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Austin Corbett — Draft’s biggest offensive line sleeper

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-South Practice Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

No, you are not experiencing deja vu with Austin Corbett listed here and at the center position. In fact, if you had a chance to glance at all the team draft boards, Corbett might be listed at guard, center and tackle - the ultimate plug-and-play guy. More likely, the collegiate left tackle will shift inside. He proved highly capable at center during 2018 Senior Bowl practices, but some team might prefer that he starts out at guard, as calling blocking assignment by a rookie center is not a wise move.

Corbett’s Offensive Impact…Among the 32 scores recorded by the ground game during those 24 contests, Corbett registered 26 touchdown-resulting blocks (81.25% of their running scores)…The Wolf Pack passing attack accounted for 48 scoring strikes during that time frame, with Corbett accounting for 26 more touchdown-resulting blocks (54.17% of the aerial scores)…His blocking consistency grade for those 24 appearances included 14 games where he recorded marks of 90% or better (58.33% of the games), including in each of his final seven starting assignments.

2017 Season...Corbett received All-American Sleeper Team honors from The NFL Draft Report, based on Scouting Service Inc.’s statistical research that saw the senior compile the best blocking consistency grades for any left tackle at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level, as he broke his own previous school season-record with a grade of 93.66%.

Body Structure...Corbett has good bone structure, with a thick midsection, wide hips, big back, good bubble, thick thighs and calves. He displays natural strength and has room on his frame to potentially add more growth, especially if a team projects him as a guard. With his wide shoulders and barrel chest, he uses his natural power well to come off the line and generate movement. He has good arm length and very strong hands that he uses with authority. With his big bubble, thick legs and strong anchor, it is hard for defensive linemen in attempts to try and walk Corbett back into the pocket.

Athletic Ability...Corbett has excellent athletic ability, displaying good initial explosion off the line. He is very nimble for a lineman and while he has adequate timed speed, he gets out on traps and pulls in a hurry, maintaining balance throughout his stride. With his ability to engage defenders in an instant coming off the snap, he might be a better guard or even center candidate at the next level, once he gains NFL experience. He shows impressive agility and balance on the move and has the change of direction flexibility to redirect and clear cut back lanes working into the second level. He demonstrates proper knee bend and plays at a low pad level, which helps him be successful in gaining leverage, as he has no problem getting lower than his opponent and keeping his hands inside his frame. He has the physical tools to be a productive starting left guard at the next level due to his quick feet to get into position to make the blocks on the move or working in unison with his tackle and center on double-teams. He is an exceptional hand puncher with the arm quickness to possibly find a home at center at the next level.

Football Sense... Corbett is an excellent student with numerous academic honors. He doesn’t need reps to retain and is very capable of handling the mental aspect of blocking schemes. He shows good field awareness for the position and the instincts to make proper adjustments on the move vs. different schemes. He is very alert on the field and excels at picking up stunts and games (see 2017 Northwestern, Colorado State and Air Force; 2016 Fresno State and New Mexico games). With his ability to retain plays and know all of the position assignments up front, he could be a natural handling blocking assignments at an interior line position (right guard or center).

Initial Quickness ...Corbett has good initial quickness and maintains that speed when going long distances, but in getting off the line of scrimmage, he simply explodes into a defender. He has very good hand quickness to lock on, steer out and control his man. He gets into his blocks with ease and is quick to gain advantage, showing the functional phone booth acceleration to gain position when working in-line. His body control and balance allows him to shock the defender coming off the ball and his lateral agility lets him maintain position working the corner. He is also adept at keeping his base when moving to the second level to cut off the linebackers. He flashes proper knee bend and his feet are much quicker moving laterally than most players his size. The thing you see on film (see 2016 Cal Poly, Wyoming and UNLV; 2017 Hawaii, Colorado State and Air Force games) is that he is light on his feet and keeps his head on a swivel, which helps him quickly react to movement.

Lateral Movement...The reason I like Corbett as a potential pulling guard is the way he maintains balance working laterally down the line and in getting into the cutback lanes while working in the second level. The reason I love him as a tackle is his short area explosion and low pad level to gain leverage and create space widening rush lanes or getting into stalking position in the second level when on the move. Corbett has very good lateral quickness, especially when asked to get in front on traps and pulls, making some team feel he could be an ideal offensive guard. He gets out of his stance with good pad level and hand punch to neutralize the bull rushers and shows good mobility to pick up edge rushers that might beat his offensive tackle in attempts to gain penetration. The thing you see on film is his ability to adjust his feet on the move (see 2017 Hawaii and Air Force; 2016 Wyoming and UNLV games).

Balance/Stays On Feet... Corbett has a very strong anchor, thanks to his big bubble, thick legs and low pad level. He takes choppy steps and is a classic short strider who knows how to keep his legs churning while maintaining a strong power base with his thighs and calves. He seems to be always ready for contact. He is a savvy blocker whose low center of gravity lets him get under a defender’s pads to grab, hold and jerk down. He also knows how to use his base to take the defensive tackle where he wants him to go (see 2016 Buffalo, Purdue and Wyoming; 2017 Northwestern. Hawaii and Air Force games), as he will usually get enough momentum to wash his man out of the play. He plays with good balance and a strong base, doing a nice job of playing with a flat back and his pads down. It is very rare to see him get a little off- balance with twists, as he will generally get good fits. He keeps his feet wide to seal off on times when he has to get out on the edge and is quick to recover when beaten. He does a good job staying up and on his blocks, as he plays with leverage while keeping his feet under him. He also has very good hand strength to lock up and is quite effective at sustaining his feet on the move.

Explosion/Pop...Corbett has excellent weight room strength and while some scouts might think it does not translate to the field (they want him as a mauler), he knows exactly when to finesse or overpower his man. Considering he’s been penalized just three times during his last two seasons (two false starts/one personal foul), I’d much rather have him be a technician than get reckless in his play just so he can dominate his man. He is very active with his hands and he has the force to rock defensive lineman back on their heels. He hits with a thud working in-line and generates a lot of pop on scramble, scoop and down blocks. The thing I like most about him is his ability to strike with sudden force, as he applies his hand punch with impact, pop and good surge. He is a very good short yardage blocker, staying low in his pads while driving with his legs to clear the rush lanes.

Run Blocking... Corbett has that low center of gravity and strong hand punch to widen and maintain the rush lanes. He does a nice job of aiming for the defender’s upper hip or thigh, as he also knows how to use his shoulders to control the opponent. He has the hand strength and the drop-step agility to engage the defender in a gap to his left or right, doing a nice job of cutting off the defender’s pursuit. He is equally effective as a driver or getting position to turn his man. He also does a nice job of getting out on second level opponents (see 2017 Northwestern, Hawaii and Air Force; 2016 Buffalo and UNLV games). He shows good glide ability and the loose hips needed to loop around the center on trap blocks and has a strong concept for taking angles on downfield blocks. He plays with good leverage, as he uses his upper body strength well to get into the defender’s jersey coming off the snap. He stays on feet with run blocks, play flat-footed with good balance and a low pad level to widen and sustain the rush lanes. When he brings his hips and strikes on contact, he is effective on screens, showing good finishing ability to wall off. He likes using his size to move out or latch on to defenders while using his solid upper body strength and hand placement to control.

Pass Blocking...Corbett has allowed just four sacks and three pressures on close to 1,400 offensive snaps over the last two years. He shows a strong anchor working inside and while he might get out-quicked some vs. outside edge rushers when protecting the pocket, he can easily recover and get back in on the action. He keeps his head on a swivel to pick up stunts and he certainly has the strength and body mass to anchor vs. a bull rush. It is very rare to see him lunge or over-extend, as he knows how to maintain balance rather than push too much weight forward. When he does get beaten, it is on occasions when he will false step. Earlier in his career, he would bend at his waist, which let rushers walk him back into the pocket, but if a team plants him in the pivot, he has enough footwork and kick slide to lock on to a defender and ride his man out. He takes good sets in pass protection and plays under control, keeping a wide base and his head on a swivel to pick up stunts. He has the ability to get in front to neutralize the bull rusher and the functional knee bend needed by an interior blocker when moving out to angle in isolated coverage. He has a strong pass set up and the size to occupy space, but can also sit and anchor to shut down the bull rush. On the rare times that he does get a bit straight-legged, he manages to generate a good base and anchor to maintain position.

Pulling/Trapping ...Corbett has worked hard to maintain his low pad level on short pulls. He has the skills to reach and control vs. the three-techs and has become alert to keeping his head on a swivel rather than ducking it upon contact. He has the ability to pull, run, angle and find his second level targets. He does have valid long distance quickness, which might make his skills more suited for an interior position where he can utilize that asset on pulls and traps. You also have to like the way he hits his targets with good effort and authority on the move. He shows the ability to kick out or seal with efficiency. He does a nice job of keeping his shoulders square when delivering base blocks and attacks the defender with a good, flat back. He takes good angles working in-line and when operating in the second level and is able to adjust with ease to a moving target. He shows a good reach in space and is quite effective keeping his feet in front of him on short traps (see 2017 North-western and Hawaii games).

Adjust on Linebacker Downfield...Corbett is very alert adjusting to blitzes and stunts. He does a nice job delivering chip blocks and cut-offs working in the second level. Before moving off the line, he knows it is important to throw a quick block on the pass rusher so another lineman can take a better angle on the opponent. The thing I like on film is his ability to fire out very low from his stance, using full force to drive into the front of the defender’s hips and scramble into his blocking assignment. He just shows that good space movement you want from a trap blocker and since he keeps his head on a swivel, he has good success looking up people when working down field. When he gets into the second level, he quickly gains position to screen and wall off. He gets into space smoothly when blocking on screens and takes proper angles to obliterate linebackers that dare get into his path. He also shows the agility to cut off and pick up his man while on the move.

Use of Hands/Punch...Corbett has a bone-jarring hand punch and if he is the first to get his mitts on a defender, the battle is quickly over and won. He is a physical hand placement type who not only shoots with a strong punch, but keeps his hands within his frame for proper placement. He has the arm length and upper body flexibility to get extension and separation while keeping his anchor, thanks to his wide base and quick feet. He is also quite effective at grabbing and holding on without the refs catching on. He places his hands well, doing a nice job of leaning into his man to steer the opponent wide.

Reactions/Awareness...As a pass protector, few interior linemen show the awareness vs. stunts and blitzes like Corbett. He shows a good kick out to slide laterally and ride the defender out and plays with a nice flat-footed approach. He has very good awareness and vision to neutralize twists and is efficient coming off initial blocks to locate a secondary target. He knows how to use his size and upper body power to widen the rush lanes and is very conscious of working in unison with his tackle and center to prevent back side pressure on the pocket. He also does a nice job when he sits and recovers inside. He also displays a great feel on double teams, whether it is aiming high at the defender’s numbers or aiming low and attacking his man at the hips.

Compares To...Dion Dawkins-Temple…Like Dawkins, Corbett might not have that “what football gods want” size and bulk to play left tackle in the NFL, but Dawkins, like Corbett, was projected to move to guard with the Bills, but in just a part of the season, he has already established himself as their left tackle. If moved to guard or center, I am confident that Corbett’s ability to work in unison with other blockers on double teams will be critical. I really like him better as a tackle, as he has that forward burst and lower pad level to easily defeat a defender lined up over his head or sealing the edge with his remarkably fluid kick slide. He is also effective on traps and pulls working the short areas, which again will open a debate in some team war rooms if he is really a guard or just a technically sound smaller than ideal tackle.At either position, he will be a valuable commodity.