One of the best parts of every year’s draft process is watching players emerge from small schools to make names for themselves. A couple years ago that was Ali Marpet from Hobart, last year it was Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky. This year that player might just be Alex Cappa from Humboldt.
New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman talked about “grinding tape” to uncover hidden gems, particularly along the offensive line, and that is what Cappa just might be. He has already generated buzz for his on-field demeanor, but is there a viable NFL offensive tackle there as well?
- Nasty. Plays a very angry brand of football, always looking to finish every block with the defender on the ground.
- Athletic player. Moves well in his kick-slide as well as out in space.
- Surprisingly good hand usage. Generally keeps his hands up and tries to lock in on the center
- Appears to have good flexibility in his knees and ankles.
- Tendency to grab and throw defenders will likely lead to holding calls in the NFL.
- Hand usage is better than expected but still occasionally lets his hands get outside defenders’ framework
- Played against a much lower level of competition. There will be a sharp learning curve in the NFL
- Very inaccurate on cut blocks.
What they’re saying
What immediately leaps off the field watching Cappa is how ridiculously NASTY his game is. In the three games of his that I was able to watch, I counted 34 “takedowns” where he threw defenders to the ground.
There is certainly a large amount of projection involved when scouting him for the NFL. He simply out-classed the division-II defenders he faced on a weekly basis. However, looking at his traits, he has the requisite frame and athleticism to play offensive tackle in the NFL. His movements are free and easy, with good coordination, balance, and technique.
Cappa’s tendency to grab and throw defenders will likely result in holding penalties at the next level, and he won’t be able to toss NFL players around like the defenders he faced in college. But that being said, his mean streak will serve him well and if he has the work ethic to go along with it, I wouldn’t want to bet against him.