Live Big or Die Ugly . . . The Sequel That Will Not Die!
2012 Big Ugly Series - Offensive Right Tackle Review
Submitted by Long Ball, DOF
March 19, 2012
"Long Ball" heads up Drafttek's scouting crew . His personal specialization are the "Big Uglies", Linemen on both the Offensive and Defensive side of the line of scrimmage.
Defensive Line Review (3-4 Defensive Ends)
Interior Defensive Line Review (Defensive Tackles)
Go to Right Offensive Tackle Review
Go to Left Offensive Tackle Review
Go to Interior Offensive Line Review
In the olden, golden days of football, the right side of the offensive line was referred to as the "Strong Side" - most teams were "right-handed" and their power running plays went to the right. As a result, the best run-blockers resided on that side of the OL - in today's game, the strong side refers to the side of the formation where the TE lines up, or in the case of an unbalanced line, the side of the center where most of the blockers are located.
Defenses would position their larger and stronger run defenders on the left side of the defensive line (directly across from the offensive lineman on the right) and place their smaller, quicker pass-rushers on the defensive right side. Although not a constant, many teams still adopt this thinking to some extent; therefore, the ROT prospects we will be analyzing are strong, road-grader run blockers, but will also have to be proficient pass protectors due to the sneaky tactics of NFL defensive coordinators.
The best 2 ROT prospects are Riley Reiff and Mike Adams (thoroughly discussed in our previous analysis of LOT candidates); however, Bobby Massie of Ole Miss is not far behind and since we only touched on his potential as a "dark horse" LOT prospect, let's take a more detailed look.
At 6'6" and 316 lbs, Massie is quite the physical specimen and surprisingly light on his feet for a man his size. While not the "smooth technician" that some of the higher ranked tackles are in pass protection, he utilizes his excellent size, long arms and quick feet well . . . and if he gets his massive mitts on a defender, it's game over. He gets out of his stance and into position with decent knee bend and good balance, but needs to concentrate on keeping his pad level lower. Massie demonstrates an ability to change direction and can cut off the edge . . . and if you're looking for evidence in production, the Rebel did not miss a game during his time at Oxford, starting 17 games at right tackle and helped Ole Miss lead the SEC in fewest sacks allowed and ranked 3rd in rushing offense.
In run blocking, Massie is quick off the snap and utilizes his strength as a solid drive blocker who always finishes off his block (an attribute that is all about attitude). His hand placement is inconsistent, good at times and not so good at others, but the effort is always evident. His lateral mobility allows him to wall off defenders on the edge and gets to the 2nd level very well.
OK, you want underwear numbers? Massie ran a 5.23 forty, 4.95 shuttle, 7.70 3-cone, 27-1/2" vertical, 8'07" broad jump and 22 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 58 and a lateral agility factor of 0.28. His 35" arms promote a wingspan of 81-3/4", which reduces the significance of his average lateral agility results. And as I've said before (and will say again), his game tape don't lie . . . this kid is a player!
OK, have I got ya in the "Right (Tackle) Mood" yet? Good, then let's stroll down further through the rankings and see what we got . . .
Cordy Glenn of Georgia (6'5", 345 lbs) has started 36 games at left guard, right guard and left tackle, but tops that versatility with surprising athleticism for a man his size. However, at his size, he may struggle with the speed rushers of the NFL and may project better as a right tackle or guard. Glenn was invited to the Combine, where he ran a 5.15 forty (1.76 for 10 yard split), 5.00 shuttle, 8.13 3-cone, 23-1/2" vertical, 7'09" broad jump and 31 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 62 and a lateral agility factor of 0.15. His 35-3/4" arms promote a wingspan of 84-7/8", which added to his girth reduces the significance of his lack of lateral agility.
As a pass-blocker, Glenn is smooth out of his stance and waits for the defender to come to him. He easily controls his college opponents with his long arms and exhibits good balance and lateral agility to mirror the defender. Opponents can rarely get past him and has an excellent anchor so bull rushes are futile. Glenn can get a bit lazy with his hand placement, making him vulnerable to swim moves.
Glenn utilizes his size and strength as a drive blocker in the running game, as long as he stays with his fundamentals and not play too high or being late off the snap. Although he can miss with his initial punch and fail to push back his target, more often then not, he shows good hand placement and the leg drive to clear a hole. Glenn gets to the second level with good quickness, demonstrating ability to adjust his path to locate and attack his target. Exhibits quickness and fluidity when pulling from left guard to lead on the toss and counter.
Cordy Glenn may in fact kick inside at the next level . . . but for a team looking for a traditional man/power blocking right tackle, he's the guy!
Tony Bergstrom of Utah (6'5", 313 lbs) is not quite the bull-dozer that Glenn is, but makes up for it with footwork that almost qualified him as a LOT prospect. He is a mature, seasoned tackle with the agility, technique and size to contribute early in his NFL career. His results at the Combine were a 5.27 forty, 4.84 shuttle, 7.95 3-cone, 29-1/2" vertical, 8'05" broad jump and 32 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 70 and a lateral agility factor of 0.43. His 32" arms promote a wingspan of 76-3/4".
Bergstrom possesses quick, active hands which he uses to latch on to opponents. He has adequate foot quickness which combined with his lateral agility makes him a candidate to remain outside. Tony has better athleticism than he's given credit for, showing enough footwork and balance to get to the second level and shows surprising agility when adjusting to moving defenders. He really helped his cause with a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl, seeing time at both guard positions and right tackle. Bergstrom is a hard worker with a high pain tolerance and is off the charts on intangibles . . . a leader by example.
Tony is not without his faults, being susceptible to speed rushers . . . he doesn't possess the acceleration or arm length to corral defenders once they cross his face. On occasion, will overly anticipate speed rushers attacking the edge and over-sets to the outside, leaving inside rushing lanes wide open for defenders to jab-step outside and re-direct through the gap. Bergstrom has a bad habit of dropping his head on contact, leaving him susceptible to swim moves. Old Long Ball needs to inject Tony with some of his nastiness . . . Tony is older, as he served on a 2 year LDS mission after high school and will turn 26 in August. Married with a daughter, so lack of maturity will not be a concern.
We talked about Compton, Schwartz and Sanders during our LOT analysis, so let's talk about Jeff Allen from Illinois (6'4", 307). Jeff may end up kicking inside, and he would make an outstanding OG, but I like this kid's feistiness and would see if he could play ROT first (he might even be able to fill in as LOT in a pinch). This 2-year team captain had 47 career starts at both ROT and LOT for the Fighting Illini, as they positioned him at "Weakside OT" (the side opposite the TE) so that let's you know what they thought of his pass protection.
Allen looks the part, as he is a big athlete with good bulk and a filled out frame. In pass protection he is disciplined, coming out of his stance with good bend and leverage, stays balanced and doesn't overextend. Jeff is efficient in his movements, covers his area well and works hard to mirror rushers, keeping his feet moving at all times. His wide base makes him stout at the point of attack, sets and re-sets his anchor and can control rushers when he uses his hands effectively. Now, this is where I need to talk about his "dysfunctional strength" . . . if he would work on his hand placement technique, we would definitely be talking about him at OT. He has a tendency to absorb pass rushers instead of keeping them at a distance.
Allen is not what you would term a "mauler" in run-blocking, but his aggressiveness is apparent in the way he stays with a block. Once again, his hands betray him as the poor placement does not allow him to jolt defenders at the point of attach and redirect their progress. Yes, I know he's not a "body beautiful", but if he would work on his upper body techniques, he has the lower body to provide the push.
Allen's results at the Combine were a 5.28 forty (1.82 for 10 yard split), 4.90 shuttle, 8.01 3-cone, 27-1/2" vertical, 8'06" broad jump and 26 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 62 and a lateral agility factor of 0.38. His 33-1/2" arms promote a wingspan of 80-3/8". So, Mr. Allen may indeed wind up at OG in the NFL . . . but wherever he lands, it won't be for lack of trying!
Another ROT prospect who may end up inside is BYU's Matt Reynolds (6'5", 302 lbs). As many BYU prospects, Matt is older (served on LDS mission to Munich, Germany), is married with a young daughter, but maturity is a strength for the 2-time team captain.
In pass blocking, Reynolds utilizes his thick body, making it difficult for opponents to get an outside rush (as long as he maintains his balance) and is nearly impossible to bull rush due to his strong anchor. He comes out of his stance with a wide base and exhibits lateral agility to mirror quicker ends. Matt is no "shrinking violet", as he attacks his opponent, rather than letting them come to him, and is thorough in sustaining his block throughout the play. I would like to see him come out of his stance with more bend, just a little too "straight up" for my tastes . . . and I noticed that when a DE lines up further outside his shoulder, he will take an even wider split from the OG. This results in some pass rushers forcing him upfield and spin to get to the inside lane.
I like Reynold's run blocking technique . . . he immediately gets into proper position after the snap, extends his arms and will punch his opponent multiple times to ensure he doesn't get off the block or make the backside play. He utilizes his size, strength, and quick feet to make him an exceptional positional blocker. BYU's running game incorporates a number of draws into the game plan (which allows the DL to take their rush lanes and then "body" them out of the play); as a result, Matt needs to prove he can stay low off the snap to win leverage battles on power runs against NFL defensive linemen. However, he possesses the initial quickness to be effective at man/power blocking techniques and gets to the second level well.
Reynold's results at the Combine were a 5.34 forty (1.83 for 10 yard split), 25 bench reps, but he did not participate in the other drills so I cannot calculate explosion or lateral agility. His 33-1/4" arms promote a wingspan of 80-1/4". Yep, old Matt may end up at OG but some team may stick him out on the wing.
So, as I come up for breath, you're wondering where some familiar names are lurking (notice how well my ESP . . . N works?) such as Andrew Datko of Florida State (shoulder surgery), Levy Adcock of Oklahoma State (old slow-foot), and maybe even Marcel Jones of Nebraska (13 bench reps???) . . . well, the "unknown" factor comes into play here. As a result, Old Long Ball has dropped them in his rankings . . . but that's not to say they could not become good pros.
Shall we ride some "dark horses"? Yee-haw, saddle up cowboy and we'll mosey on down to Hattiesburg, MI to visit Lamar Holmes (6'5", 323 lbs) of Southern Miss. The Golden Eagle is a big, tall well-proportioned offensive tackle with good girth through his base and a naturally thick frame. He exhibits the ability to bend, stay balanced toward the edge and sit into his stance. Lamar isn't real rangy, but understands angles and puts himself in good position to sustain the block. As long as he keeps his feet moving and not get too upright while mirroring his opponent, he does OK.
On the downside, Holmes has a tendency to stop moving his feet when trying to punch and engage contact; as a result, he can be slipped on the edge. However, he possesses natural anchor strength, sits down into his base when establishing his anchor and works his hands well to gain leverage. Lamar creates quite a punch in the run game and practically engulfs his opponent on contact. Sometimes he gets a little too upright for my tastes, but uses his length to stay on his man through contact.
His results at the Combine were a 5.41 forty, 4.80 shuttle, 7.74 3-cone, 27" vertical, 8'08" broad jump and 22 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 58 and a lateral agility factor of 0.61. His 35-1/4" arms promote a wingspan of 82-3/8".
I must really like Mississippi (actually I do . . . have a buddy in Ocean Springs who takes me to some damn fine golf courses and casino boats) because now we're going to talk about Big Bradley Sowell from Ole Miss. His 6'7" frame can carry far more weight than his current 316 lbs (can you believe I just said that?). Having to take over for Michael Oher at LOT is no easy task; however, the Rebels OL did not allow a sack this year (go back and re-read that line). Give this young man 2 off-seasons in an NFL weight program to build up his lower body, coach him up on maintaining leverage, and by golly, you may just have something.
One of Long Ball's "dark horse" tackles from last year had to put his learning curve into overdrive . . . to refresh your memory, here's who I'm talking about:
Derek Newton of Arkansas State (6'6", 305 lbs) was an outstanding lineman in Sun Belt Conference play. If he catches on with a team, he might be one of those progressive success stories of Practice Squad to Back-up to ROT to LOT, with the benefit of good coaching because he has good footwork.
Houston drafted him in the 7th round and when back-up "swing" tackle Rashad Butler went down for the season with a triceps injury 9/22/11, there was Newton ready to take on maybe the most difficult of all roles: learning 2 positions. He saw game action his rookie year and was part of the Houston OL winning the Madden Protectors Award in their Week 7 win against the Titans.
Now keep in mind that there are a number of the LOT prospects previously discussed who may end up on the right side on an NFL offensive line; likewise, a number of these prospects may well end up kicking inside at OG. It's always a bit of a guessing game, because these young men's bodies change quite a bit from the early 20's to approaching 30. Well, we've covered the prospects "most likely" to man the flanks - so let's move inside on the next installment and see what prospects would fit the interior of our OL.