NFL Draft: Scouting The Guards and Centers
TFY Draft Preview
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Heading into the final week before the draft, as the pro days closed out, here's an updated ranking and scouting reports of the top 10 offensive guards and top five centers for this year's draft class.
Baas School: Michigan
Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 319 40: 5.08 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Three-year starter who's been an All- Conference selection ever since his sophomore campaign as well as an All-American the previous two years. Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and co-winner of the Rimington Trophy as a senior. Played center last year after spending his first three seasons at offensive guard.
Positives: Big, dominant blocker who drives opponents into the ground. Quickly gets off the snap into blocks, stays square and rarely gives up an inch of room. Blocks with a wide base, immediately gets his hands into opponents and controls them once engaged at the point. Anchors in pass protection or turns defenders off the line, opening holes for the running game. Seals defenders from the action with good body positioning. Rarely gives up an inch of ground. Displays good awareness and works well with teammates. Adequate quickness kicking out across the line.
Negatives: Not effective blocking on the move. Lacks adjustment and body redirection. Struggles against speedy, quick opponents. Looked ordinary when used at center.
Analysis: A productive collegiate lineman who's been a dominant force the past three seasons, Baas has the abilities to be a stalwart at the next level if put in the proper system. Best at guard for a power running offense or a system that keeps his area responsibilities to a minimum. Won't test well athletically, yet an underrated prospect that can quickly move into a starting lineup at the next level.
Evan Mathis School: Alabama
Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 304 40: 5.00 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference honors in the past. Used at both right tackle and guard in college. All-Academic award winner in the past.
Positives: Tough, durable lineman with the versatility to be used at several spots up front. Quick off the snap, stays square and strong at the point. Keeps his feet moving throughout the play, anchors in pass protection, displaying power at the point of attack. Solid position blocker who seals lanes for ball carriers. Nasty and always working to hit someone. Effectively fights with his hands throughout the play. Makes good use of blocking angles and rides rushers out of the action.
Negatives: Not effective in motion and lacks adjustment on the second level. Could improve the strength of his base and not a drive blocker.
Analysis: Best in a small area or straight ahead, Mathis has been rising up draft boards with his play last season. Would be effective at guard in a zone blocking scheme, yet could also help out at tackle in a pinch. Offers growth potential that will only improve his overall game.
Elton Brown School: Virginia
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 329 40: 5.34 Year: 4Sr
Bio: Moved into the starting lineup as a true freshman and awarded All-Conference honors the past three seasons, also gaining All-American notoriety as a senior. Recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, as the top blocker in the ACC, the past two seasons.
Positives: King-sized lineman who dominates the opposition. Blocks with forward lean, strong at the point and easily controls opponents once engaged in a block. Powerful, moves defenders off the ball or throws them to the ground. Very quick with his hands, immediately gets into blocks and stays with the action. Emotional leader of the offensive line. Engulfs opponents or uses body positioning to seal them from the action. Displays tremendous punch with his arms, so large opponents have difficulty getting around him. Effective in pass protection.
Negatives: Looks overweight and lumbers around the field. Not a knee bender or leverage blocker. Lacks adjustment, balance and skills in motion. Did not play at the Senior Bowl after showing up with a mysterious MCL sprain.
Analysis: A physically dominant blocker who destroys opponents at the point of attack, Brown is an impenetrable force once he gets his hands on defenders. Must learn to play with leverage, work harder finishing blocks, and properly condition himself. Possesses the physical skills and mental abilities to be a productive starter in the NFL if he puts forth a complete effort.
Marcus Johnson School: Mississippi
Ht: 6-6.5 Wt: 321 40: 5.54 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Four-year starter who's played 48 career games with the first unit. Second team All- SEC as a senior. Used mainly at right guard, though he had sporadic duty at right tackle.
Positives: Nice-sized lineman who's watching his draft stock move north. Explodes off the ball into run blocks, strong at the point and drives defenders off the line, opening holes for the running game. Gets his hands into opponents, turns them off the ball and plays with a nasty attitude. Quick setting in pass protection, stays square and anchors at the point. Bends at the knees playing with leverage. Competitive, yet at the same time works well with linemates.
Negatives: Must improve his overall blocking balance. Does not always finish blocks and lacks top upper body strength. Marginally productive in college on the second level.
Analysis: A king-sized lineman who engulfs opponents at the point of attack, Johnson capped a terrific college career with a solid Senior Bowl showing. Displayed he skills to block in motion and took well to the West Coast offensive system employed. Has the size for tackle, yet may be better off inside at guard. Offers a lot of upside for the next level.
Adam Snyder School: Oregon
Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 316 40: 5.40 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Three-year starter and All-Conference selection since his sophomore campaign. Awarded the Morris Trophy last year, handed to the top lineman in the PAC-10.
Positives: Smart, efficient blocker with an outstanding feel for the position. Plays with good lean, stays square and displays excellent technique with his hands. Patient in pass protection, effectively uses blocking angles and body positioning to seal opponents from the action. Sets with a wide base, works to bend his knees and rides rushers from the angle of attack. Bright, alert, and on top of his game.
Negatives: Lacks top footwork sliding out to protect the edge. Not a natural knee bender. Adequate playing strength.
Analysis: In many ways a complete lineman, Snyder gets the most out of his ability. Not the greatest athlete, rather a lineman who can have a long but unspectacular career in the NFL.
Logan Mankins School: Fresno State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 307 40: 5.18 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Three year starter awarded All-Conference and All-American honors as a senior. Missed the 2003 season after tearing in his right knee. Played left tackle at Fresno State.
Positives: Intelligent and athletic blocker who can be used at several spots on the offensive line. Bends his knees, plays with leverage and patient. Stays square, adjusts to defenders and affectively uses blocking angles in pass protection. Technically sound, displays solid footwork sliding laterally and effective with his hands. Mentally on top of his game and works well with teammates. Displays the ability to block in motion and effectively uses body positioning to wall defenders from the action.
Negatives: Lacks the top size for a blind side tackle. Not a dominant drive blocking lineman and gets minimal movement from run blocks.
Analysis: A hard working lineman who plays with great intelligence, Mankins has been very productive on the college level. Performed well at the Senior Bowl at guard and significantly improved his draft stock.
Chris Kemoeatu School: Utah
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 344 40: 5.38 Year: 4Sr
Bio: Three-year starter and an All-Conference selection as a senior. Consistently grades out as one of Utah's better linemen.
Positives: Nasty blocker with outstanding size. Displays power and jolt at the point of attack, turns defenders from the line or easily removes pass rushers out of their angle of attack. Good blocking vision, effectively uses angles and quick if asked to kick out or pull across the line of scrimmage. Gets movement from run blocks, mashes opponents or engulfs them at the point of attack. Plays with a nasty attitude and works to destroy defenders. Extends his hands to keep opponents away and anchors in pass protection.
Negatives: Gets tall and not a knee bender or leverage blocker. Lacks fluid footwork in space and not effective blocking in motion.
Analysis: A king-sized blocker with surprising athleticism and overall skill, Kemoeatu has the abilities to be an immediate and productive starter at the next level. Stand to shed a few pounds, which would only improve his agility and skills on the move but a prospect that could soar up draft boards with good interviews prior to April.
Scott Young School: BYU
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 312 40: 5.08 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Junior college transfer who began his career on the defensive line before moving to guard last season. Had a dominant combine completing 43-repititions on the bench press and running 5.05 in the forty.
Positives: Athletic prospect with excellent size/speed numbers. Quick off the snap into blocks, explosive at the point of attack and a resilient lineman who stays with the action. Looks for someone to hit, displays strength in his upper body and a solid position blocker. Extends his hands and keeps opponents away.
Negatives: Lacks the dominant base and not a drive blocker. Does not display top range or abilities on the second level.
Analysis: Doing a considerably fine job his first year on the offensive line, Young offers good potential for the next level. Needs time, repetition, and a lot of development, yet has the physical and mental abilities to succeed.
Claude Terrell School: New Mexico
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 343 40: 5.44 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Four-year starter who played 46 consecutive games with the first unit. First-team All- Conference choice the past two-years.
Positives: Collegiate tackle who projects to guard at the next level. Wide-bodied blocker who plays with leverage, moves well for a big man and dominates the opposition. Can adjust or block in space, redirects to linebackers on the second level and displays solid blocking range. Quick setting in pass protection, stays square and anchors at the point of attack. Immediately gets into run blocks, jolting defenders at the point of attack, then turning them from the play. Nasty, looks to hit someone and works blocks until the whistle blows. Solid footwork sliding out off the edge and also displays the ability to kick out or pull.
Negatives: Must pick up his awareness and make better use of angles as well as quickly pick up stunts thrown by opponents. Bends at the waist, which hurts his balance. Effective when he extends his hands but all too often lazily lets defenders inside him. Questionable desire.
Analysis: A mammoth blocker with above-average athleticism, Terrell possesses a lot of skill and upside for the next level. Could improve his conditioning as well as mental awareness, yet has the ability to quickly develop into a starting offensive guard if he decides to apply himself on a full-time basis.
Justin Geisinger School: Vanderbilt
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 322 40: 5.37 Year: 5Sr
Bio: Four-year starter at the left tackle position. Awarded varying degrees of All-Conference honors since his freshman campaign.
Positives: Powerful, wide-bodied college tackle who projects to guard at the next level. Nasty blocker who drives defenders off the line or seals them from the action with body positioning. Stays square, keeps defenders in front of him and effectively uses blocking angles. Knows what's happening on the field and helps out teammates. Quick off the snap into blocks and immediately sets in pass protection. Solid hand technician.
Negatives: Lacks blocking range and struggles sliding laterally. Lacks adjustment as well as the ability to redirect to opponents. Must learn to finish.
Analysis: A wide-bodied lineman with excellent weight room strength, Geisinger has done a solid job protecting the blind side at Vandy. Limited blocking range will force him inside, though he could develop into a productive starting guard in the right system.
Top 5 Centers
Chris Spencer School: Mississippi
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 309 40: 5.26 Year: 4Jr
Bio: Moved into the starting lineup on a fulltime basis last year and named all-conference. Saw extensive playing time at both center and guard.
Positives: Athletic blocker explosive at the point of attack. Quickly gets into blocks and easily rides defenders from their angle of attack. Jolts opponents and displays explosion at the point. Tough, and stays with the action until the whistle blows. Effective on the second level, adjusts or redirects to linebackers and gets results blocking on the move. Fundamentally sound and works well with linemates.
Negatives: Stiff in his upper body and must improve his hand placement. Needs work on shotgun snaps.
Analysis: A terrific prospect who offers a good degree of upside, Spencer has continually progressed on the college level. Effectively snapped to three different quarterbacks in 2004, and while he needs to iron out the details of his game, a prospect who could eventually start in the NFL.
Jason Brown School: North Carolina
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 313 40: 5.58 Year: 4Sr
Bio: Two-year starter at center who began his career as an offensive tackle. All-conference and All-Academic selection as a senior. Holds school records in the squat (775 pounds) and power clean (419 pounds).
Positives: Strong, explosive center who opens up the middle of the field. Quickly gets off the snap, bends his knees, then plays with leverage. Nasty, and always looking to hit someone. Sees the field and displays good awareness. Patient in pass protection, keeps his feet active throughout the play and jolts opponents with hand punch. Effective with the shotgun snap.
Negatives: Stiff in his upper body. Slow to adjust and has difficulty getting to the spot picking up blitzes. Played poorly during the Senior Bowl.
Analysis: Intelligent and nasty at the same time, Brown is an effective run-blocking center who also does well in pass protection. Must shed some weight, which will help him move in the middle of the line.
Ben Wilkerson School: LSU
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 299 40: 5.49 Year: 4Sr
Bio: Four-year starter awarded both SEC Academic and all-conference honors throughout his career. First team All-American and Remington Trophy winner as a senior, despite missing the last three games of the season with a torn patella tendon.
Positives: Athletic lineman with both size and growth potential. Good position blocker who keeps his feet moving throughout the action and walls defenders from the play. Solid footwork in space, adjusts nicely to defenders and stays after blocks. Patient, does not overextend and fluid in every aspect.
Negatives: Does not play with great balance or body control. Has a soft build, must improve his playing strength and not dominant at the point of attack.
Analysis: A solid prospect with natural abilities, Wilkerson has been a productive collegiate lineman the past four years. Offers good upside for the next level, but must dedicate himself to the weight room and significantly improve his playing strength.
Junius Coston School: North Carolina A&T
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 310 40: 5.35 Year: 4Sr
Bio: Four-year starter who's been used at guard, center and right tackle in college. All-conference selection in the past.
Positives: Big-bodied lineman who plays with solid fundamentals. Sets with a wide base, keeps his feet moving throughout the action and strong at the point of attack. Anchors in pass protection, controls opponents once engaged in a block and displays explosion at the initial point of contact. Displays a nasty streak, yet at the same time is intelligent and works well with teammates.
Negatives: Must get his hands into opponents quicker and extend them to keep defenders away. Bends at the waist, which hurts his balance and blocking range. Struggled most of the week at the Senior Bowl.
Analysis: A solid prospect with a good degree of upside, Coston's versatility and natural skills give him good upside for the next level. Must improve his techniques and learn to play against better competition, yet a good developmental prospect.
Richie Incognito School: x-Nebraska
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 305 40: 4.93 Year: 4Jr
Bio: Three-year starter at left tackle for Nebraska, receiving all-conference honors every season. Dismissed from the Cornhusker program prior to the start of the 2004 campaign for repeated violations of team policies. Subsequently transferred to Oregon but suspended from that program before ever playing a game. Has a history of losing his temper both on and off the field. Convicted of a misdemeanor assault charge in July of 2004.
Positives: Big, strong lineman who must mature as an individual before having any shot at the next level. Blocks with leverage, immediately gets his hands into opponents and effectively uses angles. Fights throughout the action, keeps his feet moving and extends, controlling opponents at the point. Plays with a nasty disposition.
Negatives: Lacks fluid footwork sliding out to protect the edge and possesses marginal size for the tackle position.
Analysis: A player with the physical skills to be a productive starter in the NFL, Incognito must learn to control his temper to have any shot of reaching his potential.
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