The New York Giants need offensive linemen. Not only do they need bodies, but they need players who can play in a zone blocking scheme if new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo brings that with him from Green Bay. Last season the Packers blended a zone blocking scheme with a traditional man blocking scheme. There aren't many offensive lineman with the power to drive block an opposing player and the athleticism to block an area.
Xavier Su'a-Filo, an offensive guard from UCLA, is one of those guys. Let's look at Su'a-Filo with today's 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile.
- Nasty blocker, who plays through the whistle
- Powerful in the run game, and nimble in pass protection
- Able to play in man blocking schemes as well as zone blocking schemes
- Athletic enough to block screen plays
- Versatile player who can play multiple positions
- Quick off the snap
- Sometimes loses leverage
- Was out of football in 2010 and 2011 (Missionary work ... That part isn't the potential "Con", the missed time is)
- Age 23, so a bit on the old side for an NFL rookie (though not nearly as old as some).
Does He Fit With The Giants?
In a word: Yes.
Su'a-Filo can play in any blocking scheme McAdoo decides to install. He is a powerful and nimble blocker with the versatility the Giants demand out of their offensive linemen. Not only that, he's a nasty blocker who plays through the whistle, finishing blocks and then looking for somebody else to hit. In the passing game Su'a-Filo has the power and flexibility to anchor against bull rushes and the agility to handle speed rushes.
Xavier Su'a-Filo vs Stanford (2013) (via Josh DB)
Big Board Rankings
List here of where he is on BBV/MTD/CBS and maybe a couple of other Big Boards ... like Draft Countdown (one of my favorites) and maybe WalterFootball or one more.
Big Blue View - *not in top 50
Mocking The Draft - 47
CBS Sports - 39
Draft Countdown - *not in top 32
Draft Tek - 46
Xavier Su'a-Filo is climbing up draft boards. He was thought of as a third- to fifth-round round prospect mid-season, but as we inch closer to the draft, he has risen to the point where he is ranked as the second-best guard prospect on some big boards.
There's a lot to like in his game, too. He has the power to drive block and blow defensive linemen off the ball, while also having the flexibility and agility to play in a zone blocking scheme. He is a proven force in the run game, and his return to UCLA's line-up in 2012 is a big reason for Johnathan Franklin's 1,734-yard, 13 TD performance that year.
While the Giants don't have much of a history of drafting out of the west coast (Steve Smith and Terrell Thomas are the ones who come to mind), Su'a-Filo could be a guy to target at the top of the second round. That's assuming he doesn't crack the first round, though.
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