Kansas State always prides itself on having lunch-pail type blockers on their front wall. B.J. Finney is a four-year starter and three-time team captain who recently became just the second player in school history to receive All-Big Twelve Conference honors four times. He is also the first offensive lineman in school history and fifth player overall to be voted a team captain three times, boasting a string of 51 starting assignments at center, and 52 total, having made his college debut starting at right guard, despite joining the team as a walk-on.
This season, he delivered 14 touchdown-resulting blocks and 84 knockdowns to help the Wildcats rank in the top 30 nationally in 13 offensive categories, including third down conversions (18th; 46.5), time of possession (16th; 32:18) and scoring offense (21st; 36.6).
Unwanted coming out of high school, Finney walked on at KSU. The three-time Rimington Award candidate has a solidly-built frame with room to add at least another 15 pounds of bulk with no loss of quickness. He has good strength and explosive hands to lock on and sustain, along with showing the sudden burst off the snap to establish leverage and position. He stays square in his base and has good lateral agility, doing a nice job in staying centered with his balance to generate good upper body power to pop and shock defenders.
Finney displays the body control you look for in a center when asking him to reach and shade, along with showing the ability to get his hips around for wall-off activity. He plays on his feet and has the quickness to chip and seal, along with good angle concept when working into the second level to block for the ground game. He uses his loose hips to make plays in space and possesses more than enough strength to turn his man and widen the rush lanes.
The center is one of the more powerful players on the team and uses his strength to his advantage, especially doing a nice job of adjusting to movement in pass protection. He has that quick hip snap to get then around when trying to wall off. You can see on film his foot speed when reaching and down blocking. He is also very effective at generating speed needed to chip and reach the second level defenders.
Finney is a fast twitch type that will not have any problems when attempting to lock and load on a nose guard at the next level. Because of his balance and low pad level, he has great success in gaining advantage coming off the snap. He is especially effective when executing second level blocks and shows decisive movement in his stance.
Finney is surprisingly nimble for a down lineman, evident by his second level angling skills (has made 26 blocks down field for K-State the last two years). He is quick to get out in front on traps and pulls, keeping his pads down to prevent bigger defenders from getting into his chest, along with the balance and hand quickness to prevent smaller opponents from attacking his legs.
As a run blocker, Finney is productive operating in-line, as he has the balance and leverage that allow him to quickly get in the way of a defender. Even when he has to stand up and face up to the larger defensive tackle, he has the hand punch and placement to quickly neutralize his man and maintain the rush lane. When he stays at a low pad level and delivers his strong hand punch, he will consistently gain leverage.
Finney has the body mass teams look for and he has had very good success in attempts to get movement vs. the bigger defenders. He uses his hand placement and base to maintain position and sustain. He gets a very good surge and movement coming off the line and displays excellent balance and feet working into the second level. He is savvy enough to know when he can get under the defender’s pads, doing a nice job of sliding his feet to maintain leverage.
Finney does a nice job of keeping his weight back, staying square so he can slide and adjust to change of direction. He can anchor vs. the bull rush and shows great alertness to tricks. The thing you notice on film is his good feet and lateral agility. He can slide and mirror defenders, using his hand placement to defeat swim moves. He shows a good base set to pop and drop, quick hand usage upon initial contact and tenacity in his play. He plays flat-footed with good knee bend to deliver the full force behind his hand jolt.
For a center, he is quite effective angling and stalking second level defenders. He has the flexibility and balance to snap and lead the charge on screens, showing good knee bend to strike in space and the hand placement to sustain after contact. He is very light with his feet to pull and run down the line of scrimmage and is a highly effective combo blocker, showing that rare ability to pop a defender at the first level and then use his agility to execute a crunching second level block.
B.J. Finney NFL Scouting Combine measurables
6-4/318 (5.25 forty)
32-inch arm length
24-inch vertical jump
99-inch broad jump
4.76 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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