Every season there are a handful of small-school players who seemingly come out of nowhere, which is where they really are on the college football landscape, and make it into the NFL. Let's use today's 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at one player who might fill that bill this time around.
David Mims is a massive (6-foot-8, 331 pounds) offensive tackle from Virginia Union. Wes Bunting of the National Football Post was sold on Mims after watching his Pro Day. He wrote:
At 6-8, 331-pounds he’s definitely more of a right-sided player at the next level who is going to need some proper time to develop. However, physically and athletically the guy certainly possesses an NFL caliber skill set. He carries his weight well, has a thick base, long arms and displays natural fluidity and change of direction skills through contact when engaged.
Mims also still has a ton of upside to his game and after his impressive pro day workout he definitely has scouts buzzing about his long term potential. I spoke with a scout this weekend who told me following his workout, "Unfortunately he’s not a sleeper anymore."
Last year small school developmental tackles Ramon Harewood (6th round, Ravens) and J’Marcus Webb (7th round, Bears) both had similar physical attributes to Mims that warranted a late round draft grade and both now look like potential long term NFL players as they continue to develop. And I think Mims fits that same kind of bill this year. He will end up being a later round guy needing some time to develop and learn the nuances of the NFL game, before putting himself in position to fight for some playing time 2/3 years down the line as an NFL right tackle.
Scouting reports after the jump.
OT, Virginia Union
6-foot-8, 331 pounds
Projection: Late rounds
From National Football Post:
A massive offensive tackle prospect who possesses a long, good-looking frame. Carries his weight well, isn't fat by any stretch and actually looks a bit thin throughout his upper half. Showcases impressive power at the point of attack in the run game and can absolutely dominate defenders at his level of competition at the point. Is a pretty good bender for his size and is really heavy handed; once he gets his paws on you the battle is over. Now, obviously he gets a bit upright and isn't real technically sound maintaining leverage and using proper hand placement, but the skill set is most definitely there.
Possesses above-average range for his size in pass protection. Showcases good coordination and balance when asked to mirror and again likes to get his hands on defenders and anchor. Doesn't exhibit much of a kick-slide and is really raw and upright with his footwork. But talking with sources the guy doesn't even have an offensive line coach at his school.
Impression: Physically the guy has the size, strength and athleticism to play in the league and is dripping with upside. Is going to take some time, but is an ideal later-round developmental guy who could really catch fire with some time.
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Long arms with long well proportioned frame... Sets up reasonably well... Good punch... Solid lateral movement and slide... Good strength... Very solid anchor, can be difficult to move... Solid balance... Reasonably good run blocker... Generates good power... Can control opponent once locked on... Can get movement in the running game... Can get to the second level... Adequate flexibility and body controlling... Mean streak... Needs some coaching but has good upside at Right Tackle.
Negatives: His height makes it difficult for him to maintain good pad level... Gets too upright and defenders can get underneath him... Pumps his arms and looks a little awkward backing off the line... Hands get too high and wide... Kick slide needs work, choppy footwork... Doesn't redirect especially well.