Scout's Notebook: OT Phil Loadholt

The Vikings were rewarded for their draft-day patience as the player they had targeted fell right into their laps in the second round. Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt is expected to compete for the starting right tackle job as a rookie.

#71, Phil Loadholt (6076, 337, 5.34-5.55) Oklahoma

Notes:  Born 1/21/86, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His parents are Phillip and Brenda Loadholt. He was a teammate for former Sooner D.J. Wolfe in seventh-, eighth- and tenth-grade when both lived in Colorado. Reportedly weighed 300 pounds by the age of 14. Attended Fountain Fort Carson High School in Fountain, Colo., where he was also a basketball and track athlete.  He had 113 tackles and 8 touchdowns as a tight end/H-back as a senior. He was names Colorado Springs Area Player of the Year and was a two-time team captain and all-state selection.  He led his basketball team to the state title game averaging 17.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and three blocked shots per game. Also won the state championship in the discus. Mr. Basketball runner-up in Colorado. Coach was Mitch Johnson.

Junior College: Played at Garden City (Kan.) Community College where he was a two-time junior college All-American and Jayhawk Conference Lineman of the Year in 2006. He recorded 93 pancake blocks and 113 tackles in 2006, won the Student Support Service Award and was named to the 3.0 Student Excellence List. Was rated No. 17 overall Juco player in SuperPrep Juco 100 and No. 20 overall in Junior College Top 100 by Made 213 knockdowns with 20 touchdown-resulting blocks during his junior college career.

College: Initially committed to play at Louisiana State in 2006, but his classes didn’t fulfill transfer requirements. Enrolled at Oklahoma in January 2007. Missed 10 spring practices with a broken toe. Started all 14 games at left tackle in 2007; overall season grade was 80.50%, logged 740 plays and 118 knockdowns, 13 touchdown-resulting blocks, 5 downfield blocks and allowed one quarterback pressure and 4.5 sacks. His top game was a 95% grade vs. Baylor. Honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated, second-team All-Big 12 by the coaches and Associated Press and All-Big-12 first team by Dallas Morning News. Started 13 games at left tackle in 2008. First team All-Big 12 selection by coaches and AP as a senior. Participated in 822 snaps, recorded 94 knockdowns, 8 downfield blocks and a league-high 16 touchdown-resulting blocks. Was penalized just four times, and allowed just one quarterback pressure and 2 sacks (both to Texas’ Brian Orakpo, the Redkins’ No. 1 draft pick) on 438 pass plays.  Graded out at 85.62% for blocking consistency, including a pair of 99% performance vs. Texas Tech). Sociology major.

Off-Field: Loadholt was charged with disorderly conduct in 2006, while in Junior College. He was arrested in June ’08 on charges of DUI and transporting an open container. Police report said his blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent. He served a one-game suspension to open the 2008 season.

Pre-Draft:  Participated in Spring Campus Workouts, the NFLPhil Loadholt (NFL Scouting Combine) Scouting Combine and Oklahoma’s Pro Day on Marcy 10.  He measured 6076 (6’-7 ¾”), 332 pounds, and recorded 1.75-1.91 10-yard dash, 3.03-3.14 20-yard dash, 5.38-5.49 40-yard dash, 22 ½-28 ½-inch vertical jump, 7’11”-8’9” broad jump, 4.77-5.06 20-yard shuttle, 8.08-8.80 three-cone drill, 24-26 reps at 225 pounds, 36 ½-inch arms and 9 7/8-inch hands, with an above-average Wonderlic score.

Pro: Second-round draft choice (No. 54 overall) by the Vikings in 2009. Matt Mosley of reported from New York on draft day that the Cowboys had Loadholt’s name on the draft card at 51, then decided to trade down. He also received a lot of pre-draft interest from Pittsburgh, Oakland, Indianapolis and Baltimore.

Positives: A mountain of a man. Massive frame and thick, muscular developed upper body. Has long arms, good ballast and large, powerful hands. Exceptional size with extremely long arms. Potentially dominant drive blocker. Can simply engulf and swallow defenders when he gets his hands into them. Intimidating at times. Above-average lateral quickness. Hustles to block downfield. Runs adequately, can execute short-area pulls and cut-block effectively. Good anchor strength. Adequate initial quickness, but has long legs, a deep kick-slide first step and the long arms to ride pass rushers wide. Can wall off and protect. Strong hand punch. Can absorb a bull rush. Surprisingly limber and athletic for his size. Bends his knees surprisingly well for a player of his height. Flashes nastiness and will flat-out bury defenders when he wants. Both physically and mentally tough. Competitive football player, but controlled and likable off the field. Works hard (reduced number of penalties from 13 in 2007 to four in 2008) and will respond to hard coaching. Despite off-field incidents, was never a problem for coaches or on the field. Considered a good kid, class act, likable, polite, compliant with a business-like approach and great work ethic. A leader.

Negatives: Lacks good initial quickness and struggles with speed off the edge. Can be beaten off the snap and needs to rely on his size and reach more than his quickness. Does not always sink his hips and reaches at times. Inconsistent explosion off the ball and does not always finish or sustain his blocks. Will revert to simply leaning into defenders and fall off blocks at times. Needs technique refinement. Erratic with his footwork and needs to maintain a wide base to be most effective. Plays too high and allows defenders to get under his pads occasionally. Needs to watch his weight, which has reportedly been as high as 380 pounds in the past. Had two off-field issues while in college.

Summary: Loadholt will be given every opportunity to win the starting right tackle job in training camp. He might need some chip help initially, but has enough foot skills and the size needed to become a decade-long starter, especially in the system the Vikings utilize.

What they said:

“I only played two years of top-notch football. I wish I had played four. I progressed a lot from that first to second year at OU. But I still have a lot of room to improve as far as technique. I’m only going to get better.” –Loadholt, in interview with The Oklahoman

"I can’t ask for a better situation. (Peterson) is the most explosive runner in the NFL. (The Vikings have) one of the best rushing attacks.” - Loadholt

“He'll compete [at right tackle], certainly. We'll just see how fast he can adjust to that side and everything we're doing on offense.” –Brad Childress

“Loadholt is a huge, monstrous tackle who can shed the opposition away with ease. He stays square to the opposition, has good technique and uses his brute strength to his advantage to knock defenders off their rush. He's a strong run-blocker who drives the opposition off the line and finishes his blocks until the whistle blows.” -Chris Steuber,

“I think he was the steal of the draft-watch him take over the right tackle position & give the Vikes a Twin Tower format at OT. He's raw as sushi, but feel he will be an even better pro than McKinnie in 2 years... Loadholt is a stud waiting for a patient coach” –Dave-Te Thomas, draft analyst in recent live chat

“The Vikings get high grades here for bringing in a gigantic right tackle to protect and open holes for their most valuable commodity, the aforementioned Peterson. Loadholt has the tools to be a dominant run blocker and will compete for a starting position this season.” –NFL Draft Bible

“A monster-sized left tackle with heavy feet best suited for the right side in the pros. Loadholt continually has struggled matching up with elite speed but has the sheer size and arm length to control defenders and can be very serviceable with chip help. Might be too tall for his own good and always troubled by quicker, stronger leverage rushers but is too massive of a mauler not to warrant early interest.” -Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly

“Phil’s a great guy and he’s a great addition. He’s going to make that competition at right tackle interesting. He’s a big guy and he’s only going to get better and continue improving. You think about him and Big Mac (Bryant McKinnie), with their size, and it’s a dream for a running back. He’s good in pass protection and run blocking, so I’ve had a big smile on my face since I heard he was our pick. I’m excited to have him come to Minnesota .” –Adrian Peterson

“Percy Harvin was the sexier pick for the Vikings in the first round, but Loadholt makes them even scarier up front. The Vikings now will have the 6-8, 343-pound Loadholt at right tackle and 6-8, 335-pound Bryant McKinnie at left tackle. Throw in Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson and that's a lot of beef for Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson to run behind. In fact, Peterson just became the front-runner for league MVP honors with this move.” –Jeff Chahida,

“Loadholt is a mountainous bookend who did a nice job at Oklahoma in the Big 12, but will probably be staring at a move to right tackle in the NFL. He doesn’t have great feet and natural pass blocking skills you require from a left tackle. He really struggled against Texas’ All-American DE Brian Orakpo in pass protection, and Loadholt could have problems in that role at the pro level. He does have incredible size and plenty of talent, so if he can turn up the intensity each and every week, he could be a right tackle that you can win with.” -Mel Kiper, Jr.

“Any time you draft a 6-8, 330-pound offensive tackle to block for Adrian Peterson, you have to be happy. He's a good run blocker, but he's a little stiff. With the right development, he can be a pretty good right tackle. If he's developed right, he and (left tackle Bryant) McKinnie can be two dominating tackles for the Vikings.” -Shawn Zobel, Draft Headquarters

Other links:

College Bio

Combine Workout

NFL Draft Announcement (Fandemonium pick)

Photo Gallery

2008 Highlights (YouTube)

ESPN video

Draft Countdown

GameDay Rivals Spotlight (YouTube)

Scout’s Notebook file:

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