Today we look at a 2014 NFL Draft prospect that I seem to be higher on than most when we look at talented (and massive) offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. Kouandjio was the number one overall high school offensive linemen recruit when he chose Alabama, but he has been in the news lately as a guy free-falling because of a possible chronic knee issue (where he reportedly was removed from multiple teams boards) and where he also came under scrutiny for looking sluggish in his workout, and then choosing NOT to work out on his own at Alabama's proday; Kouandjio has had a bad month, but he's still a good football player.
- Big man -- 6-foot-7, 322 pounds with 35 5/8-inch long arms, and 10 1/4-inch hands (I get winded just thinking about running around him)
- Young. He won't turn 21 until after the draft
- Productive. He has been very good in the tough SEC for three years where he has started 26 games
- Terrific run blocker
- Has nimble feet for a man his size and can mirror in pass protection
- High ceiling
- Injury history -- ACL tear and then he may have a chronic knee issue
- He does not have blazing speed and will struggle playing in space, but he won't be doing that much, could have trouble with speed rushers
- Has inconsistent technique issues with both his hands and with his bending
Player comparison: Tyron Smith (Rob Rang), Andre Smith (me)
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Yes, he does. Kouandjio hasn't had a great pre-draft process, but neither did Andre Smith. But I think Kouandijo will have the same payoff as Smith did who struggled in his first two years (-15 combined first 2 seasons, +55 the past three seasons). Kouandjio is not a workout warrior and he does have technique issues which could hold him back, but he has terrific potential and he's been a very good football player at Alabama. I wish I could interview him to see if he loves football because if he does (I think he does based on my impression of his film, but that doesn't mean anything) he's going to be a very good player for whatever team drafts him for at least the next five years. I'm hoping the process has scared off enough people that the Giants can land him with their 2nd round pick.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 43rd overall (9 on my ranking in our latest big board - will end up top 20)
Mocking The Draft -16th
CBS Sports -36th
Draft Countdown -16th
Draft Tek -52nd
First, let me point you over to SB Nation's draft coverage for their recent scouting report of Kouandjio. I think Kouandjio is a safe prospect in terms of what he brings on the field, he should be a staple of an offensive line during his career with Pro-Bowl potential. Kouandjio does bring along with him some knee concerns, but my own belief is that I can't judge a prospect on character or injury concerns because I just don't have the necessary information to do so. Kouandjio himself has said that six teams showed concern about his knee. I don't necessarily think the Giants should grab him in the first round (even though I wouldn't have a big problem if they did), but I really hope he's available in the second round it'd provide great value and in a few years we could be talking about the draft day steal.