2014 NFL Scouting Combine Results: Offensive Linemen

Written By: David Maziasz - Feb• 22•14

Posted below are the official 40 yard dash times  (all data from NFL.com) and physical measurements (height, weight, arm length, hand size) for each of the offensive linemen who participated during the event. Included at the top of the chart, for your aid, is the NFL Draft (year 2011-2013) average for that particular trait. Such information can be used to put the numbers we learned into better perspective. If you want to learn more about any particular team’s preferences in terms of size or speed, you might enjoy reading the Athletic Profiles Of An Offensive Tackle article. I will be applying this data to the development of some team specific draft boards as we approach the draft.

Player Name
School
Height (inches)
Weight (lbs)
Arm Length (inches)
Hand Size (inches)
Speed (40 time)
NFL Draft Average (Offensive Tackle)77.4678315.030334.264110.09325.2285
Matt ArmstrongGrand Valley St743023310.6255.36
Joel BitonioNevada7630233.8759.6254.97
Russell BodineNorth Carolina75.12531032.5105.18
Conor BoffellIowa76.125298329.3755.3
Justin BrittMissouri77.87532533.510.255.19
Dakota DozierFurman75.62531333.8759.8755.42
Kadeem EdwardsTennessee St76.2531335.59.55.25
Matt FeilerBloomsburg77.875330329.55.37
Cameron FlemingStanford76.875323349.8755.28
Zach FultonTennessee 76.62531633.2510.255.16
Ryan GroyWisconsin76.62531633.2510.3755.19
Jon HalapioFlorida75.532333.62510.255.34
Jonotthan HarrisonFlorida75.530433.3759.8755.15
Seantrel HendersonMiami79.12533134.62510.55.04
James HurstNorth Carolina7729633.7510.125DNP
Gabe IkardOklahoma75.62530433.1259.6255.13
Gabriel JacksonMississippi St75.2533633.75105.51
Ja'Wuan JamesTennessee78311359.8755.34
Wesley JohnsonVanderbilt77.37529733.12510.255.11
Cyrus KouandjioAlabama78.7532235.62510.255.59
Tyler LarsenUtah St7631331.59.25DNP
Charles LenoBoise St7630334.37510.125DNP
Taylor LewanMichigan79.12530933.8759.254.87
Brandon LinderMiami77.62531134.510.255.35
Corey LinsleyOhio St74.625296329.875DNP
Spencer LongNebraska7732033.12510.75DNP
Cornelius LucasKansas St8031636.7510DNP
Marcus MartinUSC753203410DNP
Zack MartinNotre Dame76.2530832.8759.5DNP
Jake MatthewsTexas A&M77.530833.3759.8755.07
Jack MewhortOhio St78309349.755.37
Morgan MosesVirginia7831435.3759.8755.35
Matt ParadisBoise St74.62530632.3759.8755.34
Matt PatchanBoston College78.25302339.3754.97
Antonio RichardsonTennessee77.753363510.255.3
Cyril RichardsonBaylor76.7532934.6259.55.36
Weston Richburg Colorado St75.37529833.3759.255.1
Greg RobinsonAuburn7733235104.92
Michael SchofieldMichigan78.5301349.6255.01
Anthony SteenAlabama7531430.59.125DNP
James StoneTennessee75.62530633.87510.1255.17
Bryan StorkFlorida St7631532.2510.125DNP
Xavier Su'a-FiloUCLA76.12530733.3759.3755.04
Travis SwansonArkansas7731233.125105.28
Brandon ThomasClemson75.2531734.7510.55.09
Trai TurnerLSU74.625310349.54.93
Billy TurnerNorth Dakota St76.87531534105.16
John UrschelPenn St753133310.3755.31
Chris WattNotre Dame7531032.759.55.5
David YankeyStanford77.625315349.55.48

NFL Draft Tendencies: Athletic Profile For Defensive Ends

Written By: David Maziasz - Feb• 18•14

Continuing on my quest to discover greater insight into the hidden world of NFL front offices, I have continued to pour over data to discover useful and interesting information to share with you. Lately, my effort has been focused on identifying key traits that specific general manager-head coach tandems value. 

Playing defensive end at the highest level requires a rare skill set, to be sure. After all, these are the only players standing between the opponent’s most athletic big men and the field general. Naturally, teams will be rather selective when it comes to identifying prospects they think can carry out this essential function. And indeed, as you will see, a few franchises are very particular about which traits are critical and which ones you might say are simply “preferred.”

Methods

My methods will remain constant throughout this series of articles, and they are:

  1. Calculate the three year average value for all players drafted at the position in each of the following categories (height, weight, speed, arm length, hand size)
  2. Compare these average values to each team’s individual draft picks
  3. Tally up the number of draft picks where a team drafted for traits whose value exceeded the average (in other words, do they prefer players who test better than the draft average
  4. If a team shows a tendency of drafting above average for a trait with at least 75% of their picks at the position, then this is considered significant

 NFL Draft Average For All Defensive Ends (2011-2013)

 
Height (inches)
Weight (lbs)
Speed (sec)
Arm Length (inches)
Hand Size (inches)
4-3 Defensive End75 3/4267.474.80333 7/810 1/8
3-4 Defensive End75 5/8295.924.92233 5/810

Now for the chart. A chart…hooray!

 Preferred Traits, By NFL Team

Note: values in red indicate a preference  below the average for a given trait.

NFL Team
Preferred DE Traits
Atlanta FalconsArm Length, Height
Baltimore RavensWeight, Arm Length
Cincinnati BengalsArm Length
Dallas CowboysNone
Green Bay PackersNone
New England PatriotsHeight
New Orleans SaintsArm Length*
New York GiantsNone
Pittsburgh SteelersHeight, Arm Length
San Francisco 49ersNone
Seattle SeahawksSpeed
Detroit LionsHeight, Speed, Arm Length
Houston TexansHeight
Washington RedskinsNone

 What I Found

  •  Detroit has the most specific criteria for their D-ends.  General manager Martin Mayhew drafted players with serious size and length (3 of the 4 DE’s selected had 34.5 inch arms at least, along with 10.25 inch hands, and reaching almost 6’5″ minimum). Will this trend continue under a new head coach though?
  • The two gap 3-4 defensive units like Pittsburgh and even New England draft for height, and in the Steelers case, arm length too because the ability to control gaps by warding off linemen is of primary importance.
  • Curiously, Atlanta seems to have found a niche for really long armed, yet shorter than average pass rushers. Perhaps the small height helps the ends leverage taller blockers and give their guys better mobility in space?
  • Arm length dominates as the most strongly pursued trait by NFL teams, with height being a close second. Being able to engage your opponent before they can engage you is a huge advantage.

Measurables Matter

Written By: David Maziasz - Feb• 18•14

In preparation for the 2014 Scouting Combine, consider the significance placed on physical measurables as it relates to draft value. As accurate measurements are released in the coming days, I invite you to join me in comparing them to the 3-year NFL Draft average for that player’s position. If you are unsure why this matters, then take a peek at my research on the NFL athletic profiles for specific teams.  Provided below is a table indicating the average height, weight, speed, arm length, and hand size for all players drafted in the years 2011-2013.

Position
Height
Weight
Speed
Arm Length
Hand Size
OT6'5" 1/23155.2334 1/410 1/8
RB5'10" 1/82124.5430 3/49 1/8
WR6'0" 5/82034.49329 3/8
TE6'4" 3/82534.7433 1/49 7/8
4-3 DT6'2" 3/43055.0633 3/89 7/8
4-3 DE6'3" 3/42674.8033 7/810 1/8
3-4 DE6'3" 5/82964.9233 5/810
3-4 OLB6'3" 1/82574.7433 3/89 5/8
CB5'11" 3/81944.4831 1/29
S6'0" 1/42084.5731 3/49 3/8

2014 Pass Blocker Rating (PBR) February Update-Part 3

Written By: David Maziasz - Feb• 14•14

This article is the third installment of the February edition of the 2014 Pass Blocker Rating.

In the first post, I went over some of my observations and recollections from the process of grading the offensive tackle prospects. But besides introducing the PBR chart, only six players were discussed in any detail. The second post covered next five prospects on the chart. The third article will discuss the final 6 players on the chart.

Like before, peek at the data if you need to refresh.

2014 Pass Blocker Rating (PBR)

Name
School
Pressures/Passing Snaps
PBR
Zack MartinNotre Dame1/701.07
Morgan MosesVirginia8/191
3.01
JaWuan JamesTennessee3/743.04
Jack MewhortOhio St9/1823.85
Taylor LewanMichigan12/2184.47
Billy TurnerNorth Dakota St5/884.55
James HurstNorth Carolina8/1135.53
Cyrus KouandjioAlabama14/2005.63
Justin BrittMissouri6/805.94
Seantrel HendersonMiami8/1096.19
Michael SchofieldMichigan15/1866.32
Greg RobinsonAuburn5/626.85
Joel BitonioNevada6/656.92
Jake MatthewsTexas A&M30/3416.96
Antonio RichardsonTennessee7/737.53
Cornelius LucasKansas St6/538.49

Picking up where we left off before, another college right tackle, Michael Schofield, struck me as a powerful run blocking tackle for the Michigan Wolverines. He handles power very well, but got into some trouble at times against smaller, quicker rushers. Can this be attributed to his almost 6’7″? Perhaps….Yet, when he lined up opposite larger ends, he seldom had trouble (see game against Michigan St). Of this class of linemen, he gets among the highest marks for versatility, having lined up both at left and right tackle this season, then again at guard early in his career at Michigan. Such a trait is quite useful in the modern NFL, since teams often carry so few linemen on game day.

Speaking of power blockers, Greg Robinson, the Auburn left tackle is a road grader if I have ever seen one. The Tigers operate a run-heavy scheme that features his ability to plow ahead and pancake  all day long. This makes evaluating his pass blocking consistency something of a challenge, since his sample size is more limited than his peers.

In the process of publishing these three posts on the PBR, I continue to evaluate and collect data for these players. And I want to update Greg Robinson’s PBR score to 5.45, which is a 1.4 point improvement from the data on the chart. Nevertheless, this score is one of the more volatile ones at this stage because his smaller data sets lead to larger swings in PBR from game to game.

Pardon the digression.

Robinson, a former guard is a very, very powerful man with preferable size and decent foot speed.  Such is his power, that for the briefest moment, I felt like I was watching Larry Allen. The way he snaps and explodes into defenders and moves them is something special.  Remarkable as he is in the run game, he simply is not asked to pass protect all too often in the Auburn scheme.

Moving over to the Western United States, Joel Bitonio, LT for Nevada, offers something different than Greg Robinson. Comparably speaking, his skills match those of Zack Robinson. He won’t be able to offer teams great size or length (6’4″/ 33 inch arms), but he has pretty sweet feet. He performed well against Anthony Barr, timing his punches well, but it appeared to me that Barr’s length got the best of him on a few occasions. Zone blocking teams will fit him best.

Now here’s the metaphorical kicker. Texas A&M left tackle, Jake Matthews, is widely regarded one of the top 2 offensive linemen in 2014. Yet, his PBR score does not reflect this status. The question is why?

I have watched and studied 10 of his 13 games this season, more than I have studied any other offensive line prospect in this way. He has many things going for him: sweet feet, NFL family members, versatility, and has played against top competition. All these things are to his credit. Although he displays many of the qualities of an NFL caliber lineman, the thing that eludes him is consistency.

Against three of the top pass rushing units that A&M faced this season (Ole Miss, Auburn, Missouri), he allowed 14 pressures, 2 of which were sacks, on 94 countable passing snaps.

What this score suggests is that other closely rated prospects by scouts, such as Greg Robinson and Taylor Lewan may be see a slight rise in relation to Matthews. I am not saying his score is bad, since Luke Joeckel, last year’s #2 pick had a very similar score. But such a rating is not going to do him any favors.

Similarly, another wonderfully athletic tackle, Antonio Richardson suffers an average PBR. He looks the part, and moves like you’d expect a top tackle to move, but he is raw. On a give game he will deliver an outstanding performance (2 pressures against South Carolina). Yet, I cannot emphasize this enough, consistent quality is the key. It is truly rare to find a guy who can deliver on a play-to-play and week-to-week basis. This is ultimately how linemen are viewed.

Finally, Cornelius Lucas, is one of those very tall tackles. Bless his heart, he works hard for Kansas State, and did a good job for them.  But from an athletic standpoint, he would have trouble on the edge in the NFL. It is tough to know exactly how capable he is in protection since I didn’t see the offensive line pass protecting too much, and not for any length of time due to scheme.

Overall, about 85 games were watched in the development of this rating system. I like how the process allows me to see these players in a variety of situations and over a course of time. I’ll admit that it isn’t a substitute for scouting players, but I hope that it will become a valuable aid in the process.

Hope you enjoyed, and God bless you.