The New York Giants have nothing but questions on their offensive interior. They have a lot of players who might be able to play guard or center, but they don’t know how many of them could be long-term answers.
Fortunately for the Giants, they have a very flexible and versatile coaching staff who aren’t beholden to many philosophies beyond coaching to players’ strengths. That’s good considering how many different body types there are among interior offensive linemen and scheme fits there are.
For instance, Louisville guard Caleb Chandler is a natural fit for an athletic Shanahan-style zone blocking scheme, but probably wouldn’t fit a team that’s looking for hulking bulldozers up front.
Prospect: Caleb Chandler (55)
Games Watched: vs. Florida State (2021), vs. Syracuse (2022), vs. Florida State (2022), vs. Wake Forest (2022)
Weight: 297 pounds
Games Played: 53 (13 in 2022)
Best: Length, movement skills, experience, technique, zone blocking
Worst: Play strength, man-gap/power blocking
Projection: A starting guard or developmental center in a zone blocking scheme
Louisville’s Caleb Chandler is an experienced and (relatively) leanly built interior offensive line prospect.
Chandler has started an impressive 53 games since arriving on the Louisville campus back in 2017. He is highly regarded around the Louisville program and was named first team All ACC following the 2021 season. Chandler has primarily played left guard for the Cardinals and is heavily involved in all of their blocking schemes. He has very good athletic traits and lower-body fluidity for an interior offensive lineman, which Louisville exploited.
Louisville primarily employed a zone blocking scheme, and Chandler was easily able to stay in sync with his linemates. His athleticism allows him to stress defenses laterally and block accurately on the move. He has plenty of quickness and agility to mirror speed on the interior of the line, both matching up with quicker defensive tackles as well as picking up delayed blitzes from the second level. Chandler has very good awareness and is seldom surprised by stunts, twists, or blitzes. He’s a natural knee bender who maintains solid hip and pad level throughout the play, allowing him to maximize his play strength. He also has solid technique and hand usage, routinely finding defenders chest plates and getting good extension to control opponents.
Chandler’s athleticism also makes him a good pulling guard, quick to the second level, and is frequently used in space on screen plays.
He has a good understanding of leverage, both his own personal leverage and how to use angles to seal defenders from the play. Chandler routinely blocks larger defenders by taking half-man leverage and rotating them away from the play.
While Chandler’s frame and movement skills are the strength of his game, he has limited play strength. He can struggle to match power head-on, and can be shoved into the backfield by larter bull-rushers. Chandler also has a tendency to lunge when asked to block downhill on man-gap runs. His play strength is heavily dependant on maintaining leverage, and he can struggle to maintain his blocks – and his balance – when he gets out over his skis.
Overall Grade: 7.0
Caleb Chandler’s projection will be heavily influenced by the philosophy of the team scouting him.
He has a relatively lean frame and lacks great play strength, which means that he’ll have limited value for a team that favors a power running game and downhill blocking. However, he could be viewed as a starting guard by teams that favor athletic offensive linemen and run a zone blocking scheme. Chandler’s athleticism is an asset and he can be used in a variety of ways by an offensive scheme. Teams that frequently ask their linemen to block in space will appreciate his movement skills. Likewise, he has the technique and hand usage to start early in his career for the right team – which would be useful considering his age.
Teams may look at Chandler as a potential convert to center at the NFL level. While he would likely struggle against bigger 0-technique nose tackles, his quickness, agility, and experience would all be assets for a center. Even being viewed as a potential depth piece at center could improve Chandler’s value and draft stock.