Josh Norris

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2014 Season Preview: OTs

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Top 10 talents

Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

Where He Wins: An outstanding athlete at the position. Has the lower half flexibility and body control to plant in front of a defender, preventing their initial line. Has plenty of length and uses it. Toughest contest was against Auburn’s Dee Ford. Ford beat him around the corner and with a straight-line bull early, but Ogbuehi corrected his depth and balance as the game went along. Will absolutely hold up on an island or if asked to move in space.

Where He Fits: Played G and RT in previous seasons. Moving over to the left side full time. Can truthfully play any spot, and I bet questions about strength (if there are any) will be answered as we move along.

Pro Comparison: Tyron Smith


Andrus Peat, Stanford

Where He Wins: Much more of a positioning blocker than controller, but his feet could be faster to mirror. Upper body can be quicker at times. Finds contact through hands. Has the foot speed on an island against edge pass rushing lines. Flashes real mobility when getting to the second level. Also flashes of drive blocking in the running game.

Where He Fits: Likely a left tackle. Inside moves can get him in trouble due to a weaker inside armbar, resulting in a lunge/over extension. Stops blocking as soon as the ball is thrown.

Pro Comparison: Eugene Monroe

Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Where He Wins: Takes hard angles to get positioning on opponents at the line in the running game. Has the hype of a mauler, but I’m not sure I see it. More of an upper body blocker in pass protection rather than mirroring counters with lower half. However, that mauling title comes to fruition when attacking linebackers at the second level, especially in a straight-line.

Where He Fits: Is there really a difference between left and right tackles, in terms of importance? From a play style perspective, it seems that many teams still see a difference between the two. I could see Scherff playing either side.

Pro Comparison: Donald Penn


Day Two

Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame

Where He Wins: A tall and lean blocker who prefers to play with his arms extended. Has the mirroring skills to handle wide rushers' initial line, halting their momentum or driving them around the pocket. Even if his initial anchor gets tested, Stanley can adjust while moving back and rarely waist bends on counters. He has flashed some power in the running game, around one "roach" per contest, but mainly an occupier in this area.

Where He Fits: Used as a right tackle during his first season as a starter, but I hope he moves to the left side. Has the athleticism to make it there.

Pro Comparison: Anthony Collins

Sean Hickey, Syracuse

Where He Wins: Does not wait for his opponents, wants to attack. Tends to lean at the waist slightly instead of arching back, but rarely waist bends. Has a chance to really climb this list. Crashes down with force when blocking down.

Where He Fits: Length might be an issue, but I think that is overblown if mirroring skills are there. I think he sticks at tackle.

Pro Comparison: Riley Reiff

Cameron Erving, FSU

Where He Wins: More of a positional blocker than many, but not perfect in that area. Contains his man. Sustains blocks with inside grip. Displays athleticism when getting to the second level.

Where He Fits: Do have questions how often slow feet could cost him and QB. Stance gives away pass/run. Steps look out of sync.

Pro Comparison: Mike Adams

La’El Collins, LSU

Where He Wins: When he’s in sound positioning and balanced, watch out. Can be a real bully when drive blocking in the running game. A big man, which is difficult to get around.

Where He Fits: Has received the “mauling” label. There are flashes, but I question if functional strength is consistently there. Waist bending and overextending takes place too much on simple counter/second moves. I question if he can stay on the edge.

Pro Comparison: Khalif Barnes

Jake Fisher, Oregon

Where He Wins: A long and lean edge offensive lineman. Wants to maintain a strong grip when in close quarters. Posture is there, which can compensate for average foot quickness. Has functional strength to hold up.

Where He Fits: Did not have many exposures to elongated plays. Many were quick decisions. Can give up fast edge lines against rushers in wide alignments. Has played right tackle. Another likely swing tackle early on.

Pro Comparison: Poor man's Lane Johnson

Ty Sambrailo, Colorado State

Where He Wins: A road block rather than road grader. Looks to find the inside latch and does show the foot quickness to stay in front of his opponent. Real flashes of a jolting punch, but uncommon. Times his hand use so overextension does not occur. Zone/slant exposures looked good.

Where He Fits: Functional strength is a question, as he gets in position but still gets walked back a few steps. Likely a swing tackle early.

Pro Comparison: Byron Bell

Fringe Day Two

Bobby Hart, FSU

Where He Wins: A squatty blocker in his stance, tries to obtain the leverage advantage because of it. Size can be too much to get around for some rushers.

Where He Fits: Functional strength is a question, but NFL might project development in that area because he is so young (turns 20 years old in August). His combination (or lack thereof) of foot speed, balance, functional strength and coordination might move him to the inside, unless development occurs.

Pro Comparison: Derek Newton

Spencer Drango, Baylor

Where He Wins: A thickly built edge blocker. Good at setting and resetting hands to combat his opponent’s counter moves. Will attack inside shoulder to seal alley when run blocking.

Where He Fits: I wonder if he ultimately ends up inside, since there are some edge moves that he can’t reach thanks to slower feet.

Pro Comparison: Maybe a very poor man’s Zach Martin, due to his wide base but lack of powerful hands.

Torrian Wilson, UCF

Where He Wins: It might look unconventional at times, but Wilson completes his assignment due to pad level and foot coordination to mirror. If more strength is added, he could climb a tier. Played against some quality competition and held his own.

Where He Fits: Another one who might struggle with functional strength despite getting into proper position. Swing tackle early on, and maybe throughout his career.

Pro Comparison: Demetress Bell

Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris

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