Breakdown: Redskins Select Brandon Scherff

Everything you need to know about the Washington Redskins’ first-round selection of OT Brandon Scherff out of Iowa from Scout's college and pro football experts.

Awaiting Image
Brandon Scherff
Iowa / 6'5 / 319 lbs
  • OT
  • [1] #5

Analysis

Scherff is another high profiled offensive line prospect from Iowa’s football program. In fact, this former Hawkeye won his share of post-season hardware including the Outland Trophy. He had a spectacular 2014 campaign giving up only once sack. Scherff was credited with 93 knockdowns, 16 touchdown-resulting blocks, and a Big 10-best 90.88% grade for blocking consistency. He projects as a right tackle, guard or both. It’s that versatility that makes him even more draft valuable. Many believe he can have the same rookie impact that Dallas guard Zach Martin had.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation

This was perhaps the surprise pick of the first five selections, as the Redskins picked offensive lineman Brandon Scherff over defensive end Leonard Williams and pass rusher Vic Beasley. He’s another high profiled offensive line prospect from Iowa’s football program. In fact, this former Hawkeye won his share of post-season hardware including the Outland Trophy. He had a spectacular 2014 campaign giving up only once sack. Scherff was credited with 93 knockdowns, 16 touchdown-resulting blocks, and a Big 10-best 90.88% grade for blocking consistency. He projects as a right tackle, guard or both. It’s that versatility that makes him even more draft valuable. Many believe he can have the same rookie impact that Dallas guard Zach Martin had. The Redskins need right tackle.

Brandon Scherff was honored as the Big Ten Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year, adding to his accolades with the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's best interior lineman. The Hawkeyes’ reliance on their left tackle was evident, as he produced 14 touchdown-resulting blocks for a running game that scored 20 times in 2014. He also delivered 93 knockdowns and allowed just one sack for the year. Eyed by both Washington and Carolina to help solve their desperate needs for a punishing blocker up front, the Iowa prospect appears to have locked up a top-ten draft pick.

Scherff is equally effective as a drive blocker as he is in pass protection. His 4.93 speed is immediately noticed with his ease of movement and balance attacking edge rushers and riding his opponent away from the pocket. He has tight end-like knee bend and field awareness as a down field blocker and operating in the trenches, he is well-versed with his hand placement, along with doing an excellent job of delivering a strong punch to rock defenders back on their heels.

The Hawkeye is also savvy enough to know how to grab on to his man’s jersey without being penalized. The senior uses his leg drive well to fire off the snap, showing good hip rotation and surge in short yardage situations. He can generate enough explosiveness to be effective on the short pull. His strength allows him to neutralize the defender’s charge and create movement. When he plays at a proper pad level, he shows the ability to sink his hips and use his lower body to explode into his man.

Scherff could also be utilized as an interior blocker, as he does a nice job of pulling and trapping, reaching and logging. He has the speed to cut off the linebackers when leading through the inside holes and looks very fluid, with good feet adjustment to make solid contact in the open. He is athletic and smooth when moving off the line and has the body control to execute blocks in space. He has very good athleticism to stay up and play the game on his feet.

You can see that Scherff is very capable of coming off the snap smoothly to pull, some-thing teams require from a potential offensive guard candidate. He has better quickness out of his stance and a first step than any other draft eligible guard, even though he is a collegiate tackle. He also hits his targets well with intent to finish, along with very good agility to kick out or seal with high efficiency.

Scherff consistently gets placement and has the strength to grab and control. With his powerful hand punch, he can stymie a defender in an instant. When making contact, he will usually put the defenders up on their heels. He can generate very good power to shock and jolt when he gets his hands into the defender’s chest. He has improved greatly his recoil and recovery quickness (his hand speed could see him eventually shift to guard or center). His powerful short punch is a dangerous weapon when working in-line.

As a left tackle he demonstrates more than enough foot quickness to slide, good knee bend and hip flexibility, patience and a strong hand punch. With that crushing punch and anchoring ability, he is very consistent when attempting to shock the bull rushers, doing a very nice job of extending his arms while sliding his feet to maintain the integrity of the pocket. He stays square vs. movement and when challenged by multiple defenders, he uses his solid punch on the way to anchoring and stopping the charge.

Scherff ability to get on the defender comes from the consistency he shows in playing with a wide base, as he can easily move defenders off the ball, especially when he sinks his pads and drives with his legs to generate more power. Perhaps the reason some teams are eyeing him as a possible guard candidate is because he is an elite zone blocker with superb lateral quickness and mobility.

Scherff is also a savvy player with the high intelligence factor that he uses consistently when trying to angle and positioning. With his burst off the snap, he has no problems getting out in front in attempts to stalk and wall-off linebackers at the second level. He is very active shooting his hands in pass protection and is the type that is rarely ever caught off guard or out of position.

Brandon Scherff NFL Scouting Combine measurable


6-5/319 (5.05 forty)
33 3/8-inch arm length
11-inch hands
23 reps

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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