When it comes to the 2015 NFL Draft, offensive linemen and the New York Giants it seems everyone has an opinion? Should the Giants take one at No. 9? Should they wait? Who is the best tackle? Who is the best guard? Is Brandon Scherff a tackle or a guard in the NFL?
Let's get a fresh perspective from one of the best NFL analysts in the business, and someone we haven't heard from before. Greg Cosell of NFL Films appeared earlier this week on the MMQB podcast with Andy Benoit, and his focus was offensive linemen. Among Cosell's observations:
- Scherff can play left tackle in the NFL.
- Andrus Peat of Stanford is the best left tackle in the draft class right now.
- D.J. Humphries of Florida is the best long-term left tackle prospect.
- Ereck Flowers of Miami is an NFL guard.
- A.J. Cann of South Carolina is the best pure guard in this draft class.
Now, let's look a little deeper at what Cosell said.
On Brandon Scherff ...
Cosell said Scherff is "fundamentally repetitive" and that he is "more powerful than athletically explosive."
Cosell compared Scherff to Jake Long, saying many thought Long, a seven-year starter at left tackle, was a right tackle coming out of college.
"My guess is he will play left tackle," Cosell said. "My sense is people will think that way (that he should play the right side), and I'd bet people would think he'd be a dominant All-Pro type left guard because he's much more of a road-grading type player than truly an athletic type dancing bear. He's not that kind of left tackle.
"You would like the tackle, particularly the left tackle for the conventional wisdom to be very athletic, to have light, quick feet, to be that dancing bear. Not every left tackle in the NFL is that guy. There's a lot of people who play left tackle in the NFL -- Andrew Whitworth for Cincinnati, an above-average left tackle -- who are not those sort of players."
Cosell did, however, endorse what seems to be the majority opinion -- that Scherff could be an OK tackle but a premier guard:
"If people ultimately share my opinion and think that he could be a dominant guard why not just put him at guard and you have an All-Pro guard."
On La'el Collins ...
"A road-grader. He's a terrific run blocker. He may be the best run blocking left tackle in this draft. He's athletic enough to pass protect really well, too, but he needs some work in that area. He's a little top-heavy and lunges at times. I think he's got the overall athletic and movement traits to play left tackle with coaching and refinement."
On Andrus Peat ...
"I actually think as we speak today that Peat is the best overall left tackle prospect in this draft class. He's got a tremendous combination of size and movement ... He's more of a power left tackle than a finesse, movement athletic left tackle but because he's so big and he does move well he certainly can line up and play left tackle in the NFL. I think he could line up and play left tackle in the NFL as a rookie."
On D.J. Humphries ...
Cosell said Humphries is the "best natural athlete" among tackles in this draft class.
"He has an outstanding combination of traits as both a run blocker and pass protector and I think overall as you look down the road ... Peat today is the best guy. I think Humphries could be the best left tackle coming out of this draft when you go two, three years down the road He's really an athletic, smooth mover and he's pretty nasty as well."
On Ereck Flowers ...
"There's a guy who I think is a guard, to be honest with you ... Brings attitude, toughness, he's competitive, he's powerful. I don't think he's very quick-footed. He's got functional feet. I don't think he has the desirable movement traits you ultimately look for to be a starting tackle in the NFL."
More Cosell observations
T.J. Clemmings of Pitt is "a little robotic" because of lack of experience but could eventually be an NFL left tackle ... Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin, a likely mid-round pick, is a "classic right tackle" and a "10-year starter" in the NFL ... A.J. Cann of South Carolina is the best guard. Here is Cosell's comment on Cann:
"He's just a really solid, efficient player. He's one of those guys that I think he may not be an All-Pro for 10 years but he's gonna be a starter for 10 years ... I think he's a plug-and-play guy, he'll start as a rookie in my opinion and he could likely play for a long time."
These observations aren't posted necessarily to change anyone's opinion about a player, or players. They are just here to add to the pile of information we have. Cosell is a respected evaluator of NFL talent, so his beliefs should be factored into the equation. Make of them what you will.
Also, give the latest 'Pat and Ed Show' podcast a listen if you haven't done so already.