Breakdown: Bears Select Hroniss Grasu

Everything you need to know about the Chicago Bears' third-round selection of center Hroniss Grasu out of Oregon from Scout's college and pro football experts.

Awaiting Image
Hroniss Grasu
Oregon / 6'3 / 297 lbs
  • C
  • [3] #7

Analysis

Grasu was sidelined in 2014, ending a streak of 48 consecutive starts because of a leg injury. But when he played last season he was very effective, earning All-American honors. Grasu was credited with 83 knockdown blocks and 13 touchdown resulting blocks. He also graded out highly at 87%. Those are all stellar numbers. He’s the type of lineman that can beat a defender with power or finesse. Grasu gets off the ball well at the snap and functions well blocking on the move, whether it’s getting to the second level or pulling and trapping. Grasu is does a nice job in pass pro but gets in trouble against some big and powerful bull rushers.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation


Report from NFL Scouting Services' Dave-Te' Thomas:

Hroniss Grasu reminds me of an old TV game show, so I ask him this question – will the real Hroniss Grasu please stand up? Hailed as the Pac-12 Conference’s elite drive blocker, he has good upper body strength to be a mauler, but is more of a finesse-type blocker with the balance and body control to mirror most in-line movement. He is extremely quick off the rise to get into his man, showing good hand placement (lacks punch, though).

The Ducks center also demonstrates good flexibility, balance, and body control and gets his hips turned around properly to wall off defenders, as he is one of the best at his position when asked to pull and trap. Still, without a dominant anchor power base (surprising, based on his weight room numbers) in his pass protection technique, he can be pushed back at the point of attack vs. a strong bull rush. He also needs to do a better job of sustaining his blocks working in space. When his base narrows, he fails to clear his feet, causing defenders to slip off some hits.

Grasu is a well-built athlete with impressive forward explosion and initial quickness, but appears a bit stiff in his hips, as he loses his burst when having to redirect. He is best playing along the line or on short pulls, as he might have good timed speed, but seems to labor when trying to get into the second level. He plays on his feet well and has the first step needed to chip and seal the linebackers shooting the gaps.

The Ducks center has the strength to neutralize the bull rush and good balance along with proper hand placement, as he is quick to recoil and reset his hands, but when he gets upright in his stance, he leaves his chest exposed and defenders have had success locking on and pushing him back into the pocket (see Michigan State vs. Lawrence Thomas; Washington vs. Danny Shelton and Utah vs. Lowe Lotulelei as examples).

Grasu has above average initial quickness off the snap, but despite good timed speed for his position, he does labor running long distances and is not a great space player, as he appears too stiff in his hips to generate explosive lateral agility. He has the speed to make the reach and down blocks with effectiveness, but just adequate burst getting into the second level to stalk linebackers.

As a run blocker, Grasu fires off the snap with good explosion, but must do a better job of getting his hands into the defender to control. With his balance and leg drive, he is able to root out and drive off bigger defensive tackles when he keeps his pads down, though. He is not the type that chest-block, but with his valid upper body strength, you would like to see him attempt to maul an opponent rather than try to out-finessing his assignment. I would also like to see him roll his hips better, as he does lumber when having to work down the line.

Grasu is a solid pass protector when battling in the trenches, but he gets caught up in the action at times and tries to do too much, failing to recognize plays breaking down in the backfield. He works well in combination with his guards playing in a phone booth, but looks sluggish when having to redirect. He has that above average lower body strength to effectively anchor vs. the bull rush.

The senior demonstrates the vision and footwork needed to react to twists and games. He has good knee bend, but his flexibility is inconsistent, as he will bend at the waist when having to change direction. When he sets his wide base, he has the balance to generate decent pop on contact. He has the ability to play flat-footed, but must do a better job of extending his hands, as he is prone to short arming at times.

On the short pulls and traps, Grasu gets off the line adequately, but is not a space player due to lateral movement issues. He has good balance at the line of scrimmage and shows adequate upper body strength when widening the rush lanes. He does a nice job of playing on his feet, but must do a better job of shifting and adjusting his weight playing on the move.

Hroniss Grasu NFL Scouting Combine measurables


6-3/297 (5.31 forty)
32 1/8-inch arm length
10 1/4-inch hands

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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