Let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to discuss another of the many offensive linemen in this draft class who could interest the New York Giants.
DeMarcus Love of Arkansas is a 6-foot-5, 315-pound lineman who has the versatility to play everywhere on the offensive line except center. Most scouts think his frame and run-blocking ability make him better-suited to guard in the NFL. Others think he has the lateral quickness and reach to handle speed rushers playing at a tackle spot.
Versatility seems to be a trait the Giants love in their offensive linemen. Rich Seubert, David Diehl, Shawn Andrews, Adam Koets and Kevin Boothe are all guys who can play multiple positions. My guess is Love's positional versatility gets the Giants attention. Whether he winds up as a Giant, who knows?
Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot-5, 315 pounds
Projection: Round 2-4
From National Football Post:
Has experience at both guard and tackle in the Arkansas offense and is at his best in the run game when asked to quickly get out of his stance, reach defenders off his frame and eliminate them from the play. Displays natural flexibility in his lower half initially off the snap and has the ability to really fire off the ball quickly.
Played offensive tackle last season — both on the right and left side — and although he needs to tighten up his initial kick-step and overall footwork, the guy displays really impressive range and athleticism off the edge. Possesses an explosive first step and can consistently reach speed off the corner ... Has some versatility and upside at either guard or tackle.
Impression: He's long, athletic and can generate leverage for himself in the run game. Has experience playing on both sides of the offensive line at either tackle and guard and if he's able to work solely at one spot in the NFL, there really is a lot of upside and potential to his game. Looks like a potential NFL starter, but is going to need time.
Strength: There are several different areas of Love's game where his strength is apparent. He is able to move defenders off the football with his leg drive and upper body strength. His heavy hands allow him to remain engaged through contact. His good base gives him the ability to anchor through contact and remain balanced.
Technique: Love does a good job firing off the football and keeping his pad level low. That low pad level allows him to remain balanced in both the run and passing game. He routinely gets inside had placement giving him the ability to control the defender. In pass protection, he keeps his hands out in front of his body with no wasted motion enhancing his ability to punch and recoil quickly.
Final word: There is a lot to like about Love's game but his limited quickness might limit him to a future at guard. His run blocking skills, balance, and strength make him a good fit for the guard position. I am not sure how most NFL teams see him but what I saw has lead me to believe that he could be an excellent NFL guard. Making the move would hide his deficiencies when playing in space and allow him to work to this strengths in the running game.
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Athletic... Versatile... Good size and long arms... Very solid pass blocker... Can fire off the ball and set up extremely quick, when he's paying attention to the snap... Flashes reasonably good feet and solid lateral movement and slide... Good inside blocking range... Very solid run blocker... Fires off the ball, gets into his blocks quickly... Solid strength at POA... Can lock on to defender and move them from the action... Can get to the second level... Good flexibility and body control... Generally breaks down well in space... Mean streak, tough... Can look both great and pedestrian in the same game, boom or bust... Similar to former New England Patriot Kenyatta Jones.
Negatives: Frustratingly inconsistent... Narrow base, can be knocked off balance and moved off point... Inconsistent hand placement, hands get too wide... Defenders can get inside his body... Bends at the waist... Looks top heavy, doesn't bring his feet... Will occasionally lunge into his blocks on the move and lose his balance... Not an especially good finisher... Rolls off too many blocks... Doesn't always dominate at POA... Initial kick step can be bouncy... Inconsistent kick slide, either overextends or steps are to narrow... Either way, he loses his balance trying to reach the edge... Leans into the defender, too much of a catcher... Gets to upright in pass protection... Inconsistent footwork and technique and lack of balance will necessitate a move to Guard... Kind of a boom or bust type prospect.