Report from NFL Scouting Services' Dave-Te' Thomas:
Jeremiah Poutasi has a wide frame with a big chest, broad shoulders, long arms, big thighs and thick calves, but might have “flown under the radar” where the media is concerned. Scouts feel that the Utah left tackle might just move into the third round as a potential guard prospect, but feel he would go a few rounds lower if taken as a left tackle.
Ever since he arrived on campus, the Las Vegas native has dominated, starting 11 games in 2012 to record eight touchdown-resulting blocks on the way to earning All-Pac 12 Conference honorable mention. In 2013, he started every game, alternating between left tackle and guard, as he produced 45 knockdowns. Named a team co-captain for 2014, he allowed just three sacks while registering eleven touchdown-resulting blocks to garner second-team All-Pac 12 accolades.
Poutasi has adequate straight-line speed, but demonstrates above average upper body strength to lock on and sustain. His hips are very stiff, as he struggles when asked to change direction, and he lacks flexibility in his hips to smoothly redirect. He is more of the type who waits for the defender to come into his body rather than fire off the snap to generate contact, but he uses his size well to cover up the defender working on the line. He uses his hand placement to lock on and sustain and knows how to utilize his body mass to occupy space and gain advantage.
The Utes junior flashes good hand strength in his surge off the ball and has the leg drive to push the pile. He might lack ideal hip roll, but his lower body power lets him drive people off the ball and he knows how to use his frame to occupy and wall off the defender. Once he gets his hands on an opponent, the battle is quickly over.
Poutasi is very good at creating and sustaining a rush lane, but lacks balance and foot speed to be effective leading blocks into the second level. He has the hand strength and explosion to finish consistently when allowed to stay at the line of scrimmage. He is a physical drive blocker with the reach to keep defenders off his body. He is not going to mirror moves with his feet when operating in space, lacking ideal hip snap, but is a powerful straight-line blocker.
Poutasi consistently shocks and jolts the pass rusher coming off the snap. He uses his strength and size to lock on, steer and wall off the opponent. He did a very good job of showing patience in 2014, letting the defender attack him rather than try to lunge into the blocks (would fall off too much doing this). On the move, he is prone to taking false steps and crossing his feet, causing him to lose balance. However, on the line, he plays with a wide base and shows alertness, making it hard for the bull rusher to push him back.
Playing out of a three-point stance Poutasi has flashes of good explosion and initial quickness, but must do a better job with his fit and pad level when drive blocking. He flashes the ability to knock defenders off the line of scrimmage, but has to do it with better consistency, as he does not always play with a good base, as he is more of a wall-off type than a position style blocker.
Even with his hip stiffness and adequate timed speed, a move to guard might be advisable, as Poutasi demonstrates enough quickness to get to linebackers while showing pull/trap ability, along with the awareness to locate defenders on the move with good finishing results. He has the potential to get a hat on active first- and second-level defenders if he can improve his pad level.
Poutasi’s arm length and playing strength are assets in pass protection. Although he will flash good bend and foot quickness working in-line, there is the need to improve his ability to handle edge speed and change of direction moves if he is to remain at tackle.
Once he gets his hands on rushers Poutasi has the ability to dominate, as his initial punch is impressive. However, all areas of hand use will need refinement, as he will get wild and swing his arms outside his frame, leaving his chest exposed for the defender to grab on and walk him back when his base gets too narrow. While the junior has the tools to be a dominant guard at the NFL level of play, some time will be needed to polish his run and pass blocking skills.
Jeremiah Poutasi NFL Scouting Combine measurable
6-5/335 (5.32 forty)
33 7/8-inch arm length
9 1/2-inch hands
26.5-inch vertical jump
95-inch broad jump
8.09 3 cone drill
4.89 20 yard shuttle
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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