Alabama Crimson Tide offensive guard Jonah Williams

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2019 NFL Draft: OG scouting reports

April 24, 2019 - 10:20 am
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THE NFL DRAFT REPORT PRESENTS
THE 2019 OFFENSIVE GUARD DRAFT CLASS

WHETHER AT GUARD OR TACKLE, WILLIAMS IS COVETED

Jonah Williams-#73
University of Alabama Crimson Tide
6:04.4-302
Agility Tests...5.12 in the 40-yard dash…1.77 10-yard dash…2.97 20-yard dash…4.79 20-yard shuttle…8.01 three-cone drill…28-inch vertical jump…8'-04" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times…33 5/8-inch arm length…10 1/8-inch hands…81 3/4-inch wingspan.

Background...Most scouts state that Williams is more suited to play guard because of his shorter-than-ideal arms (33 5/8-inches), but the average length of the tackles at the NFL Scouting Combine was just one-half inch longer. No, our staff feels that Williams is more than capable of playing right tackle or any of the guard positions. 

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, the aspiring chef moved to California prior to beginning prep courses and attended Folsom High School, where he soon emerged as a five-star recruit. Rated one of the top three tackles in the country, the USA Today All-USA All-American selection was rated the third-best overall player in the state of California. 

The member of the PrepStar Top150 Dream Team (rated the second-best tackle) also received MaxPreps 2015 All-Northern California High School Football Team accolades. He excelled in the classroom, graduating a semester earlier. This allowed him to enroll at the University of Alabama in time to participate in 2016 spring drills.

That early enrollment worked to Williams' advantage, as he secured a starting job at right tackle for the Crimson Tide in 2016. He earned a reputation as one of the top true freshmen in the nation, not only on the offensive line but across all positions. He was selected as a Freshman All-American by USA Today and ESPN, along with being named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team by the conference coaches while earning second team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press.

Williams helped the Tide rank 16th nationally and first in the SEC in scoring offense (38.8 ppg), 12th nationally and second in the league in rushing offense (245.0 ypg) and 34th in the nation in total offense (455.3 ypg). He blocked for eleven 100-yard rushing game performers, seeing action in 1,019 snaps. He delivered 89 key blocks/knockdowns, allowing four sacks, eight quarterback pressures and three hits to go with six penalties, attaining an overall blocking consistency grade of 76.2%.

With Cam Robinson heading to the NFL, Williams took over left tackle duties in 2017. The second-team All-American pick by AFCA, he added third-team accolades from the Associated Press. He was chosen as a first-team All-SEC player by both the Associated Press and the conference coaches and was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List. He finished with 102 key blocks/knockdowns on the season and graded 86.7% for blocking consistency.

The sophomore surrendered just 2.5 sacks and eight pressures in 831 offensive snaps while committing just two mental errors and only missing ten assignments (98.6 percent success rate). He anchored the left side of an offensive line that was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award (nation's best front wall). He led a unit that ranked second in the SEC and 13th nationally in rushing with 250.6 yards per game while also ranking second in the SEC and 15th nationally in scoring offense (37.1 ppg). The Tide was fourth in the SEC and 29th nationally in total offense (444.1 ypg).

In 2018, the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award finalist continued to start every game for his career (44), as the unanimous first team All-American (The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, the FWAA, Associated Press, The Sporting News and the AFCA) earned the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy from the league coaches, presented to the conference’s top offensive lineman. 

The All-SEC pick helped open holes for the 42nd-ranked rushing offense (198.4 ypg), the third-ranked scoring offense (45.6 ppg) and the sixth-best total offense (522.0 ypg) while providing time for the nation’s best pass efficiency offense (197.34) and sixth-rated passing offense (323.6 ypg). The Tide’s offensive front also ranked eighth nationally and first in the SEC in fewest sacks, allowing just 1.0 per game. He posted 109 key blocks/knockdowns on the season and graded out at 90 percent or higher in 14 of 15 games as a junior. He missed only three assignments in 920 snaps at left tackle and did not allow a sack all season while giving up just three pressures.

The Scouting Report
Athletic Ability... Williams has a well-proportioned athlete with a big chest (almost 52 inches), broad shoulders, muscular, big hands (10 1/4-inches), thick thighs (32 inches) and calves. His tall frame makes him look almost too lean, but he has good bone structure and room to carry at least another 20 pounds without the added bulk affecting his overall quickness.
Williams has decent foot work, possessing the balance to make plays into the second level and shows good lower body flexibility in attempts to change direction. He has good open field acceleration, moving well and adjusting while taking angles to neutralize the linebackers. He is an above average knee bender who can recover on the rare occasions that he waist bends. He has very good quickness and movement ability to mirror edge rushers. He plays on his feet with very good balance and body control, doing a nice job of adjusting and picking up defenders in space. He is also a solid leverage player who can slide and sustain.
Length is not the issue for utilizing him at left tackle, but while he is a highly effective trap blocker, he caused a few eyebrows to arch with his poor shuttle drill test scores (8.01 in the three-cone drill, as just four of the 34 linemen in his group did worse), thus giving teams pause whether he can perform on an island at the left tackle position. Some also notice on game film that he has to work on improving his outside hand technique, as he's been a bit inconsistent landing and gathering position on an edge rusher.

Initial Quickness...Williams is very light on his feet, showing the ability to instantly react to movement. His quickness off the snaps lets him gain instant advantage. He shuffles his feet well to gain position and is explosive off the snap to reach his spot on the outside, demonstrating functional agility to protect the inside well. He shows a sudden burst to gain advantage and is nimble redirecting down the line. 
He is quick to turn up field and neutralize the linebackers on the move. His quick feet will generally see him gain position when blocking in-line, thus a better fit at guard. He is also very adept in sliding out to pick up edge rushers in pass protection. As a left tackle during his last two years, Williams displayed  good explosion with his initial step, coming off the ball with urgency on both run and pass plays, but with his average reach, he might be a better fit on the right side that operating on an island.

Balance/Stays on His Feet…Williams has had very good success in using his reach to cover up defenders, despite shorter than ideal arms (33 5/8-inches) for a tackle, thus teams viewing him more as an interior blocker. He has no problems getting low in his pads, which helps him generate good force coming off the snap. He has very good knee bend and while he could use more bulk, the bigger down lineman are not going to be able to get under his pads and drive him back into the pocket. He flashes the ability to gain position coming out of his stance. 
He has very good balance and body control working in-line, at the second level and in pass protection. He shows quick feet, a wide base and excellent flexibility to adjust and stick. His foot speed allows him to almost immediately gain position. He plays flat-footed and with a wide base, which allows him to sustain very well vs. the edge rushers in pass protection. The thing you see on film in 2018 (Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU games) is his ability to maintain balance when moving and stalking in the second level.
 
Explosion/Pop…    Williams combines size, strength and quickness to generate explosive blocking ability. He is very good at getting under the defenders’ pads and dominating (see Louisville, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee contests). He has a strong hand jolt to shock and opponent working down the line and does a good job of driving into his man in attempts to wall off. Not only does he demonstrate above average quickness, but he positions himself well and gets his hands up quickly on the rise, generating strength with quickness to impact, pop and surge with sudden force. 
He also displays leg explosion, as well as a strong jolt with his hand punch (needs to work more on hand placement of outside shoulder, though). He plays with good aggression and has the power to gain leverage, especially when attempting to create a crease for the ground game. As the 2018 season progressed, Williams continued to show the pop and explosion needed to drive the defender off the line of scrimmage, thanks to his hip snap and leg drive, as well as an improved pop on contact with his hand punch.

Run Blocking… Williams is a solid walk-off drive blocker who moves with ease getting into the second level. He plays with natural strength, but will need to improve his power base and increase his bulk to withstand the rigors in the trenches as an NFL offensive tackle (more suited for interior blocking). He has enough power to move the pile and drives block with leverage, but could be exceptional here with added bulk. He drives off the snap hard, as he demonstrates the leg drive and feet to stay on his blocks and sustain. He is a good in-line blocker, possessing a wide base as he runs his feet well. He is very good at sustaining and is developing a nice feel for blocking angles (still learning technique, but is responding quickly). He is effective when asked to wall off and screen. He brings power to his game when driving for movement and will generally finish. He has the good footwork to stay on his feet on the move and can handle the switch-off well when working in combination with his guard.
 
Pass Blocking… Called the team's "film junkie," Williams feels that he is still learning the blocking schemes used at left tackle, but demonstrates more than enough foot quickness to slide. He has average knee bend and hip flexibility, along with good patience and a strong hand punch. Williams stays square and balanced when shuffling and sliding. Even when he gets over-extended, he is quick to recover. He could use more bulk to anchor, but he can utilize his drop step/kick to gain depth and width needed. 
He struggled at times in 2017 with his kick slide, but made adjustments and as the year progressed, he developed the balance and body control needed to make the reach blocks, use his change of direction agility to wall off and generate the foot quickness to recover. He does have the quickness off the snap to gain advantage, showing above balance and control in his kick slide. He is also capable of making the cut-off block and readjusting quickly to the edge rush, but needs to attack the outside shoulder better. His quickness in his pass set lets him mirror and contain edge rushers, but he needs to keep his hands inside the framework to prevent his opponent from slipping off his blocks.
 
Pulling/Trapping Skills…Williams does a nice job of pulling and trapping, reaching and logging. He has the speed to cut off the linebackers when leading through the inside holes and looks fluid, with good feet adjustment to make solid contact in the open. He is athletic and smooth when moving off the line and has the body control to execute blocks in space. He has very good athleticism to stay up and play the game on his feet. He is capable of coming off the snap smoothly to pull. He has good open field acceleration for a down lineman, doing a nice job of initiating contact and following through and the leg drive to sustain.
Williams has made a nice living of getting on second level defenders, as he can engulf and pancake linebackers on the move (36 down field blocks in 44 games). With his hand punch and height, he shows the agility to smother his primary target and move on to the next man. He maintains balance and slides easily to make the cut off. He is strong enough to stay up in his stance, maintaining proper pad level to keep his feet and adjust on the move. The thing you notice on film is his ability to consistently take good blocking angles to neutralize and cut off the linebackers. His athletic ability is shown when he makes quick adjustments to pick up secondary defenders down field.

Use of Hands/Punch...Williams will sometimes get his hands outside his framework, but he does strike with a strong punch in attempts to jolt. When he follows through with his hand delivery, he can finish with force. He has shown in 2018 a much better ability to grab and control, doing a fine job of stunning his opponents with his punch. He has done a good job of improving his hand usage, as he shows power and determination to lock on and steer on runs. 
He gets good hand positioning and shows explosion with his punch to jolt and gain control, but sometimes will drop his hands and fails to reload. He keeps his base wide in order to position and adjust to the outside edge quickness and strikes with authority in pass protection. He is still learning the “little tricks” like getting underneath to grab and ride the defender out, but continues to make steady progress.

Reactions/Awareness...Williams is quick to recover when caught out of position and has the nimble feet to pull in the open and pick up the blitz or defensive line stunts. With his average lateral movement, he can change direction when moving inside or out coming off the snap. He keeps his head on a swivel, showing valid reactions and awareness on both running and passing plays. He has no problems handling movement, as he kicks slide allows him to adjust. He has good speed and plays flat-footed, showing explosion and flexibility when changing direction. 
In pass protection, he has the footwork, balance and quickness to set and edge and cut off, compensating for those shorter-than-ideal arms (at least scouts think his arms are too short for left tackle). He has been especially alert on stunts as a junior, showing the ability to move in attempts to impact on the defender. With his nimble feet, he will not have problems handling movement at the next level as a right tackle or at any of the guard positions.


Compares To...Joel Bitonio-Cleveland Browns...Like Bitonio, Williams is a college left tackle likely to shift inside at the pro level. As a potential guard, Williams is capable of doing a good job of chipping and getting to the second level, as he has the ability to break down and stay under control. He is quick getting out in front on pulls and traps, runs well in the open and has the body control to turn up the hole - ideal traits for a pulling guard. He is adept at hitting a moving target in space and overall, does a solid job in pass protection, thanks to his quick feet, knee bend, patience and ability to sink his hips.

THE BEST PURE GUARD IN THE DRAFT HAS SEEN HIS STOCK SOAR LIKE AN EAGLE

Christopher "Chris" Paul Lindstrom-#75
Boston College Eagles
6:03.6-308
Agility Tests...4.91 in the 40-yard dash…1.70 10-yard dash…2.85 20-yard dash…4.54 20-yard shuttle…7.61 three-cone drill…30 1/2-inch vertical jump…9'-09" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times…34 1/8-inch arm length…9 1/2-inch hands…80 1/8-inch wingspan.

Background...It all came together for this Eagles offensive lineman last season, as scouts regard him as the best "pure" guard prospect in this draft. Yes, a college tackle or center might be drafted ahead of him with a guard designation, but among his peers who have played the position full-time, few with argue with the "best of" tag Lindstrom has received.

The second oldest of Dawn Chris Lindstrom’s six children, his father was a hall of fame defensive lineman at Boston University and spent three seasons in the NFL after the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the eighth round of the 1982 draft. His uncle, Eric, played defensive end at BCs (1984-88) and Chris' younger brother, Alec, was a true freshman on the Boston College offensive line in 2018.

Both brothers were like their father - experiencing a growth spurt late during their high school careers. At Shepherd Hill High School, Chris had excellent technique and plenty of football acumen. He was voted the Southern Worcester County Player of the Year and named ESPN/Boston Lineman of the Year in 2014 while leading the Rams to the Division IV Central title during his senior year.

Chris Jr. started his high school career as a skinny lineman of about 200 pounds. Even in his decorated senior season, when he was having his way with any and all defenders in his path, he was tipping the scales at just a pedestrian 235. As an early enrollee at BC, he put on weight quickly upon his arrival. Today, he stands nearly 6-foot-4 and weighs 306 pounds.

Lindstrom was a member of the offensive line that allowed the Rams to run for over 3,000 yards in junior and senior campaigns. As a senior, Shepherd Hill ran for 3,835 yards and 49 touchdowns en route to the 2014 MIAA Division IV Central title. He was named Massachusetts Division IV Co-Offensive Player of the Year and SWCL Player of the Year in his junior season. He was also named to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Super Team and closed out his prep career by playing in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.

In 2015, Lindstrom saw action in twelve games, starting in the final nine at right guard. He was a member of the offensive line that helped back eight rushing touchdowns and 549 yards of offense against Howard. He helped Boston College register more than 300 yards of total offense and more than 200 rushing yards five times. He graded only 65% for blocking consistency, though, as the then 260-pound first-year player allowed seventeen quarterback pressures and two sacks via 677 snaps.

As a sophomore, Lindstrom started all thirteen games at right guard. He led an offensive line that allowed the Eagles to rack up over 400 yards of total offense in back-to-back games against Wagner (490) and Buffalo (400), and over 300 yards five times. On 831 snaps, he received a 79.1% pass blocking grade, yet was charged with eleven pressures and two sacks on 367 pass attempts.

Lindstrom's junior campaign began at right guard, but he shifted to right tackle during the Eagles' seventh game vs. Louisville and remained at that spot the rest of the year. Tipping the scales at 305 pounds in 2017, the All-Atlantic Conference second-team choice was BC’s highest-graded offensive linemen (78.9%) the entire season and led a productive unit that ranked second in the ACC - and tied for 13th nationally - with just 13 sacks allowed. He was a key cog in a rushing offense that was 25th nationally, averaging 220.4 yards per game, as he was charged with three sacks and thirteen pressures through 983 plays.

During his final season, Lindstrom returned to right guard, where the All-ACC first-team choice received New England Football Writers All-New England Team honors and was a member of the Outland Trophy Watch List. He was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week after posting three touchdown-resulting blocks against Louisville, again leading the team with a 90.4% grade for pass blocking consistency. After allowing 41 quarterback pressures during his first three seasons, he reduced that figure to four through 878 snaps, as he did not give up any sacks or quarterback hits on 363 aerial snaps.

Through four seasons, Lindstrom 48 games, including 42 at right guard and six at right tackle. Through 3,369 total snaps (1,413 pass plays, 1,858 running snaps), he was penalized just seven times. He was charged with 45 quarterback pressures, but yielded only seven sacks and a pair of QB hits.

The Scouting Report
Athletic Ability...Lindstrom has a thick frame, but could carry at least another fifteen pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness. He has a solid build with good arm length, big hands, thick upper body region (chest), firm midsection with a strong lower frame and a good overall offensive lineman’s physique.
Lindstrom displays good foot quickness for a down lineman (4.91 40-yard dash). He demonstrates the agility and initial burst to get into the second level without lumbering. He consistently plays on his feet  and shows the low pad level, balance and ability to keep his hands inside his frame when mirroring a defender (see Louisville, Virginia Tech games). He is quite flexible when redirecting 7.61 second three-cone drill) and with his experience at the position in 2017, he could earn additional playing time as an offensive tackle due to his ability to locate and attack speed rushers. He shows good acceleration on the move, doing a good job of getting in front on traps and pulls. He is quick when changing direction and generally keeps his head on a swivel, looking for other defenders to attack. He also has the quickness off the snap to get into defenders and gain leverage. 

Initial Quickness...Lindstrom displays very good initial quickness, getting his hands up and in the defender’s chest on the rise, in order to control and position. He is light on his feet for a player his size, ideal for the short pulls and traps (see Holy Cross, Temple, Louisville games). With his explosive burst, he easily gains advantage on the defender. He has the balance and change of direction agility to get out front on traps and pulls. He can gain advantage on scoop and reach blocks thanks to his quick first step. He shows good hip strike and suddenness getting out of his stance and moving up field.
Lindstrom shows good urgency getting out of his stance and pulling. He has the lateral agility to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage, showing fluid hip snap when trying to plant and redirect. The thing you notice on film is the way he maintains balance on the short pull while displaying good lower body flexibility (4.62 second 20-yard shuttle).

Balance/Stays on His Feet…Lindstrom has the footwork and strength to anchor and hold his ground at the point of attack. He is quick off the snap, usually getting advantage on the defender due to his ability to stay on his feet. He stays low in his pads, works for position and uses his hands well to lock on and finish. With his balance and footwork, he has excellent mirror ability. Even with his quickness, he shows good patience to sustain blocks. 
When in pass protection at offensive tackle, his footwork in retreat allows him to get back and protect the pocket from edge rushers (see 2017 Virginia Tech, Virginia, Florida State games). He has good knee bend and is not the type who will get straight-legged and bend at the waist. He is very good at keeping his feet on the move, as you almost never see him flop around some working long distances. He demonstrates good body control when working on short pulls. At the line of scrimmage, he has the quick feet and balance to slide and sustain, doing so with good flexibility. He is simply a tough position blocker who shows consistency working to finish. When he gains position and keeps his base wide, he will generally win most battles.

Explosion/Pop…    Lindstrom fires off the snap with a low stance, getting that explosive thrust from his strong lower frame to prevent bull rushers from walking him back into the pocket (has allowed just seven sacks on 1,413 pass plays; none in 2018). He is a savvy player who combines strength and quickness to generate explosive pop in his drive blocking. He plays with above average leverage and shows more than enough hand usage and power to drive the defenders out of the hole. When he plays at a proper pad level, he shows the ability to sink his hips and use his lower body to explode into his man. When he gets too high in his stance, he fails to roll his hips and pop into blocks.

Run Blocking… Lindstrom has the strength and quickness you look for in a trap blocker, as he consistently creates space and finish blocks for the ground game (see Holy Cross, Temple, Louisville, Virginia Tech games). He has the hand usage to initiate contact, lock on and drive off the defender, along with the leg drive to control multiple opponents or assist his center and tackle on combo blocks/double teams. He is equally effective in space and working in-line, as he can get movement and widen the rush lanes between the tackles, along with demonstrating the valid speed to enter the second level and stalk linebackers. His lower body strength lets him flash into the defender and drive his opponent quickly off the ball. 
His ability to keep his pad level low and play with leverage lets him control the action with his quick initial step. He has made great strides in this area due to his ability to bend at the knees and drive to get movement when working in-line. He rarely loses his base at the X’s and excels at walling off and screening, especially when he rolls his hips on contact.

Pass Blocking…Lindstrom has that strong hand punch and anchoring ability to shock the bull rushers, doing a very nice job of extending his arms while sliding his feet to maintain the integrity of the pocket. He stays square vs. movement and when challenged by multiple defenders, he uses his solid punch on the way to anchoring and stopping the charge. He understands the importance of protections and communicates well with the other blockers, especially his center. 
He plays flat-footed and can sink his hips to mirror, and it is very rare to see him drop his head at the X’s. Earlier in his career, he used to get a little straight-legged trying to adjust and recover, but he showed improved flexibility and balance as a junior and even more as a senior. If he generates proper knee bend, he can anchor and slide when trying to set and base.
 
Pulling/Trapping Skills…Lindstrom shows very good vision and ability to make contact on the move (see Virginia Tech, Louisville, Florida State games). He maintains balance on the move and it is rare to see him lunge or get “top heavy” working in the second level. He shows ease of movement, quickness and high production on pulls and has no problems using his reach and hands to make contact with a moving target. 
He is very alert to schemes when in space and if you are looking for a guard to excel on the short pull and drive the defender off the ball on initial contact, Lindstrom is your man. He is best working in the short area, as his quick first step usually allows him to gain advantage. He is a contact seeker who will land with violence at the X’s. He is just as effective going long distances, as he never gets his base too narrow, nor fails to keep his feet under him. When working in the short area, he has the power, drive and wider base to maintain position.

Use of Hands/Punch...Lindstrom has a very strong punch and active hand usage. He consistently gets placement and has the strength to grab and control. With his powerful hand punch, he can stymie a defender in an instant. When making contact, he will usually put the defenders up on their heels. He can generate very good power to shock and jolt when he gets his hands into the defender’s chest. He has improved greatly his recoil and recovery quickness (his hand speed could see him possibly even perform at center). 
His powerful short punch is a dangerous weapon when working in-line. As he became more confident in his hands, he was able to shock and knock down defenders with good consistency. Thanks to his hand strength, when he locks on to a defender, he will usually control the play. On run blocks he comes off the snap low, using his hands to pop the defender into the chest and ride out his blocks. He also showed improvement in using his hands effectively to keep defenders off his pads.

Reactions/Awareness...Lindstrom keeps his head on a swivel and even savvy defenders fail to fool him. He uses his foot quickness and balance to slide and redirect in pass protection and is smart enough to know when he is needed to help out other blockers. He gets good depth with his kick slide and he has the ability to locate targets on the field and recognize schemes, which should see him be a relied-upon type of NFL blocker as a rookie. 
He shows the vision to easily pick up twists and will pivot to recover when he misses a block. He works well with his center switching on stunts and also has the ability to combo with his tackles when picking up the outside blitz. He is very good at using his nimble feet to move out the pile and shuffles those feet with effectiveness to neutralize linebackers trying to shut down the rush lanes.

Compares To...Kevin Zeitler-New York Giants...Lindstrom has had great success as a drive blocker the last two years, but he is also a very effective pass blocker, evident by the team’s marked improvement with their aerial game in 2018. He is a tough second level stalker with above average quickness and athletic ability for a down lineman. Continued success during his senior year, along with a dominant performance in the Senior Bowl will make him one of the first guards to hear his name called in April 2019.

GOOD AS A GUARD, GREAT AS A CENTER - THE POSITION DILEMMA FOR McGOVERN ADMIRERS

Connor James McGovern-#66
The Penn State University Nittany Lions
6:05.3-311
Agility Tests...5.23 in the 40-yard dash…1.79 10-yard dash…2.95 20-yard dash…4.57 20-yard shuttle…7.66 three-cone drill…29-inch vertical jump…8'-09" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 26 times…34 1/8-inch arm length…9 7/8-inch hands…82-inch wingspan.

Background...Prior to the 2018 campaign, most NFL scouting departments had a near unanimous choice for the player they recognized as the best center in college football - one Connor James McGovern. The Penn State coaches had other ideas. Yes, their standout blocker would be utilized at another position for the upcoming season. It did not take long before his name plate on most draft boards shifted from center to guard, as all agree the best trap blocker in the college ranks wears jersey number-66 at State College.

Prior to arriving at State College, McGovern excelled as a four-year varsity letter-man in football at Lake-Lehman High School, where he served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons. Even as a youngster, his versatility excited recruiters. 247Sports.com rated him the third-best center in the country and the seventh-best prepster overall in the state of Pennsylvania.

Still, Scout.com regarded McGovern as the second-best guard prospect on the East Coast while Rivals.com considered him to be the state's sixth-best overall player and second-best center in the country. ESPN rated him fifth-best in the nation at the pivot position and every recruiting service accorded him four-star status. 

McGovern held the distinction of being named first-team All-Wyoming Valley Football Conference in each of his final three seasons, leading the Black Knights to the league title and a 10-2 record as a senior in 2015. He also held the rare honor for an offensive lineman, as he was selected the conference's Most Valuable Player that campaign.

The team MVP in 2015 closed out his prep career by participating in the 2015 UNICO All-Star Game and the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Game. Named to Scout.com's All-America team, he was a finalist for Pennsylvania Mr. Football honors. He also earned two letters each in basketball and track and field. He was an all-conference selection in basketball as a junior and captured the District II shot put title in 2015. Connor also set school strength records in bench press, squat, dead-lift and power clean. Academically, he was a National Honor Society member since the seventh grade.

McGovern did not have to wait long to get his uniform dirty. While most incoming freshmen offensive linemen spend their first college season on the scout team, he began his Nittany Lions career as a reserve at both guard positions. His brief flashes convinced the coaching staff to insert him into the starting lineup at right guard. In the fifth game on the schedule, he had replaced Derek Dowry. 

Penn State used five different starting offensive line combinations in the last five weeks of the schedule primarily due to injuries, but the coaches felt that they needed to see what the incoming freshman could accomplish. In the first four games with McGovern in reserve, Penn State averaged just 101.25 yards on the ground while playing the "Patsies" on the calendar. 

With McGovern playing with the first unit, the running unit suddenly came alive, averaging 184.67 yards per game. The team had allowed twelve quarterback sacks during his five games as a reserve (2.4 per game), but had just twelve more during McGovern's first unit tenure. His performance earned him All-Big Ten Conference Freshman Team accolades and he became just the third offensive lineman in league history to claim a weekly award and first since 2004, when he was selected Player of the Week vs. Iowa, a game that saw Penn State rush for 359 yards.

In 2017, McGovern added bulk to his frame for the move to the pivot. After playing at 310 pounds as a freshman, the 328-pound true sophomore was named All-American and All-Big Ten Conference by The NFL Draft Report. Along with most scouting information services, he was regarded as the best center in the college game. Yes, there were growing pains for the team in the trenches, as three of their blockers up front were sophomores and another a first-time starter as a junior.

While the front wall allowed twenty-nine quarterback sacks and the running unit ranked 59th in the FBS (170.15 ypg), the Lions finished second in the league and 19th in the nation in total offense (460.31 ypg). They ranked fifth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks and second in the Big Ten Conference with a success rate of 47.95% in converting third-down plays (82-of-171).

Penn State also ranked seventh nationally and second in the league with an average of 41.1 points per game. They led the conference and were tenth in the FBS with a pass completion percentage of .6572 and their winning percentage of .846 was eighth-best in the nation. They also ranked 23th in the country and led the Big Ten with an average of 290.15 aerial yards per game.

Manning the right guard position as a junior, McGovern is recognized as an elite trap blocker, posting sixteen second level blocks through eleven games at that position. Among his 95 key blocks/knockdowns as a guard, he delivered key blocks that resulted in seventeen touchdowns for the ground game and nine more for the passing attack. 

Then, as if a Christmas wish granted to NFL scouts in attendance, McGovern shifted to center for the regular season finale. It was his best game as a Nittany Lion. His blocking consistency grade of 98% vs. the Terrapins tied the school game-record, as he delivered a season-best twelve key blocks, including on each of the team's four touchdown runs. With McGovern at the pivot, Penn State rushed for a season-high 310 yards in the season finale. His blocking consistency grade of 88.92 leads all interior blockers at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level.

The Scouting Report 
Athletic Ability…McGovern has good mass and muscle tone throughout his thick frame. He has the thighs, calves and bubble teams look for in an anchor in the middle of the line. His arms have the desired length for an offensive tackle (34 1/8-inches), but he has very good upper body strength and powerful hands, evident by the way he consistently pushes defenders back coming off the snap as a center (not as good at guard). He has good leg length and looks athletic for a down lineman (can easily get his pads low, as he does not have the anticipated girth you see in most centers).
McGovern competes with above average balance, quickness and agility (4.57 shuttle drills was the third-best for interior linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine) and decent playing speed. He does a nice job of adjusting to movement in pass protection and when moving into the second level. He possesses quick hand usage that he uses effectively to get under the defender’s pads. He shows good urgency attacking linebackers in space and the loose hips needed to wheel around and cut off the backside pressure. 
He is surprising strong when attacking bull rushers and even when he gives up considerable bulk to some opponents, he compensates with strength, balance and intelligence. He is the type that is strictly “old school,” as he will battle until the whistle and has a high pain threshold. You will never see him take a play off or throttle down on the field. He shows tremendous passion and effort in the trenches and works hard to leverage and finish. He loves the challenge taking on stunts and schemes, leaving everything he has out on the field.

Initial Quickness    …Because of his balance and low pad level, McGovern has great success in gaining advantage coming off the snap. He is especially effective executing second level blocks and shows decisive movement in his stance. He gets his hands inside in an instant and has above average flexibility and body control to reach, shade and get his hips turned properly to wall off. Coming off the ball, what separates him from most centers is his fast twitch action that lets him have very good success locking and loading on a nose guard. He has loose hips and knows how to keep his pads down to change direction quickly. He shows good explosion out of his stance to get out front on pulls and traps. His lateral movement skills are evident on combo, cross, fold and scoop blocks. He has above average feet and agility, showing ease of movement redirecting to either side.

Balance/Stays on His Feet…Even when he is heavily out-weighed vs. a defensive lineman, McGovern’s balance and body control make it very hard for his opponent to get the center back on his heels. He is very quick out of his stance and uses that balance and burst to get position, working hard to sustain it. With his feet, he has no problems staying on his blocks and displays above average body adjustment flexibility working into the second level. He is very good at shooting his hands inside and keeps his weight shift low and centered. With his strong base, he can also slide his feet smoothly to maintain and sustain position. With his low center of gravity, defenders have a nearly impossible time trying to get into his chest. He also displays fluid moves adjusting in space. He can shuffle, slide and adjust with his sharp change of direction skills. The thing I like about him is his ability to keep his weight back and stay in control.

Explosion/Pop…McGovern is one of the most explosive blockers in the country coming out of his stance. He might lack great bulk, but he is a sound technician and tenacious generating a strong hand punch to leverage and control. He simply gets on his opponent in an instant, giving his man no time to set up or execute counter moves. He plays with very good functional strength and has outstanding foot quickness to explode into the defender when making contact. His dedicated weight training program during the off-seasons have resulted in him combining good strength and pop on his run blocks. He does a solid job of rolling his hips and driving defenders. While he lacks ideal size, he will get into the defender immediately after the snap and plays until the whistle. With his hip explosion, he is a perfect fit for an inside running game.

Run Blocking… McGovern has greatly improved his balance on the move, which is evident by his ability to land on second level defenders. He will struggle with balance when he gets his base too narrow, but he shows good consistency in attempts to seal and wall off while working in unison with his guards, showing good ease-of-movement playing in space. When he gets position on a defender, he knows how to use his mass and hand punch to shock and jolt. He is especially effective at gaining movement when he has an angle on people and works hard to maintain position and get movement at the point of attack. He seems to be much more comfortable blocking on the move than when in tight quarters, as he has the balance and body control to take good angles in attempts to neutralize second level defenders. He has the loose hips to turn and get back into the action when playing in space. He can do a nice job of adjusting to movement and generally finds his targets, especially on short traps and pulls. He also has improved his body control on the cutback. When he plays with his knees bent and over his feet, he is very consistent keeping his balance on the move.

Pass Blocking…McGovern showed in 2017, as a center, he worked well with his guards in protecting the interior pocket than when isolated one-on-one. As a guard, he sometimes had some problems with the speedier defenders in 2018 (see Michigan State, Michigan games), but when he keeps his weight back and stays square, he is more effective sliding and adjusting when changing direction. He is very alert to tricks and when he sinks his weight, is capable of anchoring vs. the bull rush. 
In 2018, he showed good recovery quickness at right guard, staying square while sinking his hips. He has made great strides in improving his hand placement. 
He was lacking a bit in this area in 2018, but as a center in 2017, he was very effective at generating force and pop behind his hits to jolt the opponent. He knows how to use his hands to grab and gain control. He also has improved his hand quickness, as he works hard to get a piece of his opponent’s jersey to lock on and control. He is effective at locating and neutralizing interior stunts and blitzes, but is still a work in progress when isolated vs. speed rushers (slow to recover at times). He has decent foot speed to mirror when working in-line by staying square to recover. 

Pulling/Trapping Skills…McGovern is very alert adjusting to blitzes and stunts. He does a nice job delivering chip blocks and cut-offs working in the second level. Before moving off the line, he knows it is important to throw a quick block on the pass rusher so another lineman can take a better angle on the opponent. The thing I like on film is his ability to fire out very low from his stance, using full force to drive into the front of the defender’s hips and scramble into his blocking assignment. He just shows that good space movement you want from a trap blocker and since he keeps his head on a swivel, he has good success looking up people when working down field. When he gets into the second level, he quickly gains position to screen and wall off.

Use of Hands/Punch...McGovern can deliver a solid punch into a chest of a defender when his opponent gets too high in his stance. He has quick hand placement to control the defender on running plays and is a strong puncher in pass protection. He is also savvy enough to know when to extend for lock-on and steering purposes in the aerial game. He plays with leverage and can immediately get control of the defender with his proper hand placement, effectively grabbing and gaining control.

Reactions/Awareness...McGovern knows when to move his feet, slide his hips and maintain a solid base. He is alert and quick to secure position vs. twists and games, as he has the nimble feet to mirror. When he performed at center, he did a nice job of getting out on the edge to impact a rusher in the backfield, thanks to his body control and balance when sliding. He has good field vision, doing a nice job with his feet to adjust with his lateral kick and slide. He is alert to movement and change of direction along the line and reacts well to stunts and twists.

Compares To...Jeff Hartings-ex-Pittsburgh Steelers…As an interior lineman, McGovern’s ability to work in unison with other blockers on double teams has been critical. I really like him better as a center, as he has that forward burst and lower pad level to easily defeat a defender lined up over his head. He is also effective on traps and pulls working the short areas as a guard. He plays with a strong base and has the loose hips and upper body strength to win most one-on-one battles in the trenches.

BIG TALENT OBVIOUS IN THIS SMALL COLLEGE GUARD

Nate Davis-#64
University of North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers
6:03.2-316
Agility Tests...5.23 in the 40-yard dash…1.84 10-yard dash…3.04 20-yard dash…4.83 20-yard shuttle…7.94 three-cone drill…26-inch vertical jump…8'-11" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times…33 1/8-inch arm length…9 1/2-inch hands…79 3/8-inch wingspan.

Background...Not regarded as a recruit coming out of Stone Bridge High School, the then 270-pound lineman was considered by the University of Virginia before they decided to see line help elsewhere rather than offer Davis a scholarship. He was known more for his defensive skills and was selected to the 2013 Pigskin Club’s All-Metropolitan Defensive Line, in addition to being named team MVP and team captain as a senior.

The first team All-Liberty Conference choice added all-state and 5A North all-Region accolades during his four-year career. During his final season, he guided the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record that included a Liberty District Championship. They also captured that title while compiling a 14-1 record during his junior campaign.

After red-shirting at Charlotte in 2014 due to academic issues, Davis played in all twelve games for the 49ers in 2015, starting ten times at right guard. Slowly establishing himself as Charlotte’s anchor on the right side of the offensive line over the next three years, the then 283-pound blocker made 79 knockdowns and allowed just three pressures and a pair of sacks as the offense averaged 337.2 yards per game.

In 2016, Davis started eight of the nine games he appeared in, coming up with 69 knockdowns. The All-Conference USA honorable mention helped 49ers offense rank sixth in C-USA in rushing (176.2/gm). He was again a league honorable mention as a junior. Adding over twenty pounds to his frame, Davis cracked the century mark with 102 knockdowns. His ability to widen rush lanes saw the 49ers average 166.2 yards on the ground. He was not charged with any of the twenty-two sacks given up by the front unit.

The 49ers stumbled early in the 2018 campaign, as Davis was suspended for the first four games by the NCAA for an undisclosed violation. He returned to start seven of eight games, but was shifted to right tackle upon his return. Now weighing 311 pounds, he still earned All-Conference USA second-team honors and was invited to play in the 2019 Senior Bowl, where he was utilized as a left guard by the Oakland Raiders staff coaching his squad.

An adjustment like that seems simple on paper, but the mental aspect of switching sides is tricky.
“In one position, they look like a natural. In another, it looks like something brand new to them,” Raiders assistant offensive line coach Lemuel Jeanpierre said. “Being able to be flexible is really important and then being able to flip your brain. Imagine doing something for 10,000 reps going one way and then just flipping it.”

Despite the change in positions and opposing talent, Davis flourished, saying scouts were surprised by the way he could keep his strength against top-tier talent and anchor himself against power rushers. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Davis said. “I just had to think more about my fundamentals and techniques going from the right side to the left side. I think I was able to showcase that I can flip-flop both sides without being a problem.”

The Scouting Report
Athletic Ability... Davis has natural overall body thickness with a strong, muscular lower frame that allows him to maintain his anchor vs. the bull rush. He has the large wingspan and long arms needed to make reach blocks and more than enough upper body power and muscle tone to easily “rag doll” defenders when working in tight areas. He might be shorter than ideal, but he is a wide-body type with a big bubble, minimal girth, along with the big hips, thighs and calves to maintain his position when he stays down in his pads. He has an overall firm frame and while he is not explosive out of his stance, he has that very strong lower body base to firmly drive through his blocking assignments and maintain the integrity of the rush lanes.
There are times where Davis will get too tall in his stance or waist bend, causing him to fail in generating explosion off the snap or moving laterally with suddenness, but he is quick enough to get into the second level on short pulls. Even with adequate change of direction agility, he builds his acceleration steadily when asked to log or down block. 
When he gets too tall in his stance, he is more apt to lean into his man and use his body as a crutch as the game wears on, but he has enough quickness and movement ability to get the job done coming off the snap when he maintains proper pad level. He is a naturally strong athlete, doing an excellent job of anchoring firmly vs. the bull rush. You will not see him show suddenness taking on double moves, but he has enough speed to execute the short pulls to the outside (just not as fluid getting into the second level or when he reverts to waist bending).

Initial Quickness...Davis lacks great long distance quickness, thanks to some balance issues (will get narrow and tall in his stance and lacks natural knee bend). Still, he comes off the snap with good quickness, showing a powerful forward thrust to get into the defender with force. As a senior tackle, he showed marked improvement with a quick pass set, as he readily adjusted and reacted to movement. When he maintains a low pad level and sits into his stance, he is very effective at gaining an advantage on the defender, but when he fails to drop his pads, he will revert to bending at the waist, impeding his initial movement off the snap.
He is a very good position blocker who uses his natural leverage to sustain blocks (must be conscious of staying low in his pads, for when he gets tall, he will get walked back or lose relationship with the bull rusher). He does not come off the snap with good explosion and if a quick defender gets a side on him, he will lose contact when he “short arms” (not quick getting his hands up or recoiling vs. counter moves), but for a squat type, he moves well along the line and on short pulls into the second level to gain an advantage.

Balance/Stays on His Feet…When Davis fails to roll his hips or stands up rather than maintaining a low pad level, he will struggle with his balance on the move. He is much more effective in a zone blocking scheme, where he can utilize his impressive power and incredible hand punch to finish. When he plays low with leverage, he is perfectly capable of hitting on his rise up and into the defender’s numbers. He will fall off after a long sustain on occasion, when on the move, but when battling stationary or in the trenches, he consistently gets good fits. He does have some balance concerns when he over-extends, but showed much better ability as a senior in attempts to play with a wider base and he has a very strong anchor to maintain position.
 
Explosion/Pop…    Davis is an excellent zone blocker, thanks to his above average natural power and punishing hand punch. He is a player that combines his strength and bulk to engulf smaller defenders and consistently generates great pop in his drive blocks. His style of play is more suited for a zone blocking scheme. Even when he gets too tall in his stance, he shows decent ability in maintaining his anchor, as he works hard to come off the snap low in drive blocking situations. Davis is a strong straight-line blocker who is adequate at moving laterally down the line, but also shows functional kick slide needed in pass protection. He is generally effective when angle blocking and walling off, as he does a good job staying with his blocks.

Run Blocking… Davis has that short area foot speed to generate the range needed when pulling from the backside. He is quite effective executing the kick-out and fold blocks, and he could see some action at tackle, thanks to his ability to generate power on the move, along with keeping his head on a swivel to locate and neutralize second level defenders. He gets into blocks with good urgency and breaks down well as a run blocker, especially when asked to deliver movement on drive and down blocks. Davis is best when blocking for the run, as he might be a plodder, but shows the ability to get a good fit and drive the defender off the ball. His leg drive gets him good success to work for position. He is better on the short pull to the front side than when working as a trap blocker off tackle.
 
Pass Blocking…In a zone blocking scheme, Davis has capably performed with his movement skills to develop into an efficient pass protector at the NFL level. When he maintains low pad level, he has no problem shuffling, sliding and reacting to movement. He might struggle with the quick double move at times, but is generally efficient in pass protection, as he stays on his feet and anchors well. Some teams might look at him as a right tackle, but he does not have that natural balance or foot quickness to mirror edge rushers (best when not isolated on the outside). 
He could have problems vs. the speed rush at the next level, but he does sink his hips adequately and compensates by playing with a wide base to maintain his anchor. When he gets to upright in his stance and narrows his base, he relies more on pushing and leaning into the defender to gain advantage in pass protection.
 
Pulling/Trapping Skills…Davis will struggle with his balance on long pulls, but when he comes out of his stance with proper ease-of-movement, he can pull and strike second level targets with great consistency. He has worked hard in his attempts to move his feet and hips more when attempting to pull, trap and log. When pulling from the back side, he no longer will get caught in traffic as he used to pull too flat and that got him swallowed. He works hard to open his hips (still an issue) and move down the line, but he is just not quick enough to reach past a second level target.

Use of Hands/Punch...Davis will sometimes rely more on his strength than grabbing his opponent, but when he keeps his hands inside his frame, he has good success locking on and controlling his opponent, especially when he gets good position with his hands. He creates tremendous pop with his punch, more than enough to move defenders off the line once he gets a hold on them. 
When he comes off the snap with good hand placement, he is quite effective at neutralizing the straight-line charge (will struggle vs. side movement due to inconsistent hip snap). He is a very effective reach blocker thanks to a long wingspan and does a good job of keeping his arms and hands active to gain separation. He gets good hand placement and generates strong force behind his punch, enough to get a good jolt (likes to use his hands as weapons). He needs to show better hand extension to control on the move, though.

Reactions/Awareness...Davis is a low rep assignment player who does a good job of keeping his head on a swivel and anticipating the defender’s moves in the trenches and is also aware of activity moving in space. He works well with other linemen on combo blocks, as he is an efficient contact seeker with impressive upper body strength. He also shows alertness to pick up stunts and blitzes, getting good position to sustain.

Compares To...A.J. Cann-Jacksonville Jaguars...Like Cann, Davis uses his leg drive and strength to get movement off the ball, as he is an efficient knee bender. He might lack great flexibility, but to compensate for his penchant to waist-bend, at times, he has developed into a much more patient blocker than in the past, especially in his pass protection. He can sink his weight and slide better when he keeps his pads true.

WHEREVER AN NFL TEAM PLAYS HIM, IT'S A SLAM DUNK THIS JORDAN MAKES THE GRADE

Michael Jordan-#73
The Ohio State University Buckeyes
6:05.7-312
Agility Tests...5.27 in the 40-yard dash…1.86 10-yard dash…3.07 20-yard dash…4.71 20-yard shuttle…7.71 three-cone drill…32 1/2-inch vertical jump…9'-08" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times…34 1/4-inch arm length…10-inch hands…83-inch wingspan.

Background...Jordan had enrolled early at Ohio State in 2016, quickly earning the right guard spot, but in a true testament to his adaptability, he was thrust into the starting lineup on the left side prior to his first collegiate game. With pressing needs at the pivot, he easily converted to center for the 2018 campaign. 

Now, NFL teams vision him as a potential high pick, but several of those organizations feel he could be a quality tackle, the position that he impressed league decision makers at, with a solid performance running drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. That versatility can make him a valuable "sixth man" while breaking into the lineup during his rookie season.

At Plymouth High School, the Michigan native an Associated Press Division 1-2 Michigan all-state pick, a first-team Detroit Free Press all-state selection and a member of the Free Press “dream team” offense after a senior campaign in which he averaged six pancake blocks per game. He did not allow a sack during his playing career.

Jordan was a consensus four-star prospect (Rivals, 247Sports, Scout and ESPN), ranking as the seventh-best offensive tackle nationally by Rivals and tenth by Scout. He was named to the All-USA Today second-team offense as a senior, and also wrestled and competed in track and field.

Jordan would go on to start all forty-one games that he appeared in at Ohio State. He was an early enrollee into classes in January 2016 and worked his way into the starting lineup – and stayed – midway through 2016 spring drills. By starting all thirteen games at right guard, he became the first true freshman blocker to start a contest for the Buckeyes since Orlando Pace in 1994.

Jordan helped the team rank 11th nationally and first in the Big Ten Conference in rushing at 245.2 yards per game, as he was named a Freshman All-American in 2016. On 916 total snaps, he graded 73.3% as a run blocker. He registered 71 knockdowns, allowing seven sacks and one quarterback hit while being penalized three times.

Jordan remained at left guard for the 2017 campaign, as he collected 88 key blocks/knockdowns, reducing his sacks allowed total to three. He was named first-team All-Big Ten Conference by the league’s coaches after he helped the Buckeyes offense lead the league in rushing for a third consecutive season at 243.2 yards per game (17th nationally).

Prior to the start of the 2018 season, the consumer and family financial services major completed a 180-hour internship that summer with Munster Financial. He shifted to center for his final college season, earning first-team All-American honors by both CBS Sports and SI.com. Mysteriously, despite the national recognition, he was just a second-team All-Big Ten pick, even after helping the Buckeyes to back-to-back Big Ten Conference championships with victories over Michigan and ninth-ranked Washington in the 2019 Rose Bowl.

Jordan delivered 77 key blocks/knockdowns through 1,104 snaps in 2018. He allowed just one sack and saw the Buckeyes have a stellar aerial campaign that generated 5,081 yards with 51 passing touchdowns. After the bowl game, he elected to give up his final season of eligibility and declared for the NFL Draft. Jordan appeared in 2,943 snaps through 41 games. He was charged with eleven sacks, 46 pressures and three quarterback hits, as he was penalized fourteen times.

The Scouting Report
Athletic Ability... Jordan has fairly broad shoulders with good chest and arm definition, but appears to look leaner than you would expect from a center. He has adequate hips, thighs and calves, but his frame appears to have the room needed to add more bulk.
Jordan won’t win any foot races, but he has some quickness and movement ability in the short area. His hip flexibility is adequate and he really is not fast at all when it comes to exploding out of the blocks, making him a better fit inside than where some teams have him (tackle). He moves well in the short area, but will cross his feet at times when having to move into the second level. He does display the body control to get out front and lead on short sweeps and screens. When on the move, he will struggle to change direction, but in closed areas, he plays on his feet with good balance and is rarely on the ground when he keeps his pad level down (gets pushed around when he gets too tall in his stance).

Initial Quickness...Jordan has good snap quickness and initial step as a center, but lacks explosion off the ball to get good position on an edge rusher if asked to play outside at tackle. His first step lets him get into his man, but despite his tenacity, he is not going to shock anyone with suddenness on the rise. He is more of a position blocker who does gain advantage executing blocks for the inside running game. 
He is fast-twitched with his hands, when he keeps them inside his frame, using it to lock out and load on a nose guard playing over his head. When he sinks his weight, he is much more effective coming off the snap to establish leverage and position. His short area balance allows him to surge and gain advantage at the line of scrimmage, but he will labor when having to move long distances.

Balance/Stays on His Feet…Jordan is a very good position blocker with good balance and body control, but like most tall centers, he will struggle to get his pad level down. When he gets too high in his stance, his leveraging suffers and he can have problems holding ground vs. the bull rush. He is better as an in-line blocker than on the move, as he will narrow his base and cross his feet playing in space and will false step, which makes him late at times (this is when he will lunge and over-extend) trying to neutralize the linebackers. 
When he is asked to mirror and slide on the edge, he lacks the loose hips to stay with his man and because of speed issues, is slow to recover. When he stays low in his pads, he can generate a much stronger anchor to position, sustain and hold ground at the point of attack. The thing you see on film is that he is much stronger in this area when working in unison with his guards (has problems when a defender gets on the side of him).
 
Explosion/Pop…    Jordan is a tenacious player, but in the Ohio State system, he had a lot of help from his guards and while he did a yeoman’s job on double teams, I question his ability to leverage in one-on-one situations. He needs to develop a stronger anchor, as he can be walked back into the pocket on the bull rush. Even when he sinks his weight, his anchor is not powerful enough to drive defenders off the ball and generate movement. He has better leg drive and pop on contact when meeting defenders head on, but will struggle when an opponent attacks from his side. He has experience at guard, but even though he has the height to play tackle, his lack of bulk and strength would make him a liability if he has to play there for long stretches.

Run Blocking… Jordan is quite effective widening and maintaining the rush lanes working between the tackles. But, he does not have the foot speed you look for to lead the charge on outside plays. When he stays low in his pads, he has enough continuous straight-line leg drive to generate movement. He is capable of taking proper steps off the snap and striking with his hands on the rise to position on contact. 
But, without great foot speed in space, he is more suited to execute base blocks to remove level one defenders rather than making big impacts in the open field. When he locks on to an opponent properly with his hands, he will win most battles. He is not massive or a road grader, but he gets movement off the snap thanks to his good knee bend and leg drive. He has the functional lower body strength to drive block, but this is an area that needs further improvement.
 
Pass Blocking…In 2018, Jordan showed better ability to sink his hips and he has enough leg drive to hold off the bull rushers when he plays at a good pad level. He can get a little reckless with his hands outside his frame, though. He does work well in unison with his guards and when he bends at the knees, he gets the good base to mirror vs. slower opponents (just has problems with the athletic ones, especially if he is going to be asked to move to tackle). 
While he might not have brute strength to consistently punish, he is a solid technician with good foot balance and decent hand recoil ability. When he stands with a wide leg base, he has the balance to prevent nose guards from getting under and tossing him around (that will happen when he gets tall in his stance). When he gets high in his base, he will fall off blocks, but he does know how to use his frame to push off the defender and wall off. When he gets good hand extension, he is quick to lock on and push the defender off the ball.
 
Pulling/Trapping Skills…On short pulls, Jordan can get the job done, but this is a player best served battling in the trenches, as he has heavy feet. He makes a thud crashing into his man upon contact and consistently stays on his feet in the short pulls, where he makes quick adjustments. On the move, he works hard to get positioning, but will fall off blocks when he narrows his base and crosses his feet. The thing I like about him is his determination to hunt down defenders, even if he lacks the speed to get there in a timely fashion.

Use of Hands/Punch...Jordan has a strong hand punch, but needs to work on his hand placement and must be conscious of maintaining his hands inside his frame when working in space.  He also needs to do a better job of executing the reach block and extending his arms to gain separation, as too often he will “short arm” and let the opponent come right into his body (does not have a strong base to anchor vs. the bull rush). 
He can shock and jolt when he executes a proper hand punch, but he will revert to grabbing quite a bit. When he plays in control, he can place his hands quickly on an opponent and work them inside to lock on and control. When he extends in his blocks and uses hands well, he does a good job of keeping his hands inside, where he generates a much more effective punch than when he takes wild swipes.

Reactions/Awareness...Jordan is excellent at locating and picking up stunts, dogs and the delayed blitz. He reacts to sudden movement well and is not the type that can be fooled by twists and games. One thing you see on film is that he’s aware and quick to react. He anticipates the bull rush, switches and picks up the blitz easily. He stays active with his feet and shows ease of movement moving out to pick up nose guard. When he gets quick position, he will usually sustain blocks. At the line of scrimmage, he cannot be pushed back when he hunkers down in his pads (can be moved when he gets too tall in his stance), as he does a good job of keeping his feet flat.

Compares To...Cameron Erving-Kansas City Chiefs...Like Erving, Jordan is a good athlete who is enthusiastic and plays under control. A zone blocker who competes on a consistent basis, he possesses long arms and a good base. He is very good on his redirect vs. a two-move defender and create lanes in the run game as an interior blocker, but his body has not yet matured enough for an NFL team to thrust him into action at tackle. Inside positions is where a team can get quicker value from this draft prospect.

COUNTRY STRONG COMBINE SNUB OUT TO PROVE LEAGUE EXECS WRONG

Wesley "Wes" Martin-#76
University of Indiana Hoosiers
6:02.6-316
Agility Tests...5.23 in the 40-yard dash…1.81 10-yard dash…2.92 20-yard dash…4.80 20-yard shuttle…7.69 three-cone drill…32 1/2-inch vertical jump…9'-05" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 42 times… 535-pound bench press...655-pound squat...405-pound power clean...425-pound hang clean... 2,269.94 peak power (watts) measurement...33-inch arm length…10 1/8-inch hands…77 5/8-inch wingspan.

Background...Most of the Indiana staff simply calls Wesley Allen Martin "country strong," but one look at his dominance in the trenches and performances in the weight room makes scouts wonder if there might be a red cape and a large "S" on his shirt under his uniform. With 535-pound bench press and a 655-pound squat, perhaps the coaches should see if Martin might have a can of green paint in his locker room that he splashes on to bring a gridiron version of the "Hulk" to the playing field each Saturday.

Yet, it is his maturity, his field savvy, his leadership that have the same scouts comparing him to another "country strong" offensive guard, Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer - Will Shields. In fact, if you look at the Chiefs' scouting department itinerary, you might see that a few scouts racked up some frequent flier miles from their regular visits to see Martin and the rest of his linemates in action. 

There's very good reason that Martin has drawn such attention. In 2017, among the 298 major college offensive guards to start at least five games, only the Hoosier and Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson did not allow their quarterback to get sacked. Martin accomplished that feat while being on the field for 569 pass snaps. Nelson only appeared in 352 aerial plays. Martin was also the only offensive lineman to not allow a tackle-for-loss, nor any quarterback pressures, among the sixty-plus starters along the front walls for Big Ten Conference teams.

That could be the reason that in fifty appearances for Indiana, the West Milton, Ohio product has started forty-three of those contests. An honor roll student while playing mostly offensive tackle for head coach Mark Lane at Milton-Union High School, but also saw action on the defensive line. The 6:03-298-pound Martin was actually rated the 57th-best offensive guard in the country by ESPN during his recruiting period. 

Martin was named third team All-State, first team All-Region and first team All-Southwestern Buckeye Conference his junior year, as the school advanced to the third round of the state playoffs, its best ever finish (head coach in 2012 was Bret Pearce). He was also selected the league's Offensive Lineman of the Year. 

In 2013, Martin was a consensus first team All-State, All-Region and All-Conference choice. In track, he was the team's weight man for three outdoor seasons, recording personal bests of 54'-5/5" in the shot put at the 2014 Ohio High School Athletics Association Division II State Championship. He also posted a 131'-03" mark in the discus at the Southwestern Buckeye league championship.

The Indiana coaches might have regretted red-shirting Martin when he first arrived on campus in 2014. It was obvious that he was the team's strongest player with an easy lift of 525 pounds in the bench press. He dominated the first unit defensive line in practices, twice earning Scout Team Player of the Week accolades. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers started the year with a 4-1 record, as the front wall allowed seven sacks. They would lose six of their final seven contests, as the line yielded on nineteen more sacks.

In 2015, Martin would earn Freshman All-American and Freshman All-Big Ten Conference recognition, along with being named to the league's All-Academic team. He appeared in all thirteen games, starting the first six at left guard. The front wall allowed just thirteen sacks, the seventh-fewest in the nation, as the Hoosiers led the conference in total offense (6,556 yards, a school season-record), passing offense (another IU mark at 3,820 yards) and scoring offense (475 points was another Indiana annual record), along with setting squad records for total first downs (337) and first downs passing (168).

The 2016 campaign saw Martin as the full-time starter at left guard. The CoSIDA Academic All-District V and Academic All-Big Ten selection helped Indiana rank second in the league in passing offense (273.8) and third in total offense (426.0). Tailback Devine Redding became the fourth Hoosier to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and the first since Vaughn Dunbar (1990-91), while their quarterback, Richard Lagow’s passing yardage (3,362) ranks second, attempts (438) third, and completions (253) and total offense (3,174) fourth on the school season-record chart.

As a red-shirt junior, Martin was named one of the team's captains. The All-Big Ten honorable mention also earned the team’s Chris Dal Sasso Award (Outstanding Lineman), in addition to again being selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V and Academic All-Big Ten squads. With the left guard not allowing any quarterback sacks, pressures or tackles-for-loss, Indiana finished third in the Big Ten in passing offense (265.7), and sixth in scoring offense (26.8) and total offense (395.8). Along the way, he was named the Hoosiers' Offensive Player of the Game in each of the Virginia, Charleston Southern, Wisconsin and Rutgers clashes.

Through the 2018 campaign, Martin's blocking consistency grade of 89.58% led all interior blockers in the Big Ten Conference and ranked fourth at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level. He is the only FBS interior lineman with at least 125 knockdowns/key blocks (137) and he's produced touch-down-resulting blocks on 55.26% of the team's thirty-eight scoring drives (twenty one - ten for the ground game and eleven for the passing attack).

The Scouting Report
Athletic Ability... Martin has a strong frame with good arm length, above average quickness and balance, along with big hands to lock on and control the defender. He has a solid build with room to add more bulk without the additional weight affecting his impressive timed speed. He has good upper body shoulder and chest thickness, a wide neck and minimal body fat for a down lineman. 
Martin has just average quickness for long pulls, but an explosive burst off the snap to get into defenders and gain leverage. He demonstrates very good knee bend and leverage, solid foot quickness and change of direction agility to get into the second level in a hurry.
 He does a nice job of shifting his weight, thanks to fluid hips and good explosion off the snap, when he keeps his pads down low (loses leverage battles when he narrows his base when getting too tall in his stance). It is rare to see him over-extend in pass protection, using his long arms well to lock on to his opponent. He shows good acceleration when leading on pulls and traps (see 2018 FIU, Virginia, Ball State, Ohio State, Maryland contests). 
He shows the lateral movement to get out front quickly on traps and pulls. His balance and body control allow him to get down field and in position to neutralize the linebackers and he displays good knee bend and leverage, doing a nice job of shifting his weight when redirecting. He is a naturally strong athlete - country strong, in fact - who delivers a punishing hand punch.

Initial Quickness... Martin might not have great long distance speed (5.23 in the 40-yard dash), but off the snap, he has that sudden first step needed to consistent gain leverage on an opponent in pass protection. He shows good hip strike out of his stance and even when he is late at the X’s, he has the field savvy to recover. He gets into his blocks with good aggression, but can fall off some hits when he gets too tall in his stance. 
He has the balance and change of direction agility to get out front on traps and pulls. He can gain advantage on scoop and reach blocks thanks to his quick first step (see 2018 Ball State, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Purdue games). Martin has enough short area quickness to get off the snap on running plays to hook the defensive ends. He shows a quick first step vs. the pass rush and good agility moving to his size. When working up field, he can get a little heavy-footed, but manages to get to his target.

Balance/Stays on His Feet…Martin is a very effective position blocker, as he sustains well with his flexibility and knee bend. He shows nimble feet when shuffling and is capable when sliding and mirroring throughout his blocks. He will get narrow and a bit straight-legged at times and will sometimes struggle to recover when he over-extends (see 2018 Michigan State game), but he generally plays with good base and balance. 
He has good knee bend and works hard to keep his feet on the move. He will sometimes flop around working long distances, but that only happens when he gets too narrow in his stance. He shows better body control when working on short pulls. At the line of scrimmage, Martin has the quick feet and balance to slide and sustain (see 2018 Ball State, Rutgers, Penn State, Maryland games). He sustains with good flexibility and is a tough position blocker who shows consistency working to finish.

Explosion/Pop…    Martin has made very good strides in recognizing that his hand punch power can be a very dangerous weapon. When he keeps his pads down, he can instantly knock back the defender’s head or take his opponent off his feet (see 2018 Ball State, Ohio State, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan games). He has developed the hip rotation needed to stalk targets in short space and shows very good pop to go with his hand punch, especially when helping out his center. 
He has shown steady improvement in getting his hands up quickly on the rise to jolt defenders with his punch. He is active with his arms in attempts to leverage and sustain. He uses his leg drive well to fire off the snap, showing good hip rotation and surge in short yardage situations. He can generate enough explosiveness to be effective on the short pull. His strength allows him to neutralize the defender’s charge and create movement.

Run Blocking… The thing you quickly notice on film is Martin's ability to down block, thanks to his impressive strength. He works his feet to wall off and seal. Even when he gets over-extended, he is quick to recover and stay off the ground. Martin will lose base at the X’s when he gets too tall in his stance (see 2018 Michigan State, Rutgers games), but he demonstrates good ability to wall off and screen, doing a nice job of rolling his hips on contact. 
He has the raw body power to be a solid run blocker at the NFL level. When he locks on with his hands, he has the strength to drive his man off the ball. He has the hand punch to sustain blocks and maintain the rush lane. His improving lower body strength generally lets him flash into the defender and drive his opponent quickly off the ball, but only when he keeps his pad level down. He blocks with a flat back and locks on to the defender quickly to move his man out of level one.

Pass Blocking…Martin participated in 569 aerial plays without allowing a sack or pressure in 2017, another evident factor is his ability to anchor, slide and adjust to the speed rush. He has very good balance, even when he occasionally bends at the waist. His base and foot movement allows him to seal off the edge rush when retreating to protect the pocket. He has the leg drive and nimble feet to simply attack linebackers at will, when working into the second level (see 2018 FIU, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Purdue games). 
He can sink his hips and mirror vs. the bull rush and when he plays with a solid base, he will hit with good authority. He has outstanding awareness picking up stunts and with improved lower body power, he has the ability to anchor. He shows quick feet to redirect and uses his long arms well to counter vs. the quick swim move. Even when he overextends, he recovers nicely, using his feet to maintain position and mirror the defender. 

Pulling/Trapping Skills…If you are looking for a guard to get out on the short pull and drive the defender off the ball on initial contact, Martin is your man. He is best working in the short area, as his quick first step usually allows him to gain advantage, but he is not quite as effective on long pulls into the second level. He has a good concept for angling and keeps his head on a swivel looking for targets to hit working across the line. With his good body quickness, he can “get out of the gate” in an instant. When his base gets too narrow, he will fail to keep his feet under him, he can be walked back, though (see 2018 FIU, Michigan State games). Still, he looks intense and very athletic when pulling. He may throw his hands at a defender a little early, at times, but is quick to recoil and reset.

Use of Hands/Punch... Along with his balance and feet, Martin's hand placement and punch are very good for the guard position. He has good functional strength coming off the ball, getting his hands into the defender’s chest on the rise, to lock on and steer. Still, despite his strong and powerful hand punch, there are times where he will lose relationship with the defender when he gets his base too narrow and lunges into his man (see 2018 FIU, Michigan State, Rutgers games). 
As a senior, he is much more active with his hands, keeping them inside his framework. He can knock defenders back once he makes contact and has very good recoil and recovery ability. He can generate very good power to shock and jolt when he gets his hands into the defender’s chest. His hand speed is so quick, he could make a good move to center down the road. His powerful short punch has become a dangerous weapon when working in-line. 

Reactions/Awareness...Totally discount his three penalties in the 2018 Penn State game - we all have those moments. Outside of that contest, Martin has been mostly error free. One thing about this kid – he can find games. He is possibly the smartest blocker in the Big Ten Conference, showing good form and technique setting his base. He has good initial quickness and kick slide to mirror as is especially effective at sealing the corner moving to the left side. He also does a very good job of staying in front of the defender. With his lateral agility, lower body flexibility and field alertness, he will generally do a very good job of redirecting and picking up stunts. 

Compares To...Logan Mankins-ex-New England Patriots...Martin is an explosive contact seeker who does a nice job of sealing and walling off. He shows good consistency in sustaining his blocks and effectively brings his feet and maintains leverage when working to finish. His burst off the snap and good concept for angling sees him consistently attack second level defenders when leading on short pulls and traps. He has the redirection agility to chip and land when on the move. Several teams held private workouts and visits with him leading up to the draft, with all putting him through center drills, in addition to running him through the paces at guard.


 

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