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 former 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.
Cyril Richardson: Baylor, G
• There isn’t much guesswork in breaking down the Baylor guards’ game. Richardson uses his 343 lb. chassis like you’d expect. He grinds down the opposition until they’re commitment to rushing the passer has waned and defending the run is an afterthought. Just because your one dimensional doesn’t mean you aren’t effective
• He has great feet and ability to redirect with a powerful punch. Impressive considering the girth due north of those feet.
• Richardson is prone to telegraphing his intentions at the line. Leaning in his stance or setting so far back on the line of scrimmage it’s clear he’s pulling. Savvy NFL defensive tackles will exploit him to the tune of lost yardage and sports center highlights.
• Too often in the run and pass game he’s out of position and not square to the defender. He may throw haymakers as a pass blocker, but if he’s not making strong initial contact he’s susceptible.
Never has losing 45 lbs. looked more like throwing a lawn chair off the Titanic..
There’s something intoxicating to coaches and fans alike about an offensive lineman that fits the classic potbellied, bulldozer mold. But it’s a rare luxury to wear one hat in todays NFL. If Richardson can put a few more tools in his set then he’ll give defenders a real headache, but for now he’s an addition for a specific system.
– Drew Hodgdon