After the season finished, New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese stated that Justin Pugh could be moved over to guard if the Giants find a "dynamic right tackle" in free agency or the 2015 NFL Draft. If you've been following along with me throughout this draft process, you know that my ideal "dynamic right tackle" in this year's NFL draft is Andrus Peat of Stanford. Why?
Let's hit the film! If you want to know what I look for in an offensive lineman, please take a look at my Brandon Scherff film study:
So with that out of the way, let's take a look at Peat. We're going to do things a little differently this time. Instead of going through each play individually and writing about each play, I'm going to cut up GIFs of examples that I'd like to show you, both of negatives and positives. As always, I'm going to chart every play and give a grade, so don't worry, you'll get that information, too!
Here's the tape that I use for this study:
Getting To The Second Level
1:46 Even though he couldn't finish the play, I see this as both a positive and negative play for Peat (No. 70, left tackle). Gets a nice heavy punch on his initial guy, gets upfield quickly, and gets just enough of his linebacker assignment to spring the RB. It shows his athleticism.
Explosion Off The Snap
2:36 This is an example of why I'm so excited about Peat. Look at his explosion off the snap. He's the first one out of the snap and into his pass protection set. That's freakish. What's more important is that he does it consistently. The biggest issue that he has is with technique but you can't teach that type of quick twitch athleticism.
Athleticism and Strength on Display
2:45 He's not going up against just any pass rusher, that's Hau'oli Kikaha, the NCAA's best pass rusher. He controls him easily here. You see the explosion off the snap, the movement skills that he has to recover from the outside pass rush, and the hands to control and negate any chance the opponent has. He doesn't let go.
The Ability to Mirror/Footwork
6:27 One more time, you see his footwork. He's able to mirror Kikaha effectively, despite all the space in between. Kikaha weighs 245 pounds, while Peat is 313. He's able to match him step-for-step. No small feat.
Lapses In Technique And Judgement
7:08 Let's finish with Peat's worst play of the game. I rated this as a "hit" given up, even though it's borderline. You can see that is a lapse in judgement by Peat. He thinks his punch is going to be strong enough to knock Kikaha away. It isn't, and he's forced to see the bend that Kikaha exhibits. You can see in the other pass protection sets that he usually stays flat to the LOS. What that means is that as he begins his kick slide, his shoulders are more parallel to the line of scrimmage. In this play, you can see him turn his shoulders BEFORE he initiates contact with the defender, and that provides a lane (or what scouts call an "open door" for Kikaha to take). All of his pressures came that way. That's just lazy, and it's unacceptable. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often at all.
Game Charting and Stats
Total Snaps: 62
Total Grade: +4.8
Run Block Snaps: 28
Run Block Grade: +2.6
Pass Block Snaps: 34
Pass Block Grade: +2.2
QB Sacks Allowed: 0
QB Hits Allowed: 1
QB Hurries Allowed: 3
Is Peat a "dynamic right tackle"? I think so.
Where he wins:
His length makes it impossible for an edge rusher to get an outside angle on him if he gets into his pass protection set. At 6-foot-7, 313 pounds, he's got prototype length to keep them at bay. His quickness off the snap is sublime and it's probably his best asset. He gets into his stance so quickly that he's in position to mirror his opponent almost instantaneously. His footwork is very good for a man his size and that's what should make him not only a very strong right tackle prospect, but a left tackle on,e too.
Where he loses:
It's all about technique. He's got some laziness to him, and you saw it from that last GIF. He sometimes gets characterized as "soft" which is unfair, I think. He's got periods of it, but then you also see some nastiness as well. That results in technique issues. He waist bends far too much for somebody that athletic and it puts away the advantages he has from a size/speed standpoint.
The real point is, are his issues fixable? That's very subjective, but in my opinion, yes. You can teach proper technique. Oftentimes, what seems to happen is that he gets out of the snap so quickly that he is waiting for the defender to reach him and that leads to breaking technique and waist bending. The traits he possesses are intangibles and ones that could really make him a special player.
Those that criticize him for not having a killer instinct have a fair point, for sure. La'el Collins and Brandon Scherff are far more nasty than he is. That doesn't mean Peat can't be a bit of a monster, however, and it doesn't mean he can't develop a mean streak in the pros. Will Beatty did, and I suspect there's something to work with there: