January 22, 2006

The Breakdown: Offensive linemen

In "The Breakdown," veteran talent scout Randy Rodgers is analyzing film of a select group of the nation's top prospects for Rivals.com. Rodgers has more than 35 years of experience in the college recruiting arena. He was the recruiting coordinator at the University of Illinois (1988-91) and the University of Texas (1992-97) and is one of the leading authorities on high school football talent analysis in the country. In this edition, Rodgers takes a look at offensive linemen.

Offensive linemen
Sam Young, OT, 6-8, 302, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas Video
Not as athletic as some others, but also much bigger. Uses hands on both run and pass. Needs to improve knee bend, but that isn't unusual for a youngster that tall. Has excellent time clock, plays hard, has a little mean streak. Has a great frame and can dominate one-on-one.
Stephen Schilling, OG, 6-5, 290, Bellevue (Wash.) Video
WOW! Definitely the best OL I have seen on tape this year. He has a superior takeoff. Has a flat back when he comes off the ball. Can drive block and finish, has excellent time clock, can pull and run, can block standing targets. Can reach block and high arms on the stretch/zone plays. No pass plays to evaluate protection skills, but he is athletic enough to play on defense. Hard to believe he can't compete with older players as a freshman. He is going to be a great college player.
Daron Rose, OG/OT, 6-5, 310, Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson Video
Big body who runs better than listed 40 time. Has good initial takeoff, can drive block. Used to pull and run. Uses his hands really well on pass protection, has good enough feet to keep body between defender and QB and is too big to run around. Needs to improve upper body strength and initial punch.
Connor Smith, OG, 6-6, 300, Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain Video
SMith plays guard and there aren't any plays on tape to indicate whether he could play tackle. Mostly a drive blocker on run plays. No pass plays to evaluate. Good pad level blocker, athletic enough to reach and cut, no downfield plays to evaluate. Looks like an Ohio State guard.
J'Marcus Webb, OT, 6-8, 285, Mesquite (Texas) North Video
Tremendous frame to grow into. Long arms, big feet. Webb is pretty advanced as a pass protector, can use his hands, gets arm extension and takes advantage of his size and athletic ability. Pretty good balance. Plays out of a two-point stance most of the time, but can bend his knees and be effective as a position blocker and down blocker. Doesn't yet have the ability to dominate at the LOS. Reminds me a lot of Jonathan Scott (Texas All-American) at the same stage of development, although Scott was bigger, stronger, and faster.

Randy Rodgers' Offensive Line Comparison:
None of these guys are in Schilling's class. You have him rated as the top guard, and I'm not sure what the top grade possible is, but give it to him. He is already a very accomplished player already and think he is going to be a Sunday player.

I think that Young and Smith might have inflated 40 times, neither impresses me as a sub 5.0 guy. Rose is probably better than listed. I would rate Young as the second best guy, then Rose. Smith is a guard. Webb needs to really improve his strength and power, but that can come in college. He may have the most potential of any of the Texas high school offensive tackles coming out.

More Breakdowns:
Quarterbacks | Backs/Receivers | Defensive linemen | Linebackers | Defensive backs

For more of Randy Rodgers recruiting analysis, check out his website, randyrodgersrecruiting.com.

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