East-West Shrine offensive line review

By | January 21, 2018

No surprise that in a 14-10 which included a defensive TD, the offensive lines didn’t necessarily cover themselves in glory. And that was pretty much in this year’s East-West Shrine game. Indeed, it was hard to see of the tackles in this game getting much more than late-round consideration. In fact, the best looking OT in St. Petersburg may very well have been Brett Toth of Army. He’s a long, lean (6-6, 310) guy with long arms and pretty good athleticism. Toth showed a very smooth slide step and was very comfortable absorbing contact and planting and redirecting. At the same time, though, Toth looks like he could add a little more sand in the caboose as well as add some upper-body strength. He’ll also get a better test next week in Mobile as he is also slated to participate in the Senior Bowl. Of course, Toth will also likely have to wait to get his pro career started while he fulfills his military obligations, but he looks like a guy worth a late-round pick as a developmental LT prospect.

Pittsburgh G/T Jaryd Jones-Smith also showed some late-round potential. He’s a huge guy at 6-6, 320 with 37-inch arms who is just a long way around. Jones-Smith showed decent balance and body control and used his arms effectively, but likely lacks the overall athleticism to figure as more than a RT or OG prospect. At the same time, a couple of other OTs that NFL teams really wanted to see in St. Petersburg did not have particularly great games. K.C. McDermott of Miami, for example, who came into the game as arguably the top rated prospect at the position at the Shrine classic, really struggled with speed rushers. McDermott did a better job drive blocking, but just didn’t show the footspeed to consistently cut off the edge nor the agility to plant and redirect when trying to stay with cutback moves. Same for emerging Wagner OT Greg Senat. Senat, a former basketball power forward who switched over to football in 2016 after using up his hardwood eligibility, certainly looks the part at 6-6, 294 with 35.5-inch arms. He’s also a good athlete who runs well, but his mechanics were all over the place in the Shrine game In particular, Senat struggled maintaining pad level and looked to be off balance too often. And it was a similar story for Oklahoma State’s Zach Crabtree, another huge guy (6-6, 318) who was a long way around when he got his feet set, but played too high and got knocked off balance more than once, while he also struggled to stay with speed rushers.

There also wasn’t a whole lot to write home about regarding the interior Offensive linemen. Washington State OG Cody O’Connell, though, had a solid enough outing. At 6-8, 365, O’Connell literally blocks out the sun and really locks on when he gets his hands on people; he also has a solid punch and moves his feet well enough, although he did lose his balance a couple of times reaching for smaller defenders. Fellow OGs Tony Adams of North Carolina State and Jake Alsadek of Arizona State were also solid enough. Same for Michigan State C Brian Allen who was very light on his feet and made several quality blocks in space, although he struggled at times anchoring against bull rushers.