It can be very difficult to project small school prospects into the NFL. You just really never know how much of the physical skill you might see on tape or in workouts will translate to the NFL stage, where the competition is unlike anything a small-school player has ever experienced.
That makes judging a player like Lehigh offensive lineman Will Rackley, a 6-foot-3, 310-pounder, a tricky task. Rackley impressed enough at the NFL Scouting Combine that 13 NFL teams spoke to him, including the New York Giants. He is also enough of a prospect that Lehigh held its first-ever Pro Day last week, where the Giants were once again among the handful of teams in attendance.
Rackley played tackle at Lehigh, but NFL analysts appear to see his future at guard, and see him as a second-day type draft pick. The Giants have shown enough interest that this is a name to remember.
Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot-3, 310 pounds
Projection: Day 2
Rackley has a nice combination of size and mobility. Displays a quick set. Can hold up against the bull rush. Gets off the ball, stays low, and establishes good initial position. Can jolt defenders on contact. Is comfortable and productive blocking in space and at the second level.
May struggle to slide his feet and mirror quicker interior pass rushers at the next level. Not a true road grader. Doesn't get a ton of movement off the ball. Overall awareness is still developing. Lacks experience dealing with NFL-style blitzes. Will face steep increase in competition level.
Rackley's a small-school tackle who projects well as a guard in the NFL. He's above-average in pass protection and as a run blocker and has the mentality necessary to become a starter. Does a good job against power pass rushers but may have some difficulty against defensive linemen with great agility. Fires off the ball, wins the position battle, and is very capable moving to the second level but does not possess the leg drive to move defenders off the ball. Shows average awareness but will may need some time to adjust to the complexity of the NFL. Rackley's a Day 2 prospect.
From National Football Post:
Impression: A natural athlete with good range and overall coordination and bend in the run game. Would like to see him finish more consistently, but has the ability to make a roster, develop and fight for a starting role inside with some time.
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Reasonably long arms... Can get good arm extensions but tends to pump them too much... Reasonably quick hands... Solid pass blocker... Reasonably quick... Very solid knee bend... Good short area lateral movement and slide... Redirects reasonably well... Stays square and keeps his legs moving through the block... Wide base and solid anchor... Nice pop in his punch but winds up a little... Very solid run blocker... Plays with solid leverage... Does a good job controlling defender once he locks on... Can get to the second level... Adequate flexibility and body control... Good strength especially in the upper body... Hard worker, gives a good effort... Good finisher, stays on his blocks until the whistle... Mean streak.
Negatives: Inconsistent knee bend, gets a little too upright... Not very explosive, lacks any real suddenness to his game... Doesn't fire out into his blocks... Not real quick getting in front of stunts and delayed blitzes... While he isn't necessarily bad in space he does look a little stiff... Doesn't breakdown especially well on the move.