When 2015 started, nobody but northeast regional scouts likely knew who Hobart offensive tackle Ali Marpet was. Marpet's name first started to emerge in the media at large when the Senior Bowl rosters were announced. At first he was something of a curiosity, a Division III lineman trying to show he belonged among the best seniors in the nation.
Then reports started coming out of practices that not only was Marpet fitting in with the big school prospects, he was performing as well as they were. He continued his strong showing in the game itself, dealing well with the opposing defensive linemen, and helping to open holes for a great rushing attack.
Then the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine rolled around and we all got our chance to get a better look at the prospect from Hobart. Marpet answered the bell by not only showing up and competing, but testing out as one of the most athletic linemen in the class. He recorded the fastest 40-yard dash, and was the second-best performer in the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle -- behind Oregon's Jake Fisher in both events .
- NFL size at 6-foot-4, 307 pounds
- Very quick feet while still showing power
- Mechanically sound, and shows advanced technique
- Aggressive player with a nasty streak
- Dominated his level of competition
- Has seized upon every opportunity to compete in the draft process, and stood out every time
- Grew up a Giants fan, and wants to be a Giant
- Played for Hobart. How he will handle the jump in competition is an unknown.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Marpet projects to play a position of need for the Giants, has the length the Giants tend to covet in players, the strength and agility to play either a man or zone blocking scheme. More importantly, he seems to have the personality to fit in perfectly with the Giants' team concept. He is a well-spoken, apparently intelligent young man, who has taken every opportunity to compete with big-school prospects, and has showed he belongs.
Not only is he a guy who fits what the Giants want to do, he strikes me as a player that the coaches, Tom Coughlin in particular, would absolutely love. In fact, if I had to come up with an NFL comparison, he's beginning to remind me of Chris Snee. I won't say that Marpet will become a top-five guard like Snee was, but his combination of feet, power, and toughness is very Snee-like.
Here is a Senior Bowl interview with Marpet that also shows some highlights of his work there.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - No. 84
Mocking The Draft - Not in Top -100 (as of 12/12/14)
CBS Sports - 80th overall
Draft Countdown - Not In Top 100
Draft Tek - 74
Marpet's draft process should be an interesting one to watch unfold. He has all the traits an NFL team is looking for in a starting lineman. He has the size and build, long arms, quick feet, and has seized every opportunity to compete. However, playing at Hobart, how he would deal with the size, strength, athleticism, and complexity of NFL defenses is even more of an unknown than a 'normal' offensive line prospect.
In an interview after the combine, Marpet admitted that given his druthers, he wanted to be a Giant. He grew up in Westchester County, and Hobart is a small school upstate. The Giants have reportedly shown interest in Marpet, and he would certainly fit the team.
I'm starting to think that if the Giants want to make Marpet's dream of playing for the team he grew up rooting for, they might have to make him their third, or even second-round draft choice. Far, far sooner than anyone expected as the process started.