It’s that time of year again, the pre-draft period, when your favorite NFL blogs overflow with the opinions of former scouts, wannabe scouts, critics of scouts, girls that have dated scouts, and every other scout except Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. Many of these people do outstanding work, but there’s only so much of it one can stomach. In an effort to bring a little variety to the melange of player reports, I’ve asked a few fomer NFL players to give their opinions on some of this year’s prospects. I call them my Stable of Bros, and you will read them because I’ll go Incognito on you if you don’t. Also, I figure they’ll have a slightly different perspective. Cool, right?
My first Bro Scout is Drew Hodgdon. He lives in Chicago and he’s awesome. He was a center for several years with the Texans. He survived on guile, scrappiness, and a tempered scorn for defensive tackles. Drew knows his stuff. I used to make him take extra reps against me in practice because he did such a good job of exploiting my weaknesses. Hard to say that with a straight face, since I had zero weaknesses (You don’t have access to film, right?). Drew’s got an eye for this stuff and knows what he’s talking about. He’ll be doing a player a day until he quits or at least until his form starts to suffer.
Taylor Lewan: Michigan, LT
• Lewan plays like a basketball player that refused to give up dessert. He possesses great foot quickness and reacts to defenders with a smoothness and urgency that’s impressive for someone so rangy at a listed 6’8.
• Knowing where you should be before you get there is as important as what you do when you arrive. Lewan consistently puts himself in position to make the block and do what’s required. He performs like an intelligent player who understands the angles.
• As can happen with taller lineman, Lewan succumbs to circling defenders when engaging run blocks. Stouter more purely power oriented lineman in this years class illustrate more clearly how to drive defenders vertically downfield. It’s a minor handicap, but worth noting if your job is to sign off on a 1st round draft picks salary.
6 foot 8 and enjoys long pass blocking sessions in the open field..
The risk in drafting a lineman slotted to become the insurance policy on what most teams consider to be their most valued asset, is that they either won’t be able to adjust to the new combination of speed and power that most every quality defense lineman possess at the professional level, or they can’t manage the intellectual rigors of learning a complex new system that may change like the weather. Taylor Lewan may be in for an obstacle of the physical variety. His height and lack of overt power are something to keep an eye on, but I wouldn’t question his effort or football IQ
– Drew Hodgdon
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