2011 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

Sometimes when you read scouting reports from a variety of draft analysts you wind up with absolutely no idea what to think about a particular player. That is the case with the subject of today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile, TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick.

In some of the recent more reputable mock drafts I have seen Kirkpatrick go as high as the second round. In fact, Draft Tek currently has the Giants taking Kirkpatrick with the draft's 52nd selection. The flip side is that I have seen some reports, including that of the National Football Post's Wes Bunting, refer to Kirkpatrick as a late-round or undrafted free agent type.

Ahhh, who to believe? It's hard to know. I suspect, though, that some of the difference comes from whether these reports are older, or if they are fairly recent.

Either way, tough to know what to make of Kirkpatrick. He will be an interesting player to pay attention to during the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine and the entire pre-draft process. Seems like there just isn't much consensus on how much of a prospect he really is.

Scouting reports after the jump.

Jake Kirkpatrick
C, TCU
6-foot-2, 301 pounds

Scouting Reports

From Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Solid run blocker... Reasonably good short area quickness... Solid lateral movement and slide... Can get position and seal off the defender... Flashes a solid anchor... Flashes good hand play and a quick punch... Can explode into his blocks but lacks real power... Gets in front of stunts and blitzes... Can get to the second level... Aggressive... Does a solid job staying on his blocks... Does best work in short area.

Negatives: Gets too high, rises too quickly and plays too upright... Doesn't play with very good leverage in the running game... Hands get too wide... Hand punch is reasonably quick but lacks any real force... A little awkward in space... Will stop his feet on contact... Slow to reset versus bull rushers... Technique gets sloppy and will try to maul everyone, inconsistent technique... Needs to get stronger... Short arms.

From National Football Post:

Possesses an average build for the center position, but negates some of his strength because of his high pad level off the snap. Allows himself to get too upright off the football and lacks the power to generate a pop on contact and move anyone off the snap as an in-line guy. However, he does do a good job quickly working his hands through the play, gaining inside position and using his lateral quickness to seal. Has the athleticism to stay on blocks through contact and works hard in order to create a crease and likes to finish his man. Did do a better job at the Senior Bowl playing with better bend and leverage and was a much more effective anchor. Has the ability to do it, just needs to show it's not consistently part of his game.

Showcases good awareness in the pass game. Works well in tandem with his guards and consistently keeps his head on a swivel, locates blitzing backers and quickly redirects in order to pick up his man. Again, doesn't generate much of a pop with his punch and can be overwhelmed on contact by strong interior linemen. However, he showcases good lateral agility through contact and in space and has enough athleticism to stick to mirror.

Impression: Lacks ideal leverage and power in all areas of his game, but is an above-average athlete with quick hands and good body control when asked to mirror in space. Needs to continue to get stronger, but has the athleticism to fight his way onto a roster as a later round/free agent type kid.

From CBS Sports:

Strengths: Explodes quickly off the ball and gets a good push in the run game. Has good awareness and makes quick decisions. Gets outside quickly and block on sweeps and stretch plays. Effective zone blocker. Holds his ground and is tough to shed. Adept at chipping a down lineman and getting to the second level. Neutralizes targets when blocking downfield, staying square and taking on defenders head-up. Responsible for calling out pre-snap blocking assignments. Shows proper knee-bend. Keeps his head on a swivel, adjusts to find the most dangerous pass rusher. Fights well with his hands to keep linemen in front of him. Good lateral agility and can recover after facing a bull rush.

Weaknesses: Does not show great aggression as a pass blocker. Reaches too much and can lose his balance. Does not churn his legs once engaged. Does not sustain blocks long enough and tends to quit on the play. Can be beat with a good swim move. Does not show proper technique to cut-block, allowing defenders to disrupt the play. Lacks experience pulling. Can be beat off the snap by a strong bull rush because he lacks an elite anchor.

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