For each team at the NFL Draft, the general manager is the
decision maker and all others are there to offer input. Coaches have
their “guy” they want the GM to take, despite claims from their
scouting department that have spent the better part of the year
finding the “warts” not shown on the player’s professional resume.
With that in mind, here is a look at that one player at each offensive-line position
who will either make a general manager look like a genius, or have
that guy on the unemployment line a year later.
KRISTOFER O’DOWD, USC (6-4, 304)
O’Dowd comes with a fine high school and early college career
resume, but he might be a medical risk, as his knee woes will scare
away a few teams, despite his triumphant return to the gridiron in
2010. In 2007, he suffered a dislocated right kneecap vs. Washington,
missing the next three games. He also had surgery to remove torn
cartilage, sitting out three more contests before returning to the
lineup vs. Arizona State.
In 2009, O’Dowd sat out May camp after undergoing left shoulder
surgery in January to repair a torn labrum. He later suffered a
dislocated right kneecap during the first series of a mid-August
scrimmage, missing the season opener vs. San Jose State. He started
the next five games, but lingering knee issues and a shoulder sprain
forced him back to the sidelines for three games. He returned to see
limited action vs. Stanford before he sat out the next week vs. UCLA.
O’Dowd has above average foot quickness, but there are concerns
about his balance. He has good athletic ability, change of direction
skills and lateral movement. The thing you notice on film is his
acceleration getting into the second level on screens and pulls.
However, he frequently falls off the snap and overextends, especially
when blocking in space.
The center has adequate lateral movement and change of direction
agility. He used to show ease of movement redirecting in either
direction, but after his 2007 knee injury, he did not look athletic
(appeared stiff) when changing direction. He is effective locating the
safeties and linebackers working in space, but has only adequate
The center has the ability to stay on his feet and block on the
move. His foot speed allows him to get out front on sweeps, but he
needs to generate more leg strength in order to sustain. He is not
used much in this area in the USC system. He is a hustler, showing the
ability to get on the linebackers in the second level. However, he
will go to his knees and lose his sustain ability when facing up to
the larger defenders. His problem arises when he has to stop and
redirect, as he will sometimes trip over his feet.
Compares To: ERIC GHIACIUC-Miami. Ghiaciuc’s athletic
deficiencies have seen him play for seven teams since entering the NFL
in 2005. Unless O’Dowd is fully recovered from knee woes and learns to
sink his pads and move quicker laterally, he faces the same travails
during his professional life. He also shows the ability to come off
double teams and get to his blocks and sustain, but will revert to
bending at the waist rather than his hips. He has a good pass set and
quick hands to get on the defenders with proper hand placement, but
will catch rather than punch most of the time.
James Brewer, Indiana, (6-6, 323)
Brewer has a tall frame that makes him look leaner than he
actually is. He has a big upper body frame with good muscle definition
in his arms. He has a big waist, good bubble, thick thighs, knotted
calves and solid muscle tone in his lower frame. His tall frame could
add more bulk with no loss in speed. He is also high-cut with narrow
hips. With his strength, he can be explosive coming off the snap, but
sometimes negates his anchor because he will stand too tall and appear
erect in his stance. His stiffness prevents him from dropping his hips
properly to anchor.
Brewer has just adequate explosion coming off the ball in the
passing game, and can be shocked and rocked back on his heels vs. a
strong bull rush. He has some foot speed and agility to gain advantage
when he stays low in his stance, but he needs to work on his footwork,
as at times he will skip a step coming out of his stance, causing some
balance issues. He has marginal lateral movement and feet to move on
pulls and get up field. He is sluggish to redirect and must learn how
to play at a lower pad level.
OT James Brewer
The Indiana offensive tackle has adequate balance, but needs to
open his hips quicker. He will get over-extended at times, but
generally plays on his feet. When he reverts to lunging, he will
generally fall to the ground. He compensates for a lack of lateral
agility by using his size and strength to sustain blocks, but needs to
move his feet quicker in order to get out in front on pulls and traps.
Brewer has good natural strength and the ability to knock
defenders off the ball coming out of his stance with arms extended.
When he stays low in his pads, he creates movement and uses his body
mass to lean into and get underneath the defender to sustain. However,
he tends to grab defenders rather than catch in attempts to steer the
pass rusher wide. He needs to generate better pop and explosion in
order to be effective here.
On running plays, Brewer comes off the snap with his back flat,
but needs to do a better job of rolling his hips. With his strength,
you would think that his hand punch can dominate and drive the
defender off the line of scrimmage, but he will revert to grabbing in
attempts to steer the defender. He may overextend some and lacks the
balance to recover when he gets too erect coming off the line of
You can see on game film that Brewer has marginal flexibility and
will get sloppy with his footwork at times. But, when he uses his
hands, he can stun the pass rusher with his punch. He has long arms,
but sometimes is not quick to reset his hands. He’s like a dancing
bear moving back in pass protection, playing too high to redirect.
But, when he keeps a wide stance with a good base, he can adjust to
the speed rush.
Compares To: KHALIF BARNES-Oakland. Brewer will overextend
and lunge some on run plays, lacking the balance (fails to open hips)
to quickly recover. He has good feet on contact in the running game,
but gets too narrow with his hips, causing him to look slow-footed
when he attempts to get up to the second level and cut off from the
backside. It is rare to see him flash aggression, as he prefers to
grab rather than use his hands with force to stun with his punch. In
pass protection, Brewer shows a decent kick slide, but at times, he
will pivot to recover and miss blocks when he plays straight-legged.
He uses his size to his advantage in pass protection, as he has the
long arms needed to lock out, but must work on getting proper hand
placement to ride out the wide rusher.
DeMarcus Love, Arkansas, (6-4, 315)
Love is a big, strong-body type that does not always play to his
weight room strength. He lacks good agility and is limited by poor
hand placement and a slow rise off the snap. Because of his lack of
suddenness, I doubt if he can be an effective pro tackle, as he is too
stiff and erect in his stance to effectively redirect. He struggles
when having to change direction and despite decent foot speed, he
lacks quickness and urgency to get into the second level and attack
linebackers on sweeps.
While Love has good weight-room power, he looks too top-heavy
(most of his weight is held in his chest) and this makes him appear a
bit sluggish getting off the snap. He gets too erect in his stance to
gain leverage off the snap, but does use his massive body to gain
position and sustain. He is limited in space, and cannot redirect and
recover. When he stays low in his pads, he can adjust and drop his
weight to gain movement.
G DeMarcus Love
Love struggles with lateral movement and the speed rush as his
body stiffness prevents him from getting a good anchor. When he gets
erect in his stance, he will overextend and lose body control. He does
show good intent to finish, but he does not have the feet to get to
his drop point in pass protection.
The Razorback will sometimes delivers a strong hand punch, but he
lacks consistency and aggression when shooting his hands, preventing
him from getting total impact behind those hits. When focused, he
shows some power in his play and looks to finish, doing a very good
job of using his size to lean in and push the defender off the ball,
but fails to generate anything more than a marginal burst off the snap
due to being a slow-twitch type.
Even for a big body-type, Love does show good feet and can adjust
working in-line. He is a bit stiff, but does manage to generate enough
of a slide to make adjustment blocks and recover. He struggles to
anchor on the edge due to marginal foot speed. Because of poor hip
snap, he looks uncomfortable and un-athletic in the open field.
Compares To: TONY UGOH-Detroit. Love is a big-framed
lineman whose struggles with speed and lateral agility will force him
to shift inside to guard at the pro level. Off the snap, he shows
enough quickness with his hands (just doesn’t shoot them with
consistency), but lacks foot speed. When he manages to get his pad
level down, he can drive block. His feet go dead when he has to pull
or work to the second level. He gets too erect in his stance to gain
proper leverage. One thing you notice on film is that when he has to
move up field, not only does he appear slow-twitched getting off the
snap, but labors to gain acceleration and gets his head down, which
prevents him from spotting targets to hit. He can anchor down in pass
protection, but is slow to get to his drop point and has no agility to
get to the edge, making him a liability at left tackle.
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