Of course, this process was a bit trickier with our darling Ludmilla. All I really had to go on in that case were the numbers 38-44-38, and the many heartfelt poems she composed about peeling potatoes. While her prose was moving, I do think it's possible that I might have misunderstood the meaning of those numbers. I would have thought that at least one of them would have related to her vertical jump. Good, hearty breeding stock is quite important to me, if I ever want my offspring to have a shot at NFL riches. Maybe there was a mix up in converting the data from metric to standard. I'm really not sure. Still, she is a rather sturdily constructed babushka, so perhaps we can still spawn some future nose tackles. I swear though, if a single one of them turns out to be a long-snapper, I'm going to burn her green card.
While I've tried to encourage the company that brought Ludmilla and myself together to start some sort of combine-type program, to eliminate future misunderstandings, so far I have received little feedback. As a televised event, I think watching Russian women running 3-cone drills in spandex could be quite compelling television viewing. Maybe it's an idea that is just too far ahead of it's time. Either way, history does seem to suggest that this can be done rather effectively with prospective NFL players, so I guess we'll stick with that for the time being.
As always, we'll be judging the players based on a few very basic criteria. We will measure their Kangaroo Score (our measure of lower body power and explosiveness), and their Agility Score (based on their short shuttle and 3-Cone drills). These scores are given in the form of how many standard deviations that the prospect is away from the average result for an offensive linemen. If you are curious, you can take a look at Athleticism and the Offensive Line part I and part II, to get some sense as to how this relates to offensive tackles and guards. For centers, we place more importance on their short shuttle times, as you can read about here. We also played a little game with what we call the Lobotomy Line, to see what sort of results these limited bits of information could have theoretically produced in comparison to an actual NFL team. There are, of course, other factors such as injuries, inability to elude the law, playing time, comically unnecessary punctuation in a player's name, and positional versatility that also somewhat weigh into our views on a prospect, as well as a few other more minor measurable athletic traits.
Speculating about a player's potential, based on their athletic traits, can obviously be a bit controversial. People will often point to someone like Bruce Campbell as an individual with allegedly great athletic ability, who has amounted to very little, as a way of dismissing this approach. So, let's take a look at Bruce Campbell.
While there are numerous positive things we could say about Campbell, and we could pick apart his numbers more thoroughly to reveal some other interesting and positive bits of data, his overall results weren't nearly as freakish as many claimed them to be. He was a nice, moderately interesting prospect, and the computer would have given him some consideration as a mid-round pick, which is where he ended up being selected. Still, he really didn't compare too favorably to Trent Williams, who went in the the 1st round of the same draft, and was the true physical freak.
Now, we're not trying to say that the more physically gifted player will always wind up performing better. That would be ridiculous. Instead, we're just suggesting that particular measurable traits do make us feel more comfortable with selecting players, at certain points in the draft. The degree to which we place value on some of these traits can vary quite a bit, as we move along the different positions of the offensive line. In the end, however, we're not really trying to suggest that a player is doomed to failure because of these scores. Players who measured up poorly occasionally do rather well. It's just that the outcomes for the truly exceptional prospects tend to turn out positively much more often than people seem to realize.
So, rather than attempting to foolishly say "this guys will succeed" and "this guy will fail", we really want to just narrow our focus to a very small handful of players, who perhaps have the balance of risk and reward more strongly tilted in their favor. Inevitably, this will lead to passing over certain players who do quite well, but all we care about is identifying a very select few. Last year, the computer suggested that Joel Bitonio and Corey Linsley were probably the best/safest players to pick at their respective positions, and so far things seem to be going well for them. Hopefully, as things go on, a few other interesting nuggets will surface.
This list is still under construction, as we await the complete sets of data for individual draft prospects. The list will continue to grow, and be updated with additional players. Individual Agility Scores are unlikely to be changed, but based on the results from college pro-days, Kangaroo Scores may be adjusted. The order the players are listed in will also periodically be adjusted to roughly coincide with the CBS' rankings. Last Updated: N/A
Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa
Arm Length: 33.375" Kangaroo Score: ? Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for data from his Pro Day. I have to give him some added respect for majoring in Leisure Studies, which sounds like something that would involve an X-Box and some Doritos. I'm just not sure how you tell your parents that you are devoting your college education to the study of 'flip cup', but it probably requires balls of steel. Maybe that courage carries over to the football field, I really can't say for sure. I anxiously await the results from his drug test.
Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
Arm Length: 34.375" Kangaroo Score: 0.513 Agility Score: -0.102
The general consensus seems to be that Peat will be a rather high draft pick. While I don't see anything that is necessarily wrong with Peat's physical traits, and wouldn't say that he is doomed to failure, I also don't see anything that would make me feel terribly comfortable with selecting him before the middle of the draft. While our scores average out his results from a number of drills, and somewhat conceal some areas in which he did a bit better, I just think I would be way too nervous to take Peat where he is projected to be selected, especially when I think there will be better players available at the same position. If he lands on the right team, I wouldn't be surprised if he does okay, but I wouldn't want to make any bets on this.
La'El Collins, OG, LSU
Arm Length: 33.25" Kangaroo Score: -0.183 Agility Score: 0.421
I don't really see anything wrong with Collins results, but I also don't see anything that would make me feel comfortable with selecting him as highly as many people feel he is going to be taken. In many ways, he is in a similar situation to the one Zach Martin was in last year, with very similar measurables. I didn't have a problem with Martin either, but felt that Joel Bitonio's superior athleticism gave us more reasons to feel confident. Still, you have to like a guy who's name seems to be 'the the'. Maybe his parents were fans of the 1980's British rock group.
T.J. Clemmings, OT/OG, Pittsburgh
Arm Length: 35.125" Kangaroo Score: 1.015 Agility Score: 0.677
Now, here we have a prospect that I find fairly interesting. Athletically, he is quite impressive, and somebody I might have some interest in. Beyond just his above average lower body power, and moderately nimbly-toed agility, Clemmings also has advantages when it comes to his arm length, which is exceptional, especially for someone of his height. One of the big questions here is whether NFL teams will be able to see past his merely average height (a tad under 6'5"), or whether they will move him inside to the guard position. Personally, I think height is a rather overrated trait for tackles, but many teams seem to be incredibly stubborn about this subject. The bigger concern with Clemmings might be that he has only really played on the offensive line for 2 years, after switching over from the defense. Considering that he will be turning 24 in Novermber, and he might still need some time to adjust to life on the offensive line, I could see some reasons to be slightly concerned about teaching a slightly older dog new tricks. So, I probably wouldn't take Clemmings in the 1st round, but if he is still there in the 2nd, I could be tempted to take a shot at him.
Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
Arm Length: 34.5" Kangaroo Score:? Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for data.
Cameron Erving, OT/OG/C, Florida State
Arm Length: 34.125" Kangaroo Score: 0.951 Agility Score: 0.811
The possibilities with Erving can be a bit ridiculous. He started off in college as a defensive tackle, before becoming the team's left tackle in 2012, where he largely seemed to remain. In 2014, he even spent 5 games at center. While his relative lack of experience on the offensive line is similar to what we see with T.J. Clemmings, I think that Erving being almost 2 years younger gives him a bit of an edge to continue to improve with time. Now, I have no real issue with him remaining at tackle, as his athletic ability appears to be perfectly suited to this, but there does appear to be a lot of flexibility to how he can be used. When it comes to playing center, I am somewhat torn when it comes to Erving. Since centers rarely exceed 6'5", and there are several sound possibilities as to why they rarely exceed this mark, Erving's height of just a hair under 6'5.5" might make him an unusual fit at this position. There is also nothing I that excites me more than a freakishly quick short shuttle time, when considering a center prospect. In Erving's case, his time of 4.63 seconds is really nothing shocking, and merely 0.571 standard deviations above average for an offensive lineman. That's not a bad result at all, but compared to some of the league's best centers, it is rather pedestrian. In Erving's case, I might be willing to make a huge exception to this rule though. You see, normally, centers have the absolute worst Kangaroo Scores, often posting results that go into the negative range. Cameron's result of 0.951, is absolutely shocking for a center, and quite similar to another historical oddball, Nick Hardwick. What this says about Erving's lower body power, really excites me. At the same time, his overall Agility Score was still quite good, so he doesn't appear to simply be a powerful stiff. I suspect Erving could probably play any position along the offensive line, and probably do reasonably well, though I suspect his best chance of success will come somewhere along the interior of the offensive line, most likely at the guard position. Either way, I think his positional flexibility is a huge bonus. I am very interested in seeing what happens with him, and suspect he is probably worth a late 1st round pick.
Jake Fisher, Oregon, OT
Arm Length: 33.75" Kangaroo Score: 0.957* Agility Score: 1.953
Except for his slightly below average arm length, he really seems to be a nearly perfect physical specimen. Now, I normally try not to fuss too much about arm length, but I do have some minor concerns about it when it comes to taller players. So, in Fisher's case, his height of 6'6", might slightly decrease his already average reach. In the end though, I'm not sure I really care. So far, unless someone else emerges, he appears to be the most physically superior offensive linemen in the entire draft. That he is also one of the younger prospects, at just 21 years old, also weighs into our view of his significant upside. While it would be nice to have data related to how often Fisher gave up a sack, this doesn't seem to be available. Still, his QB Marcus Mariota, appeared to be kept relatively clean during the past 3 years. While you might credit this to Mariota's athleticism, I kind of doubt that is the case. Scrambling QBs, in general, actually tend to take a higher number of sacks than pocket passers, so Fisher's job was probably more challenging than you might expect. The one thing we can say, is that in the 13 games Fisher played this year, Mariota was only sacked on 4.19% of his pass attempts, a rather excellent result. In the 2 games that Fisher missed with a leg injury, Mariota was sacked on 17.3% of his pass attempts. Admittedly, this is a ridiculously small sample size, but that is all we have to work with, and you can make of it whatever you wish. Fisher's combined athletic traits put him on a tier where failure becomes relatively rare, probably occurring around 25-30% of the time (Winston Justice would be an example of where this didn't work out). With those sorts of odds, I'd say he is worth a first round pick, though some people seem to suggest that he could still be available into the 2nd round. I would be surprised if he lasted that long, since I expect at least one team will become as enamored of Fisher's measurables as I am.
A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina
Arm Length: 32.625" Kangaroo Score:? Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for data.
Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke
Arm Length: 33.675" Kangaroo Score: 0.837 Agility Score: -0.998
Based on his tubby physique (323#), and the above measurables, he would appear to be a basic road grader type, though not necessarily an exceptional one. He might do okay in that role, depending on which team selects him, but I have to admit that his rather poor agility largely negates the benefits of his somewhat above average power, at least in my eyes. People seem to be suggesting that he will be taken somewhere around the 2nd round, but that strikes me as a very steep price to pay, especially considering some of the more interesting options that will be available at other positions.
D.J. Humphries, OT, Floida
Arm Length: 33.625" Kangaroo Score: 0.202 Agility Score: -0.393
To quote Jay Cutler,"Don't caaaaarrreeeee....". I seem to see projections for where Humphries will be taken that range from the 1st round to the 3rd round. If he does fall somewhere in that area, it would strike me as quite a daring gamble. While none of Humphries results are necessarily bad, they also wouldn't do anything to ease my concerns with selecting him this highly.
Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn
Arm Length: 32.4" Kangaroo Score: -0.527 Agility Score: -0.528
I'm only including Dismukes on this list because a number of people seem to think that he will be selected in the first few rounds of the draft, and generally rate him as one of the better center prospects. Honestly, I see nothing here that gets me the least bit excited. One interesting fact about Dismukes, is that the only area in which he tested slightly above average at the combine was in the short shuttle drill. As I've said before this is the one drill that centers really tend to dominate, though in Dismukes case, his time of 4.7 seconds was only 0.227 standard deviations above average for an offensive lineman, and nothing that would make me take him the least bit seriously. While his Kangaroo Score might appear rather poor, it's actually relatively close to an an average result for a center, where power tends to be in somewhat short supply.
Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado St.
Arm Length: 33" Kangaroo Score: -0.452 Agility Score: 0.827
While Sambrailo's results aren't terrible, they aren't what I want to see in a player who supposedly is going to cost a 2nd or 3rd round pick. In the 5th round? Hmmm...maybe. By the third day of the draft we'll probably be quite hungover, and willing to lower our standards a bit. While his Agility Score is respectable, I would really need to see more evidence of explosive lower body power to pick him this high in the draft. As things stand, he has traits that I associate more with guards, and not a tackle. Of course, I've probably just secured his hall of fame induction by expressing these doubts.
Tre Jackson, OG, Florida State
Arm Length: 32.625" Kangaroo Score:-0.472 Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for more data. While his Kangaroo Score isn't too promising, we generally aren't surprised when guards do poorly there. Once we can get a glimpse of his Agility Score, the picture for Jackson might improve, though I have my doubts about this. While people will tend to dismiss his horrific 40-yard time of 5.52 seconds, they probably shouldn't. That is a spectacularly poor result, and even among the fatties of the O-line, it is unusual for people to succeed with a result like that. I kind of get the feeling that Jackson might be a sinking ship (even if he looks like he should float), though we'll give him some more time.
Daryl Williams, OT, Oklahoma
Arm Length: 35" Kangaroo Score: -0.340 Agility Score: -1.978
I still seem to see a number of people projecting that Williams could be taken somewhere around the 3rd round, and this really makes no sense to me. He doesn't seem to have the explosiveness or power to play tackle, and so far, he appears to have the agility of a rock...a very tired rock. I wouldn't select him at all, let alone in the first half of the draft.
Tyrus Thompson, OT, Oklahoma
Arm Length: 34.875" Kangaroo Score: 0.026 Agility Score: -0.850*
I wasn't going to include Thompson on this list, but someone mentioned that the Draft Advisory Board had given him a 2nd round grade. In other places, I see him being projected to go around the 4th round. Personally, I have no more interest in him than I did in his teammate Daryl Williams. While his Kangaroo Score falls in the tolerable/average sort of range, it isn't the sort of result I really want to see. We can't really fully weigh his Agility Score, since we only have his short shuttle time at this point, but the initial results are less than promising. The only thing we can really say for Thompson, is that he is a rather large guy (324#), with long arms. That doesn't really cut it in my book.
Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
Arm Length: 31.125" Kangaroo Score:? Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for data.
Ali Marpet, OG, Hobart
Arm Length: 33.375" Kangaroo Score: 0.416 Agility Score: 1.468
At some point, I suspect we're all going to get tired of the way that players from Hobart dominate the league. Athletically, Marpet is pretty much the ideal model for what I expect from a guard. While guards tend to have a bit less explosive power than tackles, Marpet's Kangaroo Score is actually surprisingly good, relative to his peers. Perhaps more importantly, his agility score is exceptional, and precisely the sort of result I'm used to seeing among the league's more successful guards. While his 40 time of 4.98 seconds was good, I was particularly pleased with his 10-yard split of 1.74 seconds. I suppose the main concern here is the level of competition he faced in college, but there's isn't much we can do about that. If he continues to be available as the 3rd round approaches, I could be quite tempted to take him, though I wouldn't be surprised if he goes a bit higher than many people expect. At this point, we see him as one of the most intriguing offensive linemen in the entire draft.
Arie Kuandijo, G, Alabama
Arm Length: 34.125" Kangaroo Score:? Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for data.
John Miller, OG, Louisville
Arm Length: 33.25" Kangaroo Score: -0.545 Agility Score: -0.757
Hey, I know that name from somewhere. Oh well, I must be thinking of someone else. I really do appreciate it when a player's obvious shortcomings give me a chance to be brief.. Hmm, maybe this is the John Miller I know?
Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
Arm Length: 35.875" Kangaroo Score:? Agility Score: ?
Still waiting for data. Considering that he tore his ACL in the West Virginia game on December 29th, it is unlikely that we'll ever get any data here, or that we could put much stock in it. It is really unfortunate that I can't find stats related to sacks allowed by college offensive linemen. Still, I did find numerous people making an interesting note about Ogbuehi, and the horrific 3 game stretch in which he allowed 6 sacks this past year. That is definitely way beyond just bad, and not something I ever expect to see from a supposed star player at the college level. Without something to counterbalance this, I'd probably avoid him altogether.
Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Arm Length: 34.375" Kangaroo Score: 1.988 Agility Score: -0.412
Am I concerned about a tackle with somewhat below average agility? Yes. Am I also incredibly curious what will happen when a player with this sort of Kangaroo Score is used as a run blocker? Definitely. Personally, I'd have a hard time selecting Smith in the vicinity of the 3rd round, which is where he seems to be projected to be taken, but I am still quite curious what he might become. I definitely wouldn't want him to play left tackle, but on the right side, eh, he might be interesting.
Mitch Morse, OG, Missouri
Arm Length: 32.25" Kangaroo Score: 0.696 Agility Score: 0.917
.. .----. .-.. .-.. / ... . -. -.. / .- -. / ... --- ... / - --- / - .... . / .-- --- .-. .-.. -.. .-.-.- / .. / .... --- .--. . / - .... .- - / ... --- -- . --- -. . / --. . - ... / -- -.-- / -- . ... ... .- --. . / .. -. / .- / -... --- - - .-.. . .-.-.- If he continues to be seen as just a mid-round pick, I could see some potential value here. While he played tackle the past 2 seasons, we'd really like to see him used as a guard or center. When we factor in his somewhat short arms, along with his above average short shuttle time of 4.50 seconds, the center position is really calling his name, and a place we think he might do quite well. Fortunately, he seems to have already played this role, at least for a short time back in 2012. As a guard, we have slightly less interest, and as a tackle we might not want him at all. Without knowing what position teams will have him play, I 'd be hesitant to place any bets here, but I do think he is an interesting mid-round prospect. If I had confidence as to how he would be utilized, I might start to target him in the 4th or 5th round. I look forward to seeing -- --- .-. ... . written on the back of a jersey.
Terry Poole, OG, San Diego State
Arm Length: 33.25" Kangaroo Score: 0.851 Agility Score: -0.005
While he is generally listed as a tackle, I kind of doubt that teams will use him at that position. His somewhat shorter arm length, and merely average height (a whisker over 6'4.5"), just don't seem likely to get him an opportunity there. As a guard, I think he would be a more interesting prospect, and perhaps a reasonable gamble to take in the mid-to-late portion of the draft. Based on his measurable traits, I would expect him to be more at home as a run blocker than a pass protector. I wouldn't bet on him becoming a star, but he's got to be better than someone like the dreaded Oniell Cousins. I probably wouldn't pursue him, but I'd be interested in following his progress.
Mark "Glo Worm" Glowinski, OG, West Virginia
Arm Length: 33.125" Kangaroo Score: 0.627 Agility Score: 0.792
There is nothing terribly amazing about either of Glowinski's scores that are listed above. In combination, however, I do think they could make him a fairly interesting prospect. He generally seems to be projected to be a late round pick or undrafted free agent, but if given the opportunity, he does seem to possess some interesting upside potential. With a 4.58 short shuttle time, I wouldn't even rule out moving to the center position. Based on players who were similar to him, I'd say he has a slightly better than a 50/50 shot of turning out to at least be a respectable player, if he is given an opportunity, which is more than you can say for many of the players who are likely to be selected at a similar point in the draft. I'd probably start giving him some consideration around the 5th round.
Jarvis Harrison, OG, Texas A&M
Arm Length: 33.5" Kangaroo Score: 0.715 Agility Score: 0.782
I would find it incredibly amusing if Harrison ended up being seen as a better player than his former teammate Cedric Ogbuehi, despite (probably) being drafted much later. He appears to have been a fairly successful 3 year starter at Texas A&M, though he missed some time in 2014 due to injuries. Either way, Harrison is athletically quite similar to the previously mentioned Mark Glowinski, and seems to be garnering a similar lack of attention. A fair bit of the criticism of Harrison seems to relate to his roly-poly physique (330#), which strikes me as a bit odd, since the NFL tends to be a group of chubby chasers. Just like we said with Glowinski, if he is still floating around in the 5th round, I think he'd make an interesting target.
Laurence Gibson, OT, Virginia Tech
Arm Length: 35.125" Kangaroo Score:1.139 Agility Score: 0.558
Overall, Gibson has the sort of athletic traits that I would find rather appealing for an offensive tackle. While his Agility Score isn't amazing, it is still good enough to not give me much concern, particularly if he is started out as a right tackle, where his physical abilities might be better suited. Of course, there is a reason why Gibson is typically ranked as a prospect who might not go until near the end of the draft. He only started 18 games in his college career, and will already be turning 24 this upcoming March. Is there something terribly wrong with him, that prevented him from getting significant playing time? Or, were his coaches just idiots? Who can really say? I suspect some team will gamble on his athletic ability a bit sooner than many might expect, but if he is still sitting around in the 6th or 7th round, I really see no reason not to give him a shot.