Missouri OL Mitch Morse
— Morse shifted to left tackle as a senior. He started every game, even though he sustained a broken left index finger at Texas A&M in November. He thought the finger was jammed and didn’t learn about the extent of the injury until a postgame X-ray. He had surgery the next day and returned to practice two days later.
— Despite the injury, he was second-team all-SEC and finished the season with 97 knockdowns and had 13 touchdown-resulting blocks. He also made 14 key hits vs. second-level defenders that led to scoring drives. Just 2.5 of the 23 sacks charged to the front wall
— The injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl. Morse made up for it by opening more than a few eyes in Indianapolis with his performance at the Scouting Combine. He first posted 36 reps in the 225-pound bench press drill, executing a 9-foot-4 broad jump and clocking 4.50 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle, all of which were among the top performances at his position. He also had a 31-inch vertical jump and was timed at 5.14 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
“I played some tackle, some guard, some center,” Morse said at the Combine. “I was fortunate enough at some point in time at all of them and play all of them at one point in time in my Mizzou career.”
— Missouri All-American defensive end Shane Ray said, “When he explodes his hands out on you, that force just kind of shocks your body. You’re like, ‘Whoa.’ You’ve got to be serious if you’re going to go in there and try to get with Mitch on that kind of level. Mitch Morse is a beast. Not because he’s my teammate or anything, but I think he’s a little bit underrated.”
— In 2013, he started all 14 games at right tackle to earn second-team all-SEC honors. He produced 82 knockdowns while helping the rushing attack establish a school season-record with 3,330 yards.
Height: 6-foot-5 3/8. Weight: 305 pounds.
5.14 in the 40-yard dash…1.86 10-yard dash…3.04 20-yard dash…4.50 20-yard shuttle…7.60 three-cone drill…31-inch vertical jump…9’04” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times (500-pound bench press at school)…32 1/4-inch arm length…9 1/4-inch hands.
Morse is a model of consistency, but most of all, his resume shows solid performances at whatever task he is assigned. With starting experience as a center, right tackle and left tackle, the Tiger is penciled in as either a guard or center at the next level, more so because of his lack of arm length teams look for in an offensive tackle. He also has smaller than ideal hands for a lineman, but compensates with outstanding raw power and a tenacious attitude, especially in one-on-one battles.
While Morse might lack those long limbs, he is a well-built athlete with good chest muscles, a solid upper body build and a frame that can carry at least another fifteen pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness. He demonstrates an explosive initial step coming off the ball and has the ability to attain acceleration quickly on the move.
Morse moves well going down the line, showing good balance and adequate change of direction agility that could be even better, but he does revert to waist bending, especially on drive blocks. He has the quickness to get into the second level and shows good stamina and endurance throughout the game, along with exceptional toughness and a high threshold for pain (see finger injury in 2014 and his MCL issue in 2012).
While not sudden, Morse has the initial quickness and balance to accelerate and gain advantage, using his arms well to make reach blocks. He will revert to bending at the waist at times, but generally plays on his feet, generating good body control and angle concept working into the second level. He sets low in his stance and has good stamina, as you won’t see him get lazy late in games or get beat around the corner, thanks to his ability to maintain position and mirror.
Morse shows good change of direction quickness, but it could be even better if he did not bend at the waist moving in space. He gets off balance when he leads with his head, but might be a good fit as an interior lineman due to his ability to get out with good balance on short traps and pulls.
The Tigers senior is active with his hands and plays with good aggression, and he can shock and stall the bull rush with his exceptional hand punch power. He is effective as a push-and-shove type, as he can create immediate movement and generate very good pop on contact. He has some mechanical flaws, as he will duck his head drive blocking into the second level and waist bends when trying to redirect on the move.
However, when Morse bends with his knees and keeps his pads down, he is good at getting leverage. When he rolls his hips, he generates better force hitting on the rise. He has good foot acceleration and works hard to finish, thanks to his intensity and effort. He has developed the strong hands needed to control and has become quite efficient holding and grabbing for short periods.
Morse has the balance and body control to handle double moves and shows good fluidity in his kick slide (scouts say that his kick slide is the best in the SEC). He maintains balance in his retreat and has that strong anchor and heavy hands to keep inside his frame to defeat counter moves. He showed marked improvement in his sets as a senior and will be a nice fit for a zone blocking scheme due to his ability to get out on the edge and mirror.
Morse has some waist bending issues, but it is an easily correctable flaw. He has good feet and balance on the move, but needs to keep his head up in order to not lose sight of the opponent on the move. He can generate pop in space and does a nice job of folding inside and turning up on the linebackers. He has the tools to adjust to the linebacker’s moves. He stays on his feet moving into the second level (needs to keep his head up) and can wheel with some nice change of direction moves.
The potential NFL guard/center will shock a second level defender with his hand strike and he moves around well enough to occupy them until the whistle. With his short arms making him a better fit as an interior blocker, his power and versatility should aid him in moving up on most draft boards for teams with offensive line depth issues.