Position: Offensive Tackle
Projected 40-Time: 5.22
Star Rating: Grade: 89
Draft Projection: 1st - 2nd Round
Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Scout.com Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:
85-100 = 1st - 2nd
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th
_55-69 = 5th - 6th
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA
Strengths: Saffold is an athletic, durable lineman who has extensive experience at left tackle, but could also play guard if necessary. He has great size and quick feet that allow him to mirror a defender off the edge. He’s fast out of his set and possesses a smooth kick slide. He moves well laterally, extends his arms and has the upper body strength and technique to knock the opposition off their rush. He’s aware of his surroundings, works well with his teammates and has the athleticism to pick up the blitz. He generates a burst off the line, plays with leverage and is able to seal the opposition away from the ballcarrier. He’s agile enough to get to the second level and latches on to linebackers, taking them out of the play. He’s a highly intelligent and hardworking individual who continues to improve every time he’s on the field. He’s drastically improved his draft stock this offseason with standout workouts.
Weaknesses: He’s a premiere pass protector, but has to improve his run blocking and explosiveness off the snap. He has to work on his hand placement and not allow the opposition to initiate contact. He has to do a better job of redirecting with linebackers at the second level. He has to expand his blocking range.Steuber Says: A four-year starter at Indiana, Saffold played in 42 games, starting 41 of them, and only missed two games during his career. The experience Saffold brings to the NFL makes him an intriguing tackle prospect, but it’s been his performance this offseason that’s raised his draft stock. Saffold was the talk of the scouting world after his showing at the East-West Shrine Game and continued to impress scouts at the Scouting Combine. The 6-foot-5, 316-pound Saffold was considered to be a 3rd – 4th round draft pick a few months ago, but after being tested against the best in the nation and displaying his skills during drills, there’s a chance that he will sneak into the end of the first round. Teams that will have the most interest in drafting Saffold are the Green Bay Packers (No. 23), Dallas Cowboys (No. 27), San Diego Chargers (No. 28) and Indianapolis Colts (No. 31).
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.