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As we continue to roll through our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profiles, let's look at a player who right now looks like an intriguing mid-round offensive line candidate.
Vladimir Ducasse of Massachusetts.
Ducasse is a mountainous 6-foot-7, 325-pound player who was been a tackle at UMass. At one time he was thought of as possibly being among the elite tackles, but apparently struggled at the Senior Bowl. The thought is now that he might be right tackle, but more likely is an NFL guard.
Ducasse will likely be one of the players scouts will be most interested in this week at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Let's take a closer look.
Vladimir Ducasse Scouting Reports
From Draft Countdown, which projects Ducasse as second- or third-round pick.
Excellent size with a huge frame and long arms --- Tough, physical and aggressive --- Very strong --- Good athleticism and agility --- Zealous work ethic --- Is versatile --- Durable --- Experienced --- Considerable upside.
Could project to either tackle or guard at the next level and has experience at both positions --- Still raw and relatively new to the game but is an extremely intriguing prospect with all the physical tools as well as the top-notch intangibles needed to maximize his potential.
From Fantasy Football Toolbox.
Shows good size and strength to lock up defensive linemen. Good sliding technique, which he uses to neutralize edge rushers effectively. Gets out of his stance quickly. Shows the footwork and agility to slide to the corner and cut blitzers. When he plays with leverage in pass blocking, he has the power to stop bull rushers in their tracks. Can control the line.
Lacks explosiveness and speed (5.40 est). Does not explode off the ball. Although big and strong, he has trouble dominating his opponent on a consistent bases. Struggles to adjust to moving targets in the open field. Needs to improve his technique.
Ducasse is moving up fast in many draft boards, to the point that he is now considered a mid-to-low second round prospect. He played both G and RT at U Mass, but because of his lack of burst, he is more suited to play inside in the pros.
ESPN's Todd McShay watched Ducasse at the Senior Bowl, and had this assessment.
Ducasse looks dominant because he moves well for his size and simply engulfs and manhandles defenders at the FCS level. We saw at the Senior Bowl weight-in, though, that he needs to develop physically and turn some of his baby fat into muscle. The bigger issues were on the field, however. Ducasse was very inconsistent and appeared to take time to absorb what the coaches were telling him and then putting it into action. He struggled to deliver a strong punch as a run blocker and did not play with a wide base or sink his hips well. In addition, his footwork is too raw for him to hold up on the edge and we see him as a better fit at guard. Ducasse had a chance to prove himself at tackle and get into the first-round discussion, but he has so far to go that he clearly does not rank among th elite offensive line prospects and is now in the third-round range.
Why Ducasse fits with the Giants
The Giants do not desperately need help on their offensive line in 2010. Will Beatty will probably start somewhere and do a nice job. They do need to think about the future, though, as Kareem McKenzie and Rich Seubert will need to be replaced soon. Ducasse has a ton of upside, but is a player who will likely take some time to develop. The Giants might be able to give him that time.
Why the Giants should pass
Ducasse' performance at the Senior Bowl led to more questions than answers. He is very raw, and while there is a huge upside there is always the possibility that Ducasse is just a younger version of Guy Whimper.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)