Finding Broncos: Scouting Offensive Lineman Taylor Decker

MHH's draft expert is back to take a look at offensive tackle Taylor Decker.

http://www.scout.com/player/146942-taylor-decker?s=101

Combine Results

40-YARD DASH: 5.23 SEC

BENCH PRESS: 20 REPS

BROAD JUMP: 101.0 INCH

3 CONE DRILL: 7.70 SEC

20-YARD SHUTTLE: 4.76 SEC

Pros

-Ideal height & weight

-Athletic

-Quick and light footed

-Great core strength and power

-Leader and commanding demeanor among teammates

-Strong hands

-3 year starter at both tackle positions

-Nasty player, wanting to finish with opponents in the dirt

-Will lay out defenders at the second level

-Head is on a swivel

-Always looking for someone to block when not engaged

-Tremendous body control

-Excellent kick-slides

-Drives his feet through contact

-Really good run blocker

-NFL ready and day one plug and play starter

-Know what you’re going to get

Cons

-Could stand to get better with his technique

-Doesn’t have a very high ceiling

-Needs to work on pad level and balance

-Knee bend is inconsistent and often not good enough

-Plays far too upright

-Short arms for his height

-Stiff and struggles to change direction

-Pass protection is the weaker aspect of his game

-Lacks understanding of balance

-While athletic, he struggles with change of direction defenders

-Relies too much on strength and power than technique and balance

-Will struggle with defenders who know how to use leverage to their advantage

-Issues with redirecting defenders, especially around the edge in pass protection

-Limited potential and not a left tackle in the NFL

Overall Thoughts

Jason Spriggs has a higher ceiling, but not as ready as Decker is. Decker is more pro ready now, and can be a starter at right tackle from day one, but that doesn’t mean there are serious concerns with his pass protection. He is mean and nasty, which scouts I have talked to absolutely love. Offensive line coaches for teams who love to run will pound the table for Decker, while more pass happy teams will be really concerned. For the Denver Broncos he could be the day one starter at right tackle, as he fits the scheme well and they are going to look to run the ball much more than they did this past season (more on this later).  With his issues in pass protection, especially with more athletic and faster edge rushers, Decker may be better suited kicking into guard where he could punish as a run blocker and hold his own in pass protection.

For the Broncos, who have Ty Sambrailo, Decker could realistically be kicked inside to left guard, where there is a void with Evan Mathis contemplating retirement. If Mathis does return, it adds to the depth the Broncos have along their whole offensive line as Decker could play four of the five spots, and if he was shorter, some scouts believe he would be an excellent center. In the late first round, it would be a really solid pick for the Broncos, even though their offensive line situation isn’t as bad as many make it out to be. Decker will be a good NFL starter for years at right tackle or at guard. There are concerns with him as a left tackle in the NFL.

Broncos Round Projection: Late 1st-Early 2nd

Where He Goes: Top 25.

Per sources, with Spriggs on the rise, Decker is taking a small tumble. He was once considered the #3 offensive tackle, now some teams either barely have him in their top five, or not in their top five. Some teams are wary because, even though he is NFL ready, there is a very small ceiling for Decker. Despite this, a team who needs a lot of help on their offensive line will take him within the top 25, but in that 20-25 range, Denver could realistically trade up for him.

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Erick Trickel in an Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @Alaskan_Bronco. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook

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