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: 4/24/15
Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa
Arm Length: 33.375" Kangaroo Score: 1.134 Agility Score: 1.489
Ah, the results from Scherff's pro day are finally in, and they look rather promising. Based on his excellent Kangaroo Score and Agility Score, we would have to say that Scherff probably does have a significantly above average chance of meeting the expectations that people will have of a 1st round pick. The only area of concern might be his arm length, which might force him to move inside to the guard position. Still, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he could do quite well as a tackle as well, since his overall athletic traits are still a rather good fit for that position as well. 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: 1.615* Agility Score: -0.102
There have been some wildly varying reports coming from Peat's pro day, but we still feel like have to radically boost his Kangaroo Score. We still have some minor concerns about his Agility Score, but overall we now actually have to take him somewhat seriously as a 1st round draft pick. Based on his results, we might still lean towards projecting him as more of a right tackle, because we still wonder if he has the sort of quickness that we prefer for the left side of the line. Then again, Andrew Whitworth has appeared to do fine on the left side despite some similar concerns. While our opinion of his athleticism has improved, we aren't sure whether we wouldn't feel more comfortable with Jake Fisher's more balanced athletic traits. In the end, it probably doesn't matter too much, since it appears that Peat will be selected before Team Kangaroo would ever really need to give this much real consideration.
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 whose 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 November, 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: -0.021 Agility Score: ?
So far, we only have the data related to Flower's vertical jump and broad jump at his pro day, which is significantly less information than we would really like to have. Despite those limitations, we're still somewhat concerned with what this first piece of information might be telling us. No, his results don't mean he is doomed, it was simply a bit more pedestrian and unexceptional than we would like to see.
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 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 one of 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 no more than 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: 0.911 Agility Score: ?
It's looking like we are never going to be able to say much about his agility, which is unfortunate. Still, he does appear to have some power to him. Without a full set of data, I really wouldn't want to speculate about what his chances of success are, but I have to admit that his 5.46 second forty time is a bit worrisome. You generally don't have a lot of amazing successes coming from people who put up that sort of result. Oh well, at least he has power.
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. Based on his pro day results (where he had dropped his weight down to 316 pounds), we could boost his Agility Score to a respectably average 0.002. If we decided to trust these newer results, we might start to consider him a fairly interesting prospect. Still, it often pays to be wary of these sorts of radical improvements.
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 high.
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: -2.566*
Tre Jackson might be a lovely human being, but his mother should smack him in the head for producing these results. You could probably do a better job of protecting your quarterback by lining up a bunch of bean-bag chairs in front of him.
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: -0.113
The initial reports from Grasu's pro day were claiming that he had a 4.20 short shuttle time. I think by now we've clearly established that we have a deranged affection for centers with excellent short shuttle times. Now, the somewhat more official numbers are suggesting that he ran the short shuttle in 4.74 seconds, which is vastly less interesting to us, and more in line with what we would expect based on his 7.85 second 3-Cone drill. While it would be nice to have the data to calculate his Kangaroo Score, that doesn't seem like it will ever become available. So, what was once an interesting prospect, now becomes someone we won't be giving much thought to.
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: -1.122 Agility Score: -2.655
I'm really not seeing anything to be optimistic about with this guy The only thing he appears to have going for him are some unusually long arms for a guard. Oh, the mystique of Alabama must be alive and well, if Kuandijo is being viewed as a serious prospect.
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? Based on his pro day results, he seems to have lifted his Kangaroo Score to 0.014, as well as improving his Agility Score to -0.049. These are still just very average results, and it generally pays to be cautious about pro days.
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: 0.851 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. He's quickly becoming one of our favorite players to target in the middle of the draft. I'd probably aim to pick him up somewhere around the 4th 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 somewhat similar to the previously mentioned Mark Glowinski (actually, Glowinski measured up better, but had some inconsistencies in his combine results), 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.
Austin Reiter, C, USF
Arm Length: ? Kangaroo Score: 0.617 Agility Score: 0.755
We're still looking for more information on Reiter, so take some of this with a grain of salt. Our main concerns are that we still don't know his arm length, and he might be a slightly older prospect, though we've had a hard time figuring out when he was born. Despite that, among the prospects who actually played the center position in college, Reiter might be one of the more interesting prospects. If we eliminated center prospects from consideration who were conversion projects, or who will be taken in the 3rd round or higher, Reiter might end up being our top choice for the position. While the results we have listed above might not seem exceptional, they actually line up very nicely with what we want to see in a center. We tend to have a much lower expectation of even just average lower body power with centers, so Reiter's results here are actually surprisingly good. While his Agility Score might look fairly uninteresting, his short shuttle results were 1.061 standard deviations above average. We view that as a rather key attribute for successful centers, so that interests us a great deal. Reiter was also a tree year starter at center for USF, and was twice listed on the Rimington Trophy watch list for the nation's best college centers. Despite all of that, he is generally projected to go undrafted. We would probably start to consider Reiter somewhere around the 5th round.