Throughout the early part of the 2015 NFL Draft process Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff has probably been connected to the New York Giants more often than any other player in the 2015 draft class. That, of course, does not mean Scherff will be the pick. We are still more than three months away from finding out who the Giants take with the ninth overall selection.
Our own 'Invictus' selected Scherff for the Giants in his first mock draft. So did ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper. Scherff is ranked No. 8 on the Big Blue View Big Board, with Jesse Bartolis ranking him the highest at No. 7 and 'Raptor22' putting Scherff down at No. 17. Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah is not one of those who believes Scherff is worth a top 10 pick, putting him No. 21 on his initial Big Board and mocking him No. 25 to the Carolina Panthers.
So, what is the deal with Scherff? He is the 2015 version of Zack Martin. That doesn't mean Scherff will necessarily follow in Martin's footsteps and make the Pro Bowl as a rookie, which Martin did after the Dallas Cowboys selected him 16th overall. It means that, exactly like Martin, Scherff is a dominant collegiate left tackle but scouts are not sure he has the athleticism to stay there in the pros. Is he a right tackle? Is he really a guard at the NFL level?
The pre-draft process, including the scouting combine and pro days, will give NFL teams a chance to truly judge Scherff's athleticism. For now, what we can do is turn to a variety of draft analysts for their thoughts about Scherff.
Colin Lindsay of Great Blue North Draft Report, one of the Internet's longest-tenured draft web sites, believes that Scherff is "likely to drop during the draft process.
"Scherff is what he is; not real flashy or athletic and lacks the prototype long arms, but is a tough, physical guy who is a dominating run blocker and technically solid in pass protection; indeed, he's been described as this year's Zack Martin," Lindsay said. "Right now he appears to be a solid 7-10 guy on most team's draft boards, but the sense I also get from sources around the league is that he's a guy likely to drop during the draft process because he really isn't likely to play LT at the next level.
"If the draft were held today one would figure he'd at least be on the Giants short list because if nothing else they will stay true to their board and Scherff figures to be in that second-tier level after the top 5-6 guys on the board with a lot of versatility along the line."
Both GM Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin indicated recently that the Giants, continuing to try to upgrade their offensive line, would consider moving right tackle Justin Pugh inside if they found a player they thought was an upgrade on the outside. Lindsay doesn't see Scherff as that guy.
"If they did take Scherff my guess is that he would be the one to start at OG while providing depth at OT. All that said I would be very surprised if the end up taking Scherff not that he wouldn't be a good fallback pick," Lindsay said. "However, it's hard to imagine that there aren't going to be more impactful guys available at No. 9 on both defense and at the skill positions.
"And whatever Scherff was going to do for you one can get almost effectively in free agency, especially with your highest pick in over a decade. If the Giants were to take an OL at No. 9 (and count me among the minority who would be very surprised to see them target the OL with that top pick) my guess it would be somebody like Ereck Flowers who is much more a prototype OT."
Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking The Draft disagrees, saying "I do think Scherff can be that guy at right tackle."
"I probably like him more than most," Kadar continued. "Scherff is just a big, nasty blocker who can dominate in one-on-one scenarios. He does have some trouble with speed rushers. That's his big flaw, and obviously it's a massive one for an OT. But if he gets his hands on a defender, it's over. Scherff can line up at any offensive line position other than center. I've had him consistently mocked in the top 10 every week, so yes, he's worth going top 10."
Scott Wright of Draft Countdown, like most others, isn't sure if Scherff is a right tackle or a guard. He does, however, "think he is going to be one of the options in play for the Giants at No. 9."
Former NFL scout Joe Bommarito (@AskTheScout) said Scherff "may be better at OG" but that he would still "consider" taking the 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman at No. 9.
"If you draft him at 9 you draft him has a tackle," Bommarito said. "If he fails then move him to guard. Workouts, combine will weigh heavy."
There you have it. The only consensus is that there really is no consensus at to Scherff's ultimate position on the field or on draft boards. He is, however, definitely a player worth following as the draft approaches.
Mock Drafts/Big Boards
Here is where Scherff currently ranks in a variety of mock drafts and big boards.
SI/Burke -- No. 5, Washington Redskins
Draft Tek -- No. 6, New York Jets (No. 3 on Draft Tek Big Board)
Mocking The Draft -- No. 5, Redskins (No. 6 on MTD Big Board)
NFL.com/Brooks -- No. 9, Giants
NFL.com/Jeremiah -- No. 25, Carolina Panthers (No. 21 on Jeremiah's Big Board)
CBS Sports/Rang -- No. 5, Redskins
CBS Sports/Brugler -- No. 13, New Orelans Saints
Great Blue North Draft Report-- No. 12, Cleveland Browns (No. 7 on GBN Big Board)
Ourlads Big Board-- No. 18 overall
Draft Ace -- No. 14, Miami Dolphins (No. 10 on Draft Ace Big Board)