It’s easy to focus on the high-profile or flashy prospects in advance of the NFL Draft. They’re the ones that get all the press and great prospects are just easier to scout.
But while it would be nice to have 53 high-profile players on your roster, teams can’t be made up that way. Teams need to scour depth charts and find players who might not have national profiles but skill-sets that fit what the team wants to do.
Michigan right tackle Andrew Stueber is one such player. He certainly isn’t flashy and gets the job done more with bloody-minded competitive toughness than elite athleticism. Stueber will likely have to change positions at the NFL level, but he could at least provide valuable depth for teams and he could have starting upside for a team with the right scheme fit.
Could he be a potential piece for the New York Giants?
Games Played (starts): 34 (22 starts)
Best: Play strength, run blocking, competitive toughness, versatility
Worst: Lateral quickness, change of direction
Projection: A guard with the potential to start in the right scheme and provide upside as tackle depth
(Stueber is RT number 71)
Michigan’s Andrew Stueber is a big, stout, experienced, and competitive offensive lineman with potential versatility at the NFL level.
Stueber sports a thick build, listed at 6-foot-7 and 338 pounds, with a (relatively) low center of gravity and evident power in his upper and lower halves. He has a relatively flexible lower body, and is able to bend his knees and sink his hips to play with good pad level. Stueber does a good job of sitting into his stance and keeping his pads low as both a run and pass blocker.
He does a surprisingly good job of getting to his landmarks on the edge as an offensive tackle. Stueber is able to match up against most edge rushers he saw and is easily able to anchor against power. He has very good play strength and is able to anchor or re-anchor against bull rushes and uses his power to disrupt speed rushers who try to take him on directly.
Stueber is a powerful run blocker who is able to execute in multiple blocking schemes. He is at his best as a man-gap blocker and is able to drive blockers off of the ball as well as play in space as a pulling lineman. Stueber is athletic enough to stay in phase on zone blocks, particularly inside zone, and works up to the second level well. He plays with a wide base and generally works to establish inside leverage with good hand placement.
He shows good awareness on the field, picking up late pressure and making key blocks at the second level. Stueber has great competitive toughness and works to sustain his blocks for as long as he can, as well as finish with the defenders on the ground.
Stueber is a limited athlete for the tackle position at the NFL level. And while he can hit his landmarks on pass sets, his change of direction skills are limited. He can be slow to redirect and struggles dealing with athletic pass rushers who make inside moves. That could make a move inside to guard a necessity at the NFL level.
Stueber is also more “powerful” than “explosive” and doesn’t consistently fire off the ball or deliver a hard jolt with his punches.
Overall Grade: 6.9
Andrew Stueber projects best as a guard with starting upside in a power-based blocking scheme.
The bulk of Stueber’s starts have been at the right tackle position, and that experience could give him valuable versatility for a team in a pinch, but his athletic traits likely make him a better guard than tackle at the NFL level. He would likely have his greatest upside for a team that uses man-gap and inside zone concepts as the basis of its blocking schemes.
Stueber is athletic enough to be used as a pulling guard on “pin and pull” blocks or counter runs, and he does a good job of working off of double teams or releasing to the second level. His build gives him a relatively low center of gravity for his height and he has enough lower-body flexibility to not lose leverage against interior defensive linemen. Stueber has plenty of power, play strength, and competitive toughness to deal with defensive tackles on a down-to-down basis.
While he has enough athleticism to play on the edge against most pass rushers, Stueber might struggle against NFL speed at offensive tackle, particularly considering how he struggled blocking inside moves. That said, his ability to provide depth or even be a spot starter at right tackle should give him added value over other mid (or later) round guard prospects.