NFL Draft '06: Scouting the Guards

In what looks like a terrific year for offensive guards, the senior class has at least a handful of first day draft picks amongst its' ranks. Most impressive is the versatility held by many of these prospects to play other positions on the offensive line. Here are reports on the top 22 draft eligible guards available next April.

Full Name: Will Allen      School: Texas

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 309    40: 5.25    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Strong position blocker who plays with an aggressive attitude.  Quick into run blocks, gets movement at the point of attack or engulfs opponents.  Anchors in pass protection and strong in his upper body.  Rarely gives up an inch of room.  Turns opponents off the line when put in motion.  Easily rides defenders from their angle of attack.  Works hard to finish off defenders.  Displays awareness.

Neg: Lacks adjustment and gets tall.  Over extends and not comfortable in space.

Analysis: A lineman with both size and growth potential, Allen plays with excellent intelligence and tenacity.  Marginally athletic, he does the little things well and could backup in the right NFL system.


Full Name:  Kevin Boothe        School: Cornell

Ht: 6-4.5      Wt: 312     40: 5.40    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Well sized small school blocker with potential on the strong side.  Powerful at the point, immediately gets hands up and extends, keeping defenders from the action.  Solid position blocker who plays with excellent lean.  Stays after assignments.  Makes good use of angles and rides rushers from the action. 

Neg: Lacks adjustment, flexibility and sustains blocks for just short periods.  Not effective in motion.

Analysis: Best in confined quarters, Booth is a solid developmental prospect with potential at either guard or tackle.  Possible late round choice who could back-up at the next level.


Full Name: Rashad Butler        School: Miami-Fl

Ht: 6-5      Wt: 290      40: 5.21     Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Collegiate tackle who projects to go guard.  Bends knees blocking with leverage, quick off the snap and explosive at the point.  Strong, always looking for someone to hit and works well with teammates.  Immediately sets up in pass protection, extends hands into opponents and stays square.  Solid position blocker.  Keeps feet moving throughout the action and holds his ground.

Neg: Lacks adjustment and does not block with balance.  Does more stepping out then sliding off the edge.  Must make better use of blocking angles.  Bends at the waist.

Analysis: A prospect with growth potential who flashes ability, Butler has upside for the next level.  Must significantly improve his playing strength yet has the tools to develop into a back-up at the next level.


Full Name: Lance Butler     School: Florida

Ht: 6-7     Wt: 306     40: 5.32     Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Tough, alert lineman who controls opponents at the point of attack.  Pushes defenders off the line then seals them from the action with good body positioning. Stays square and strong in his upper body.  Works well with teammates.

Neg: Lacks adjustment and does not play with balance.  More of an arm wrestler then leverage blocker.  Not comfortable in space.

Analysis: A hard working lineman with a good feel for the game, Butler could be an effective in a system which reduces his area assignments.


Full Name: Frank Davis          School: South Florida

Ht: 6-3    Wt: 329     40: 5.29     Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Big, thick lineman with an excellent build.  Plays with good lean, strong and anchors at the point.  Fights with his hands throughout the action, easily rides opponents from their angle of attack and explosive at the point.  Keeps his feet moving throughout the play.

Neg: Lacks adjustment and best in a small area.  Suffered injuries in the past which kept him on the sidelines.

Analysis: A wide-bodied guard with outstanding natural power, Davis has displayed flashes of ability in the past.  Needs to play with more consistency and stay injury free as a senior to get consideration as a late round pick.


Full Name: Aldo De La Garza        School: Texas A&M

Ht: 6-2.5    Wt: 303    40: 5.25    Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Explosive lineman best in a small area.  Quickly gets into blocks, jolts opponents at the point and knocks defenders off the line.  Stays square and opens holes for ball carriers.

Neg: Lacks adjustment, struggles picking up blitzes and slow getting to the spot laterally.  Sustains blocks for only a short time.

Analysis: A three-year starter who saw action with the second team as a freshman, De La Garza has been a consistent lineman.  Does not possess great upside for the next level yet a dependable blocker that could be used at several spots.


Full Name:  Steve Franklin          School: Syracuse

Ht: 6-2     Wt: 320      40: 5.35      Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Quick blocker best in a small area.  Immediately gets off the ball, explosive at the point and plays with leverage.  Good position blocker who controls opponents with his hands.  Alert and works well with teammates.

Neg: Not effective in motion, lacks balance and does not finish blocks.

Analysis: A solid interior prospect with potential at both guard or center, Franklin will get consideration in the late rounds next April and has a shot to backup in the NFL. 


Full Name: Corey Hilliard School: Oklahoma State

Ht: 6-4     Wt: 295     40: 5.24     Yr: 3Jr

Pos: Athletic lineman who displays good skill in pass protection.  Blocks with leverage, displays quickness throughout his game as well as footwork sliding out to protect the edge.  Easily moves about the field, jolts opponents with good punch and extends his hands, keeping defenders away.  Effectively uses angles and immediately picks up stunts or twists.

Neg: Technically gets sloppy and does not play with great balance.  Marginal run blocker who gets minimal movement.

Analysis: An underrated junior, Hilliard is a force when on his game.  Needs to better condition himself and improve his playing strength yet offers good upside for the next level.


Full Name: Max Jean-Gilles     School: Georgia

Ht: 6-4    Wt: 358     40: 5.51    Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Explosive lineman who dominates the opposition.  Quick off the snap, immediately gets hands into defenders, jolting them with good punch.  Holds his ground in pass protection and displays outstanding power, easily turning defenders off the line.  Can slide in space, displays the ability to adjust and picks up stunts or twists.  Immediately gets out to the second level.

Neg: Narrow based blocker.  Does not always play with a killer instinct.  At times late into blocks.

Analysis: A productive three year starter who previously saw action at left tackle, Giles is a terrific combination of size and athleticism. Must develop a nasty streak and improve his consistency.  When hitting on all cylinders possesses outstanding upside for the next level.


Full Name: Davin Joseph        School:  Oklahoma 

Ht: 6-3.5  Wt: 315   40: 5.11    Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Leverage blocker devastating at the point of attack.  Quick off the snap, displays blocking vision and large enough to engulf defenders.  Displays great explosion and jolt, turning opponents off the line or burying them into the ground.  Gets push from run blocks or anchors in pass protection.  Keeps feet moving throughout the action.  Solid job helping out teammates.  Alert lineman  Good position blocker.  Not quick pulling across the line of scrimmage yet displays ability blocking in motion.  

Neg: Stiff and lacks top footwork.  Not overly effective on the second level.

Analysis: A consistent performer in college who's shown terrific progression, Joseph possesses excellent size and growth potential.  Technically sound while also possessing football smarts.  A top 40 pick in April's draft who could immediately find playing time as a rookie in the NFL.


Full Name:  Matt Lentz      School: Michigan

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 304    40: 5.35    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Heads up blocker best in confined quarters. Strong at the point and engulfs opponents.  Jolts defenders with good punch and works hard until the whistle blows.  Intelligent, picks up stunts or twists thrown by defenders and works well with teammates.

Neg: Lacks adjustment, not effective in motion and looks uncomfortable in space.

Analysis: A durable and strong blocker, Lentz fits best in a system which reduces his area assignments.  Also has potential at center.


Full Name: Kory Lichtensteiger    School: Bowling Green

Ht: 6-2    Wt: 295    40: 5.30    Yr: 3So

Pos: Explosive run blocker best in confined quarters.  Plays with forward lean, stays square and controls opponents at the point.  Works to get underneath opponents, nasty and finishes blocks.  Anchors in pass protection.

Neg: Not light on his feet nor comfortable in space and lacks footwork.

Analysis: A solid small area blocker, Light is best suited for a power running game.  A young prospect who must be watched the next two seasons.


Full Name: Aaron Lipps    School: Louisiana Tech

Ht: 6-4.5    Wt: 296    40: 5.37    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Hard working small area blocker with a good feel for the position.  Stays square, anchors in pass protection and effectively seals defenders from the play.  Sets with a wide base, explosive off the snap and works throughout the action.  Remains alert picking up stunts and works well with teammates.

Neg: Stiff, lacks ability in space and gets tall as the play proceeds.  Not a finisher and struggles controlling opponents for any length of time.

Analysis: Hard working and productive on the college level, Lipps is efficient yet lacks great upside for the NFL.  May have an outside chance as a backup.


Full Name: Nate Livings    School:  LSU

Ht: 6-4.5    Wt: 311    40: 5.59    Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Underrated blocker who can be used at either tackle or guard.  Plays with forward lean, quick off the snap and strong at the point.  Solid position blocker, keeps his feet moving throughout the action and displays adequate adjustment.  Possesses terrific jolt and hand punch.  Quick if asked to kick out and displays ability blocking on the move.  Plays heads up football and works hard until the whistle blows.

Neg: Not light on his feet, comfortable in space nor effective far off the line of scrimmage.

Analysis: An average athlete with poor computer numbers, Livings has been effective on the field at a number of spots.  Does not get the credit he should yet has potential for the next level.


Full Name: James Marten    School: Boston College

Ht: 6-6.5    Wt: 308    40: 5.32  Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Strong, small area blocker who dominates the opposition. Sets with a wide base, explosive at the point and gets movement from run blocks. Effectively uses angles in pass protection and holds his ground. Jolts defenders with hand punch and keeps his feet moving throughout the action.

Neg: Not quick off the snap into blocks. Over extends on the second level and lacks footwork in space.

Analysis: A prospect with solid size and upside for the next level, Morton has potential for a power running game. Two more seasons of experience and physical maturity will push him towards the top of the guard class in 2007.


Full Name: Stephen Parker    School: Arkansas

Ht: 6-3    Wt: 305    40: 5.21   Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Quick, explosive blocker with good upside for the next level.  Strong at the point, turns opponents off the line run blocking and opens holes.  Plays with exceptional lean, displaying adjustment and holding the point in pass protection.  Removes linebackers from the action on the second level.

Neg: Stands to improve his footwork and the finer details of the position.

Analysis: Playing well as a sophomore, Parker is an offensive guard who must be watched the next two years.


Full Name: Samson Satele     School: Hawaii

Ht: 6-2    Wt: 305   40: 4.98  Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Terrific athlete who blocks with excellent fundamentals.  Explosive at the point, plays with good pad level and works his hands throughout the action.  Stays square, anchors in pass protection and an excellent position blocker.  Alert lineman who works well with teammates.

Neg: Lacks great size and needs to improve his playing strength.

Analysis: A prospect with potential at guard or center, Satale has been a terrific player for Hawaii since his freshman season.  Possesses good upside and could grow into a starting NFL lineman as he physically matures.


Full Name: Rob Sims     School: Ohio State

Ht: 6-3    Wt: 321   40: 5.21     Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Athletic lineman with excellent natural strength.  Stays square, strong at the point and rides defenders from their angle of attack.  Some ability to block down on defenders.  Effective position blocker who controls opponents.  Quick in all aspects displaying both footwork and adjustment in pass protection.  Handles speedy edge rushers.

Neg: Must make better use of blocking angles.  Does not play with great balance.  Tries to out guess opponents which gets him into trouble.  Not a true finisher.  Consistency has been questioned.

Analysis: Flashing the ability to dominate the opposition, Simms has had a productive career at Ohio State.  That said, he needs to turn up the intensity and reliability of his game if he's to have any chance in the NFL.


Full Name: Charles Spencer    School: Pittsburgh

Ht:  6-4.5 Wt: 330    40: 5.15    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Athletic prospect who projects to either guard or tackle.  Sized well, easily moves about the field and flashes dominance. Plays with a nasty attitude and strong at the point.  

Neg: Formerly a defensive lineman and needs to improve his technique as a blocker. Shifted left tackle as a senior and has struggled.

Analysis: A solid athlete with size as well as growth potential, Spencer is naturally strong and offers a good amount of upside for the next level. Does not have the skill to play left tackle yet can develop into a starting guard or possibly strong side tackle in the NFL.


Full Name:  Jason Spitz      School: Louisville

Ht: 6-3.5    Wt: 305   40: 5.71    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Explosive blocker and one of the more undervalued linemen in the nation.  Quickly gets off the ball and plays with a nasty attitude.  Explosive at the point, turns defenders off the line and fights to finish the play.   Gets movement from run blocks, anchors in pass protection and displays ability in space.  Effectively uses angles and adjusts well.

Neg: Lacks the dominant base and not a true finisher.  Has difficulty redirecting on the second level.

Analysis: An athletic prospect who gave serious consideration to entering last April's draft, Spitz is a smart lineman who works hard in every aspect.  T ough and durable, he projects well to the next level and offers a good amount of upside potential at guard or center.


Full Name: Kasey Studdard    School: Texas

Ht: 6-2    Wt: 293    40: 5.32    Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Solid young prospect, dominant at the point of attack.  Strong, stays square and effective as a position blocker.  Bends knees playing with leverage and blocks with excellent lean.  Anchors in pass protection and controls defenders once engaged in a block.  Nasty and looks to hit as many opponents as possible during a single snap.

Neg: Lacks adjustment, agility and has difficulty finishing blocks in motion.

Analysis: A solid junior prospect, Studdard rates highly moving towards the 2007 draft.


Full Name: Tony Tella    School: Miami-Fl

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 290    40: 5.21    Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Explosive blocker best in a small area.  Quick off the snap, jolts opponents at the point and gets movement from run blocks.  Effectively uses body positioning to seal defenders from the action or blocks down well on opponents.  Keeps his feet moving throughout the action, always working to hit someone and displays good awareness.  Anchors in pass protection.  Quick out to the second level and knocks linebackers off the ball.

Neg: Plays with minimal knee bend.  Lunges or over extends into blocks.  Lacks footwork and adjustment.

Analysis: Naturally strong, Tella is a solid small area blocker.  Must learn to play with leverage and finish blocks yet offers good upside for the next level.

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