean Streak: Taylor Lewan

Best Pancake Blocker: Greg Robinson          Best Technician: Jake Matthews

 

1. Taylor Lewan Michigan #77 6’7 1/8 309 Sr.

Comparison: Jake Long

Combine: He’s my pick for the best Combine by an OL. He had a near historic 40 (4.87-1st among 50 OL), with an amazing 1.67 10 yd split (combination of 1.70 and 1.64-his 1.64 was the 2nd fastest single 10 yd split of any OL), 29 reps (11th), 30 ½ vertical (4th), 9’9 broad (1st), 4.49 shuttle (5th) and 7.39 3 cone (4th). His two flaws were his hand size which came in near the bottom at 9 ¼ and his arms which at 33 7/8 isn’t bad but is hardly elite. His 40 was amazing as a guy that tall and that big shouldn’t move that fast. Good in hip drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6071

309

33.88

9.25

4.87

29

30.5

909

4.49

7.39

Strengths: A blue chip prospect out of HS-#148 in ESPN 150 for ’09. He’s been a dominant collegiate tackle for a long time (2nd team Big 10 in 2011, 1st team Big 10 in 2012 & 2013, Big 10 Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2012 and 2013, 1st Team All-American in 2012, 2nd Team All-American in 2013). He started 9 games as redshirt freshman at LT for Michigan so he was good from the beginning. He has an outstanding frame with great thickness throughout to go along with a huge wingspan. He plays like a RT demeanor wise and is a pile driving run blocker but has enough quickness and athleticism that he might be able to stay at LT. Coaches rave about his work ethic and leadership skills. He returned for his senior year despite likely being a Top 10 pick in the 2013 Draft if he had come out-showed commitment to the team. The game is known as “the hit heard around the world” but his matchup with Jadeveon Clowney was actually a win for him as he allowed 1 pressure and 1 TFL (the amazing hit) yet otherwise dominated Clowney from start to finish. It showed he had the foot speed to keep the edge against him and was a tough test to pass but he did it. #4 on Bruce Feldman’s freak athlete list for 2013 with a 4.8 40, squats 550 lbs, ’29 vertical. He had the best Combine of any OL including a 4.87 40 which was one of the 10-15 best All-Time for an OT. It proved to me that he is a legit LT.

Weaknesses: He isn’t an elite athlete and he possibly will have to be a RT. He is a polished player and what he is in his first 1-2 years will be similar to what you get in year’s 5-7 aka lower upside. He has solid arm length at 33.88 but you prefer ’34 arms on a LT and he is definitely not the ’35 elite armed LT. With 9 ¼ hands he has some of the smallest hands of any OT in this draft class. Hand size and arm length are big measurements to me for OT so he gets red flagged big time on the hand size. He is strong and powerful for a LT but isn’t a Jonathan Ogden type run blocker. In HS up until his Sr. year he played NT and was very lightly recruited (he jokes that he only got a scholarship b/c they wanted his teammate Craig Roh so bad).

Overall: Lewan has been on my radar as a 1st round talent for the past 3 years yet his matchup with Clowney in the 2012’s bowl game was what elevated my opinion of him from mid 1st round to elite prospect. Until then I had him as an overrated RT who didn’t have the foot speed to stay at the more coveted LT spot. Yet against South Carolina he showed the foot speed necessary to stay with Clowney’s 4.5 speed and cemented my opinion that he’s a legit LT. Since then everything has fallen into place for him in my eyes as he had another great year on film (it’s strange he was 2nd Team All-American in 2013 after being 1st Team in 2012 as I saw no difference in caliber of play), he showed great maturity and leadership skills by coming back for his senior year and he dominated the Combine. Everyone in the scouting community has him as the #3 OT in this year’s draft yet I see it differently as he is a tough, physical, experienced player with the necessary athleticism to stay at LT. He isn’t as smooth of a player as Luke Joeckel was last year yet he brings more to the table as a run blocker so they are very close in ranking. With Jake Matthews less athletic and with less impressive film and Greg Robinson looking more like an elite RT than a franchise LT, I have no problem with Taylor Lewan as my #1 OT in the 2014 NFL Draft and a Top 5 grade 3/6/14.                    

2. Greg Robinson Auburn 6’5 332 Jr.

Comparison: A more athletic yet slightly weaker DJ Fluker

Combine: Some are saying he had the best OL Combine but I’d give it to Lewan. Robinson did have a very good one and was helped by his rare frame of 6’5 332 with ’35 arms and ’10 hands. For that size his 40 (4.92), 10 yd split (1.69) and reps (32) were all elite. My only concern is his 3 cone (7.80-18th worst among 50 OL) and especially his shuttle (4.86-4th worst) were not the types of numbers put up by legit LTs. I continue to worry that he’s more road grading RT than franchise LT (think DJ Fluker vs. Jonathan Ogden). He had a beautiful 40 both in time and in style. He showed elite hip bend in cone drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6050

332

35

10

4.92

32

28.5

905

4.86

7.80

Strengths: He has elite arm length, good hand size, elite strength (both on film and on the bench with 32 reps) and elite speed (4.92). At 6’5 332 lbs he’s the prototypical RT in frame but might have enough athleticism to stay on the left side. I’ve never scouted a guy his size who could bend and adjust as smoothly as he can. He has the potential to become the best OT in the NFL as his combination of size, arm length, speed and ability to bend is historic. Is he this generation’s Jonathan Ogden?

Weaknesses: Is he a left tackle or a right tackle? That is the big question with him as if he’s athletic enough to stay on the left side he’s a Top 5 pick but if he’s only a RT then he drops in value precipitously. Auburn regularly put a TE to his side on passing downs and this consistent need to help their star LT worries me. He comes from a very gimmicky, very run oriented system that gives scouts little tape to see his pass protecting skills. He doesn’t look to be a sub 5.0 guy on film. Every time I watched him on film I thought he was a RT not a LT. He’s only a potential LT to me due to his elite Combine-workout warrior?

Overall: Greg Robinson is the most talented OT to come out of the draft since Matt Kalil in 2012. Unfortunately he isn’t extremely polished and possibly is only a RT due to questionable lateral quickness so I can’t put him as the #1 OT in this draft class let alone the past 3 draft classes. He has the potential to improve his technique, get quicker feet and become the best run blocking/pass blocking LT since Jonathan Ogden. Joe Thomas has been the best LT in the game for the past 7 seasons but he’s only a wall off run blocker yet Robinson has the potential to be a bull dozer in the run game and a shut down pass protector in the passing game. Yet he could just be a workout warrior as I don’t see a 4.92 40 guy on film when I watch him and I can’t help but notice that Auburn rarely put him in one on one pass blocking situations. You don’t “hide” your best OL and that is what they did quite regularly. They often slanted down with him blocking down on a DT instead of kicking out on the DE. They regularly lined a TE (#11) to his side on passing downs allowing to play more like an OG than an OT as he was “covered up.” Sometimes they also had a back chip a defender he was going against so they couldn’t get a quick start against him. All of these signs point to a player that is more workout warrior than future Hall of Famer. I think there is a chance that he becomes a once in a decade Hall of Fame LT but the base scenario is that he is a RT with elite run blocking skills and enough athleticism to be on an island against most teams’ #2 rusher. As such I have to knock him as the LT position is far more valuable than the RT position yet he still gets an extremely high grade due to his immense upside. Top 10 as my #2 OT 4/27/14.

3. Jake Matthews Texas A&M 6’5 ½ 308 Sr.

Comparison: A rich man’s Brian Bulaga

Combine: In any other year his 40 time (5.07) and 10 yd split (1.71) would have drawn raves. He only had 24 reps and only had 33 3/8 arms but had a very good shuttle (4.47-6th among 50 OL) and an elite 3 cone (2nd). The best of any OL in hip drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6054

308

33.38

9.88

5.07

24

30.5

809

4.47

7.34

Strengths: Son of Bruce Matthews, cousin of Clay Matthews and nephew of Troy Niklas so he has elite bloodlines. 1st Team SEC in 2013. Elite blue chip prospect out of HS.Ranked #90 in ESPN 2010 HS Class. He started at RT as a true freshman and was solid from Day 1. He moved to LT in 2013 and had a very good season (the media gave him 1st Team All-American but it wasn’t really deserved). He had a very good Combine with a top notch 40 time, 10 yd split, shuttle and 3 cone drill all showing that he’s athletic, quick and fast. He’s an elite technician and plays with spectacular balance. He rarely reaches on blocks and is very much under control. He dominated Cory Lemonier and Dee Ford (Auburn) in 2012 as well as played well against Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery (LSU) in 2012. He acts like a true professional and it’s obvious his dad (Hall of Fame OL Bruce Matthews) has been coaching him his entire life.

Weaknesses: He started as a true freshman but he didn’t dominate as a true freshman as Luke Joeckel was Freshman All-American and garnering awards well before Matthews was even in the conversation for those same awards. I actually was very hard on him for his Freshman and Sophomore years as he struggled in a number of games. He is a very good athlete but was clearly outclassed by Taylor Lewan and Greg Robinson at this year’s Combine. He also has the shortest arms of the three and his arms being sub ’33 ½ puts him right on the cut off line for me in regards to arm length for a LT. Brian Bulaga a few years back came out of the draft with 33 ¼ arm length and Jake Matthews arms are only 1/8 of an inch longer yet little is being made of it which surprises me. He lacks great arm length for a LT and lacks the elite strength you want in a RT so he isn’t a perfect fit at either OT spot. He rarely had a “clean sheet” game in 2013 as he often had a false start or holding penalty in games. This was very obvious compared to Luke Joeckel in 2012 who almost never committed a penalty. Every time I watch Jake I see a guy who could play LT but would be better as a RT. He never wows me as a prototypical, franchise LT like the media is trying to portray him as.

Overall: I’ve watched almost every game Jake Matthews played in for his career and I can definitively say that he is not an elite LT. I think the team that drafts him will be taking him due to his bloodlines, professionalism and good game film as he is a “safe” pick but if a team takes him thinking they are getting a Pro Bowl LT they will be sorely disappointed. His very good Combine aside I still have his best position as a RT not a LT as he lacks the foot speed and arm length to dominate on the left side. I don’t want to be too negative on Jake as he will be a 10 year starting OT in the NFL, will never cause any issues for his team and will work his butt off but I think the media has gone overboard on his bloodlines and created this idea of him as a Top 5 talent when he isn’t. Against elite athletes he struggles to keep the edge, he has his share of mental mistakes (false starts, TFL given up due to a brain fart, etc.) and is neither the long armed, athletic LT nor the bull dozing power RT you prefer at those spots. Jake will be a good OT in the NFL but he will never be great and as such he grades out as a mid 1st rounder as my #3 OT and a guy who is a bit overrated due to his bloodlines 3/9/14.

4. Cyrus Kouandjio Alabama 6’6 ¾ 322 Jr.

Comparison: Marcus McNeill

Combine: He impressed with 35 5/8 arms and 10 ¼ hands yet otherwise had just atrocious numbers with a shockingly bad 5.59 40 and only 21 reps (2nd worst among the 50 OL). Terrible in cone drills looking VERY tight. Solid in slide step drill. Solid in hip drill. Now word is coming out about some teams failing him in their physicals due to arthiritic knees and he not only is no longer a possible Top 10 pick but very possibly isn’t a 1st rounder 2/29/14.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6066

322

35.63

10.25

5.59

21

27.5

800

4.84

7.71

Strengths: A blue chip prospect out of HS-#3 on ESPN 150 for 2011. The #1 OT out of HS in 2011. 1st Team SEC in 2013. He was so good as a sophomore that he forced Barrett Jones (Outland Trophy Award Winner in 2011) to move from LT to C to accommodate him. He has freakishly long arms (’35.63) that make his body in some ways the prototype of a franchise LT. He had a good game against Demontre Moore (Texas A&M) in 2012 (allowed a few pressures but nothing major). He had a dominant game against Sam Montgomery (LSU) in 2012. He had a good game against Jarvis Jones (Georgia) in 2012. He had a dominant game against Dee Ford (Auburn) in 2012 (allowed him only 1 tackle, 0 sacks, 0 pressures). As you can see he has had a tough slate of games against NFL caliber pass rushers so he will come into the NFL ready to battle the best. He was coached by Nick Saban and Alabama OTs have been very solid in the NFL since they’ve left school (DJ Fluker, Andre Smith, etc.)

Weaknesses: He measured an elite arm length but otherwise his Combine was an absolute travesty as he had a shockingly bad 5.59 40 (worst among the 50 OL), a bad shuttle (4.84-9th worst) and a bad bench (21 reps-2nd worst). He had a ton of penalties in 2013 (probably was the most penalized “top” OT prospect in this draft) with 2 holds vs. Virginia Tech, 2 false starts vs. Texas A&M (should have been 3 as one was inexplicably not called) and a false start vs. Oklahoma being examples. His Oklahoma game was bad in a number of ways as he committed penalties but also allowed 2 sacks and a forced fumble with the last one sealing the loss on the first play of AJ McCarron’s 2 minute drill comeback attempt. He has trouble with pure speed as seen with his complete inability to handle Erik Striker from OU as he was toyed with for most of the game. He was very inconsistent as one game he would dominate and the next he would struggle. He has poor technique, which is surprising considering who his coach was, as he often lunges and is rarely balanced. Due to his lack of balance he is susceptible to the bull rush and at times gets pancaked. There have been rumors about early signs of arthritis in his knees that Dr. James Andrews came out to dispute.

Overall: Cyrus is one of the more interesting prospects in this draft as at times he played like a Top 10 pick and at times he played like a mid rounder. Over the past two years he’s been all over my own board as he briefly had a Top 10 grade but for most of the time ranged between a mid 1st and an early 2nd round grade. His arm length is elite and, when focused and against a player without elite speed, he can be dominant. Some games it appeared like he was almost toying with his opponent he was so dominant yet in the NFL he will come against elite speed guys like Von Miller or Robert Quinn and I could see him eaten alive by them. In his last two showcases for scouts he failed miserably (his bowl game vs. OU and his Combine performance) showing to the world his lack of footspeed and mediocre strength. Yet my biggest issues with him aren’t either of those things but are actually his inconsistent film, his lack of focus which has him committing far too many penalties and his poor technique. I see a boom/bust player in Cyrus who could develop and be a Pro Bowl LT down the road or could be a bust. He has a higher ceiling than Jake Matthews but a significantly lower floor and due to the numerous red flags around him I can’t give him a 1st round grade. Early 2nd round boom/bust type LT as my #4 OT 3/9/14.

5. James Hurst North Carolina 6’5 296 Sr.

Comparison: Jordan Gross

Combine:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6050

296

33.75

10.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengths: P: 1st team ACC in 2013. Came in and played well from Day 1 (Freshman All American in 2010). Is a physical player and showed good strength even against the big boys like South Carolina. Has great technique. Is consistent and always plays hard. Is durable with 49 career starts (NC record). He went against Jadeveon Clowney and did a good job allowing a few pressures but no sacks and nothing too impactful. He has NFL OT size at 6’5, 33 ¾ arms and 10.13 hands.

Weaknesses: Is built more like a guard than a tackle. Has a bit of a belly. Isn’t a great athlete and I think he’s a RT not a LT due to this mediocre athleticism. In the 2013 Cincinnati game he went down when other players fell on his legs and he hobbled off the field putting no pressure at all on his left leg. It looked very bad and could cause him to drop on draft day if it’s ligament damage. It ended up being a broken leg (pretty tough to walk off the field on a broken leg) so he won’t be able to do any Combine drills or team workouts.

Overall: In 2010 I noticed two freshman left tackles and thought they already were 2 of the 5 best OTs in the entire nation. They were Luke Joeckel and James Hurst. Now Luke Joeckel went on to become 1st Team All American and the #2 Overall Pick last year yet everyone forgets that 4 years ago they were comparable players as precocious freshman. Hurst never improved too much off his freshman season so he’s no longer an equal to Joeckel but Hurst is similar to Joeckel with how consistent his play is, how good his technique is and how balanced he plays as an OT. Hurst lacks great foot speed and will have to be a RT but he was one of the most underrated players in this draft before he got hurt and his broken leg will only cause that to increase. There was no ligament damage in the injury and he broke it in December 2013 so he will be 100% by the time training camp rolls around but the injury will nonetheless cause him to drop on draft day. I’m keeping the same early 2nd round grade I’ve had on him for the past year plus as Hurst is the consummate pro, is solid as a run and pass blocker and should be an above average starting RT for the next 10 years for someone. I guarantee you that he drops to the 3rd round and someone gets a steal in this guy. Early 2nd round as my #5 OT who will drop on draft day due to a freak injury that has no long term repercussions 3/6/14.

6. Ja’Wuan James Tennessee 6’6 311 Sr.

Combine: Solid in slide step drill. One of the best in hip drill. Good in mirror drill showing elite flexibility.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6060

311

35

9.88

5.34

22

29

807

4.56

7.42

Strengths: 49 game starter. A blue chip prospect out of HS-#24 in ESPN 150 for ’10. Started as a true freshman at RT in ’10 and was very solid. He has elite arm length (’35), elite height (6’6) and very good quickness for his size (his 4.56 shuttle was 10th best among 50 OL). In the 2012 Georgia game he played very well against Jarvis Jones. With his height, arm length and movement skills I honestly think he could play LT in the NFL despite never having played it in college due to Dallas Thomas and then Antonio Richardson manning the position.

Weaknesses: In the 2011 Georgia game had a hold negating 10 yd gain as they were driving (0:44 2nd), beat by LB Jarvis Jones for sack to end the game (0:07 4th). He isn’t a strong player and it showed with only 22 reps on the bench (one of the worst among the 50 OL). On film he regularly was pushed back by DL and is a finesse player.

Overall: When 4 of your 5 starters are NFL prospects it’s easy to overlook one of them and I feel that on Tennessee’s OL Ja’Wuan is the most underappreciated. At 6’6 with ’35 arms he has the prototypical frame for an NFL OT and at the Combine he put up very solid numbers and looked quite flexible and mobile in some of the drills. I’m of the opinion that his best position in the NFL is actually LT not RT where he played at for 4 seasons in the SEC. The reason is that he has the arm length, height and foot speed to play LT but lacks the strength and aggressive nature of a RT. No matter where he lines up though I expect him to be a steal for some NFL team as his draft stock is not high at all right now and there’s an outside chance he goes undrafted. Considering where I have him rated at, that would mean there is a huge discrepancy between my grade and the NFL’s. A finesse OT with RT experience but who fits better as a LT. A huge sleeper who is an early 2nd rounder as my #6 OT 3/9/14.

7. Antonio Richardson Tennessee 6’5 ¾ 336 Jr.

Combine: He easily had one of the most underrated Combines this year as he checked in at 6’5 ¾ 336 with ’35 arms (4th among 50 OL), 10 ¼ hands (5th), 5.30 40 and 36 reps (2nd). He had an underrated career so it’s not surprising that the media didn’t notice his sneakily great Combine either. He didn’t do the quickness drills which I didn’t like. VERY tight in hip drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6056

336

35

10.25

5.30

36

24.5

 

 

 

Strengths: A blue chip prospect out of HS-#105 on ESPN 150 for 2011. 24 consecutive starts. Beat out Dallas Thomas for LT spot for 2012 opener and won the coveted LT spot on a line with 5 legit NFL prospects. He has ’35 arms and 10 ¼ hands with both measurements being elite. He had 36 reps at the Combine (2nd best among 50 OL) and shows good strength on film. He had a great game in 2012 vs. Jadeveon Clowney as he only allowed one pressure and had a great pancake block on Clowney.

Weaknesses: His athleticism is right on the line between whether you leave him at LT or move him to RT. He’s a very tight athlete which puts even more of a question mark on whether he can stay at LT as most LTs are agile. He had knee issues in 2012 and a team will have to medically clear him to make sure it’s not a consistent issue. He has trouble keeping the egde and can struggle against the pure speed guys. He had a bad game vs. Florida in 2013 (Dante Fowler ate his lunch) and vs. South Carolina in 2013 (Jadeveon Clowney won the rematch as he regularly was too quick on the snap for Richardson to even lay a hand on him).

Overall: Richardson is one of the most polarizing players in this draft. Some have a late 1st round grade on him while others have a 4th or 5th round grade on him. I don’t quite understand this as to me he’s a very easy prospect to grade. At 336 lbs with ’35 arms, 10 ¼ hands and very good strength (36 reps which is elite but his film shows him as a good not great run blocker) he looks like a player that fits best at RT not LT. He has just enough athleticism to stay at LT but to me he’ll either be an average LT or a very good RT. In that scenario I would choose very good RT yet LTs are so hard to find a team my force him to stay on the left side out of necessity. No matter where he ends up though he will need to be given help against elite speed rushers as he struggled against them in college and will likely continue to do so in the NFL. Richardson to me is an underrated prospect who projects as a solid starting OT and who would be helped out tremendously if he was allowed to play RT instead of LT. 2nd round as my #7 OT 4/27/14.

8. Morgan Moses Virginia 6’6 314 Sr.

Comparison: A poor man’s DJ Fluker

Combine: He was a mixed bag with great size (6’6 314 with ’35 3/8 arms and 9 7/8 hands) but a below average 40 (5.35), a terrible 10 yd split (1.95-worst among 50 OL), a terrible vertical (21 ½-worst) and a terrible shuttle (4.95-3rd worst). He was horrible in the pad drill. Terrible in hip drill-one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6060

314

35.38

9.88

5.35

 

21.5

810

4.95

7.93

Strengths: A blue chip prospect out of HS-#48 in ESPN 150 for ’09. He has elite height (6’6), elite arm length (35 3/8) and good strength (he didn’t do the bench but on film he’s a bulldozer in the run game). He looks like your classic RT who will be a major weapon in the run game as he can engulf defenders.

Weaknesses: He isn’t fast, quick, explosive or agile. He definitely can’t play LT (I laughed when Mayock said he saw LT in his future after the Senior Bowl practices) and I question whether he will even be able to be a full time RT as his 10 yd split (1.95-worst among 50 OL), vertical (21 ½-worst) and shuttle (4.95-3rd worst) all insinuate that he’s not an NFL athlete. Can his extremely long arms overcome his terrible athleticism?

Overall: Moses projects as a RT who will be very good in the run game but only average to below average in the passing game. He reminds me of DJ Fluker yet a poor man’s version of him as Fluker is arguably the best run blocker I’ve ever graded and has much more explosiveness to his game than Moses. Mayock thinks he could possibly play LT but I don’t see how it’s even an option as he has terrible overall quickness as well as lateral food speed. I think there will be enough issues for a team that puts him at RT that I even could see an eventual move inside to OG. In the end though I think his elite arm length and very good strength will allow him to stay at RT where he’ll be a very good run blocker but a below average pass protector. Those types are commonly seen in the league (Andre Smith, Phil Loadholt, etc.) so I suspect some team will accept his flaws. 2nd round as my #8 OT who is a RT only 4/27/14.

9. Joel Bitonio Nevada 6’4 306 Sr.

Comparison: Darryn Colledge

Combine: He had good tape vs. Anthony Barr. Mayock thinks he’s a LT that can start as a rookie at RT. He had an elite 40 (4.97) which put him 4th out of 50 OL and is even more impressive considering he had the 2nd fastest 10 yd split (1.68). He also had an elite shuttle (4.44-3rd) and 3 cone (7.37-3rd). He was a knee bender who looked smooth. Smooth in hip drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6042

302

33.88

9.63

4.97

22

32

906

4.44

7.37

Strengths: He has elite lateral quickness and very good agility making the case that he’s a LT. He’s an extremely aggressive lineman and he would fit perfectly at OG. LT makes sense to start him at as the position has so much more value but at worst a team would be getting a very good OG. He’s short and has small hands for an OT but at least his arms are long (33 7/8) and his shuttle was elite (4.44-3rd best) which are my top 2 measurements I value for a LT. He had good games vs. UCLA and Florida State in 2013.

Weaknesses: At 6’4 ¼ he’ll be one of the shorter OTs in the NFL and with 9 5/8 hands he’ll have some of the smallest hands of any NFL OT. He played at Nevada so he rarely faced NFL talent. How high is he worth taking when there’s a chance he will be forced to move inside to OG.

Overall: Bitonio is an interesting player as he’s short, has smaller hands and looks like an OG on film but he has good arm length, elite lateral quickness and impressive enough tape at LT that the case can be made for him to stay there. He’s definitely not your traditional LT as those guys are usually 6’6 with ’35 arms and ’10 hands but he got the job done consistently and he does have “LT qualities” at my two most important measurements as he has long enough arms (33 7/8) and quick feet (4.44 shuttle). At worst I think he’ll be a very good LG in the NFL and be a weapon on pull plays as his agility is elite but I honestly think he could stay at LT and therefore I have a pretty high grade on him. Late 2nd round as my #9 OT who some might have as an OG 4/27/14.

10. Cameron Fleming Stanford 6’4 7/8 323 Sr.

Comparison: Poor man’s Phil Loadholt

Combine: He had an okay 40 (5.28) but it was marred by a horrific 10 yd split (1.91-worst among the 50 OL by a full 0.10!). Later he continued his terrible Combine with a 23.5 vertical (3rd worst), 5.00 shuttle (2nd worst) and 3 cone drill (4th worst). He’s a run blocking RT but I just don’t know if these numbers will allow him to be an OT even in a run heavy system. He looked tight in cone drills. He looked bad in slide step drill-not fast enough. Tight in hip drill. One of the worst in mirror drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6047

323

34

9.88

5.28

26

23.5

801

5.00

8.24

Strengths: 1st Team Pac-12 in 2013. 38 career starts. He’s an extremely long RT type who is best in the run game. He lacks great athleticism but his long arms compensate for it pretty well and his strength in the run game will translate to the next level. He is no DJ Fluker but he can move people in the run game and he will be an asset on short yardage and red zone running situations.

Weaknesses: He will be a liability in pass protection at times and could struggle against smaller rushers that can get inside his arm length as he doesn’t do well when forced to adjust to a rusher. He’s at his best against speed rushers that try to go outside as he can shield pretty well but will struggle with counter moves, stunts, and elite speed rushers who can get the edge on him in the first 2-3 steps. He’s a good run blocker but is more of a leaner than an all out decimator like a Larry Allen or DJ Fluker type.

Overall: Fleming is an easy prospect to evaluate: he’s a strong run blocker with average feet and poor short area quickness but his good arm length (’34) mitigates that enough to allow him to stay outside at RT. Against top talent he will need to be protected with a TE or RB chipping but there are a lot of teams that have RTs in that vein (DJ Fluker of the Chargers, Phil Loadholt of the Vikings, Andre Smith of the Bengals, etc.). I compared him to Loadholt as he’s more of a leaner than a bulldozer type and they both have marginal quickness. In the right scheme he could be an above average starting RT and even in the wrong scheme he should be at least a mediocre starting RT. Don’t expect the world from him and you won’t be disappointed. He should perform solidly for a team for the next 5-8 years and I doubt he goes before the 3rd round so he will provide value as a cheap starter during his rookie contract. 3rd round as my #10 OT 3/9/14.

11. Seantrel Henderson Miami 6’7 1/8 331 Sr.

Comparison: A modern day Erik Williams

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Beat on inside move by Will Clarke in 7×7. His frame is impressive and he was the best looking OL at the event.

Combine: He looked absolutely ripped for an OL. Average in hip drill. He impressed with 34 5/8 arms, 10 ½ hands and a 5.04 40 (1.71 10 yd-elite) yet didn’t do bench press, was poor in vertical (24-5th worst among 50 OL), broad (7’11-3rd worst) and 3 cone (8.15-8th worst). It was a mixed bag but the overall frame and physique screamed potential Pro Bowler. Solid in mirror drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6071

331

34.63

10.5

5.04

 

24

711

4.77

8.15

Strengths: #8 in ESPN 150 for ’10. Listed as the #39 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season as he at one time looked like a future 1st rounder to me. When motivated he’s the best run blocker in this draft. He has long arms at nearly ’35 and huge hands at ’10 ½ with both features allowing him to engulf players at times. He does not get bull rushed and players who use that as their go to move will struggle against him-see Bjorn Werner in 2012 (1st Round Pick of the Colts whom he shut down). He has below average feet but his overall athleticism is very good and, combined with his long arms and elite strength, he’s above average as a pass protector. He could be the rare Pro Bowl RT if he’s put in a run oriented offense and stays motivated.

Weaknesses: Was the biggest waffler of any recruit in the 2010 HS class, he as of 02/27/10 hasn’t even signed with USC yet and is waiting till after the NCAA investigations into the Reggie Bush scandal. It isn’t a huge deal but, just like Ryan Perriloux a few years ago, it shows something about a person’s character. He eventually left USC high and dry for Miami who 1 year later had NCAA punishment themselves. Was a freshman All American in ’10 when he started at RT. Injured during the spring doing squats and had a herniated disk. Missed most of the 2011 season but did come back for a few games. His father is far too hands on and will unfortunately be a huge distraction during his career. Was in a bad car accident in August 2012 which was his fault (ran red light) and almost resulted in a manslaughter charge as a 5 yr old girl went through the windshield of the car he hit (was a family of 6 with two going to the hospital) but she only had a gash on her forehead (16 stitches). He only played 16 games COMBINED in 2012 and 2013 (8 each year). He was suspended 3x in his career. He had back surgery in the offseason leading up to his sophomore season and at his height he might always have back issues. He suffered a concussion in the offseason leading up to his junior year due to the major traffic accident. He doesn’t play hard on a consistent basis. He was only Honorable Mention ACC in 2012 and 2013. He is a bit of a head case and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. He’s been considered elite for so long that I think he just assumes he’ll be a great pro and lacks the work ethic to maximize his talent. He often was the #3 OT for Miami and was subbed in and out regularly. I don’t know if it’s because he tired quickly but I suspect it was. He can be emotionally unstable and reacts poorly when his team isn’t playing well. He is a solid pass protector but he won’t have the foot speed to handle the elite speed rushers like Robert Quinn or Von Miller which will force his team to give him help.

Overall: Seantrel Henderson is a head case. He’s a talented head case though and some team will take a chance on him. On pure talent, Henderson is the 3rd best OT in this draft behind only Greg Robinson and Taylor Lewan yet I’d be shocked if he ever maximized his talent to its fullest potential. At his best he’s a gigantic right tackle with elite strength and very good arm length who can dominate the player lined up across from him. At his worst he’s a 3rd tackle (swing tackle) who will tire quickly, at times lose interest in competing, commit dumb penalties, cause headaches for his coaching staff and be a liability against elite speed rushers. If a team like the Seahawks took him in the late 2nd round I’d say he’s a great pick as he’s essentially just a high upside roll of the dice. He could become a Pro Bowl caliber player and make a team look smart but he could just as easily take his new found millions and continue on his path of being just good enough to make people give him more chances which he eventually will squander. I see the flashes of brilliance but I’ve always felt that for OL it’s more about consistency than flashes of dominance and he’s the least consistent player in this draft. I don’t want him on my team but I understand why someone else would. 3rd round as my #11 OT who is the biggest risk/reward player in this draft 4/26/14.

12. Charles Leno Boise State 6’4 304 Sr.

Combine: He had a shockingly good shuttle time of 4.40 (2nd best among 50 OL) which is even stranger considering how tall he is (6’4) as that drill favors the shorter, quicker centers and guards over tackles. He also was solid in the 3 cone (7.57-11th). Average in hip drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6040

304

34.38

10.13

 

21

29

900

4.40

7.57

Strengths: 39 career starts. In the 2012 BYU game he shut down future Top 5 pick Ezekiel Ansah. In the 2013 Oregon St. game he had a hold on a run play but otherwise was dominant throughout with numerous pancake blocks. He battled Scot Crichton a number of times in the game and easily won every time. At the East-West Shrine game he showed poor lateral quickness for a LT (not likely to stay at that spot) but easily handled everyone all day which once again makes me think he’s a big time sleeper as a RT/swing tackle type guy in the mid rounds. He’s an experienced tackle with +’34 arms (34.38), good quickness and above average overall athleticism. He had a good Combine including an amazing shuttle time (4.40-2nd best among 50 OL).

Weaknesses: At 6’4 exactly he is very short for an OT and if he was even a ½ inch shorter I no longer would even consider him an OT prospect. It’s actually very concerning to me as I give prospects a pretty wide variance they can fall inside of as I don’t want to be too picky with measurements but an OT below 6’4 just doesn’t exist in the NFL and to break that trend with a draft pick is pretty risky. Leno BARELY makes it above MY line, which is lenient, so I’m sure he’s too short for many NFL teams’ lines and will be off some draft boards. While his shuttle time was elite and his overall athleticism was very good he didn’t always look extremely athletic. I consider him more of a RT/swing tackle than a future starting LT. He isn’t aggressive or strong in the run game so he’s better suited for a passing offense.

Overall: “I was really impressed with him again and think he’s a steal 12/10/12.” Sometimes it’s nice to know you saw something in a player before anyone else did. Leno has been on my radar as a future sleeper for awhile now and the reason is because of his arm length, quickness and experience. He’s battled some NFL caliber prospects during his time at Boise and he’s won most of those battles. His height worries me and I don’t think he has the pure athleticism to stay at LT but, in my opinion, there is clearly a place for him in the NFL. I think he could develop into a solid starting RT, be a great swing tackle (backup LT and RT on game day when teams only dress 7 OL) or even turn into a mediocre LT in the right system (zone blocking scheme or a two TE offense like San Francisco or Indianapolis makes sense). I can’t get a good feel for his draft stock but if I was to guess I’d say he’s going to go in the 5th or 6th round which is too low for a player of his caliber. A true sleeper who won’t fit every scheme but should turn into a starting OT down the road if put in the right situation. Late 3rd round as my #12 OT 3/6/14.

13. Michael Schofield Michigan 6’6 ½ 301 Sr.

Comparison: Mitchell Schwartz

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Beat by DaQuan Jones on bull rush-earlier he was solid in unit drills. Day 3: Good against DaQuan Jones. He played OG this week but Mayock thinks he’s a RT, good against Ra’Shede Hageman for no rush, stoned Michael Sam at RT for no rush, held edge vs. unknown defender and then pancaked him when he tried speed to power move.

Combine: Below average in hip drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6064

301

34

9.63

5.01

 

24

709

4.57

7.62

Strengths: He had a very good Senior Bowl with it really opening up a lot of people’s eyes. He then followed it up with an impressive Combine as he measured ’34 arms, had a 5.01 40-5th best among OTs and good quickness drills. He has great technique and polish to his game with it likely allowing him to start, or at least play, from Day 1.

Weaknesses: He has some of the smaller hands of any of the OTs in this year’s draft. He constantly was in the shadow of his teammate Taylor Lewan. He gets the job done but doesn’t look good doing it and those types scare me as some work out (Mitchell Schwartz) and some don’t (Derek Sherrod). He has a limited ceiling as at best he’ll just be an average starting RT. He lacks the athleticism to play LT but he also isn’t a great run blocker so he doesn’t fit either spot that well.

Overall: Schofield was a guy I had a late round/free agent grade on going into the Senior Bowl but he opened up my eyes, and quite a few other scouts eyes, with a very good performance against some top level talent. He was quick enough to hold the edge, strong enough to anchor against the bull rush and he showed good technique which allowed him to win most 1×1 battles. He reminds me of Mitchell Schwartz when he came out of Cal a few years ago as they both “win ugly” yet get the job done consistently. Schofield projects as an average RT or above average #3 tackle (swing tackle) and he should be a solid pro for 6-8 years. He has limited upside but he’s polished so he should be able to contribute immediately. He grades out as a 4th rounder as my #13 OT 4/26/14.

 

 

Late round types:

Emmanuel McCray Ole Miss #70 6’5 320 Jr. In the 2012 Georgia game his frame impressed me with great quickness for his size, good quickness forcing LB Alec Ogletree very wide on blitz but got 5 sec cov sack on loop around-best most LTs could do, pancaked DE Cornelius Washington on down block, was very good on LB Jarvis Jones all night forcing him well outside-has great lateral quickness. In the 2012 Pittsburgh game he didn’t look as quick as I remember, he has good strength and an elite frame though so more like a RT. In the 2013 Georgia Tech game (bowl game) he looked slow and plodding with LT definitely not being in his future. O: Due to Tunsil taking his LT job from him McCray won’t get drafted but I still have a lat eoround grade on him as he’s a big body with length, experience and solid feet. He lacks the quickness to stay at LT but I think he could make a serviceable RT or OG in the NFL. 6th round as my #14 OT 12/30/13.

Jack Mewhort Ohio St. #74 6’6 309 Sr. 1st Team Big 10 in 2013.  #126 in ESPN 150 for ’09. Combine: He was average to below average in almost every measurable. It was a very consistently underwhelming performance. Poor in hip drill. He’s an experienced OL in a Top 4 Conference that possesses elite leadership skills and a great work ethic. Unfortunately I was unimpressed each time I scouted him this season and think he very possibly will have to move inside. For now he’s a late round RT and my opinion of him is far different from the consensus which is that of a 2nd-3rd round grade. Late 6th round as my #15 OT 3/1/14.

Justin BrittMissouri #68 6’5 7/8 325 Sr. First time starter in due to injury in the 2011 Arizona St. game he was beat numerous times by DE Junior Onyeali. Did not look very quick so at best will be an OG. Had a very good cut block vs. LB Vontaze Burfict on QB design run (12:12 3rd), blatant hold when beat to outside vs. DE Greg Smith that somehow wasn’t called (3:16 3rd), bull rushed effectively by Onyeali for pressure but QB already sacked, false start, chop block (5:35 4th), does not look NFL caliber as of this performance but he is young an inexperienced so maybe down the road 10/17/11. Combine: Tore ACL in 2012. Started all 14 games in 2013. High School wrestler. Very impressive 40 (5.19) especially his 10 yd split (1.75) for a guy his size (6’5 7/8 325). A little tight in hip drill. Britt is a big, experienced player who spent the past 3 years as a starter in a Top 4 Conference (Big 12 in 2011, SEC in 2012-2013). He had an ACL injury that robbed him of most of his 2012 season but bounced back well in 2013 and looks like a potential swing tackle at the next level. I think he has an outside shot to develop into a starting RT but the base scenario for him is to be a swing tackle and have a 3-5 year career, mainly as a backup. There is value in that and adding in the potential that he develops into an average starting RT is what gives him a late round grade. The odds though are that he won’t be drafted but will be in camp as an undrafted free agent. 7th round as my #16 OT 3/9/14.

 

Free Agent

Erie Ladson #78 6’6 335 Delaware Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he showed off elite length and was very adept in pass protection. He isn’t very agile though and occasionally a rusher would get into his body and he didn’t react well. He also struggled on blocks in space in the run game and couldn’t get his hands on anyone. In the 2013 NFLPA game he had a HUGE pancake block knocking a LB off his feet when he pulled. Free Agent 4/27/14.

Spencer Drango Baylor 1st team Big 12 in 2013. He missed the BCS bowl game vs. UCF due to a back injury. Camp invite who I wasn’t impressed with on film 4/27/14.

Rowdy Harper Houston #74 6’6 295 Sr. 2nd team AAC in 2013. RT in 2013. He lacks the quickness to play OT and didn’t impress me in any way. Due to All Conference team he’s barely a camp invite 1/4/14.

Matt Feiler Bloomsburg Sr. In the East-West Shrine game he was bull rushed by his teammate Larry Webster III for a sack, he was beat a few times earlier as well and later beat by Justin Ellis when he was moved inside to OG. Undraftable 2/22/14.

Kyle Bryant Youngstown 6’7 320 Sr. In the East-West Shrine game he was outmatched physically and technically as he was caught lunging regularly and didn’t look NFL caliber at all. Undraftable 2/27/14.

Kevin Graf USC Sr. In the East-West Shrine game he was beat regularly by Will Clarke on speed as he just wasn’t quick enough. Undraftable 3/1/14.

Jeremiah Sirles Nebraska Sr. In the East-West Shrine game he was beat badly by Ethan Westbrook for a huge hit and sack. He showed limited movement skills and I never noticed him when scouting Nebraska tape. Undraftable 3/1/14.

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One Comment
  1. peter permalink

    Great picks. Matthews does not seem like the franchise super-tackle to me either.

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