The worst news we can get is that a player was injured at the NFL Scouting Combine, or in training for the Combine.
It’s bad enough when NFL players suffer injuries in games, or even training on their own. It’s far worse when prospects pursuing their dreams suffer an injury trying to get drafted. That’s what happened to USC guard Andrew Vorhees, who suffered a torn ACL at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.
Vorhees was on track to be one of the first interior offensive linemen drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is big, strong, athletic, and versatile — not to mention a very nasty blocker. But now his draft stock, and future, have been thrown into question.
Vorhees tragedy could turn into a boon for some NFL team, who could get a very good lineman far later in the draft than he should go.
Games Played: 55 (11 in 2022)
Best: Competitive toughness, play strength, leverage, movement skills, versatility
Worst: Arm length, hand placement, injury
Projection: A starting guard (and reserve tackle) with scheme and positional versatility.
(Vorhees is left guard number 72)
USC offensive guard Andrew Vorhees has a great blend of size, movement skills, play strength, and competitive toughness to play the position at the NFL level.
Vorhees is a big guard at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, but carries his size well with excellent play strength as well as short-area quickness, agility, and long speed. Vorhees has experience at multiple positions, with the majority of his starts coming at right guard, as well as starting at left guard in 2022, and a pair of starts at left tackle.
USC asked Vorhees to execute a wide variety of schemes and techniques. He is able to execute inside and outside zone blocks, downhill man-gap power blocks, pull to the opposite C gap on counter runs, or climb to the second level off of guard-center double teams. He does a good job of creating movement along the line of scrimmage in both man and zone runs and plays with a definite nasty streak. Vorhees is also a capable pass protector, who has the agility to mirror speed on the interior as well as the play strength to anchor against power.
Vorhees has good lower-body flexibility and is a “natural knee bender”. He plays with good hip and pad level, largely compensating for his height.
The biggest concern for Vorhees is clearly the torn ACL he suffered at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. It was reportedly a “clean” tear, but it could well delay his rookie year until 2024. It’s far too early to say whether or how much he is impacted by the injury. Likewise, it’s too early to speculate on what kind of impact it will have on his draft stock.
On the field, Vorhees can occasionally struggle with his hand placement. His hands can drift outside of defenders’ framework when he’s executing reach blocks. Likewise, his short (32 ⅛ inch) arms can show up against longer defenders who are able to get their hands on him first. In either instance, Vorhees can be “grabby” as he fights to sustain blocks without inside leverage. That could draw holding penalties at the NFL level.
Vorhees is also tall for a guard, and while he has a flexible lower body, he can occasionally allow his knees to straighten and hips rise. That can compromise his impressive play strength and open him up to being bull-rushed by defensive tackles playing with better pad level.
Overall Grade: 7.5
Andrew Vorhees projects as a starting guard with positional and scheme versatility at the NFL level – at least assuming a full recovery.
Bottom line up front, Vorhees’ draft stock and evaluation are compromised by the torn ACL he suffered at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. It’s a massive variable and much is in the hands of the doctors at this point.
On the field, Vorhees is one of the best interior offensive linemen in this draft class. He has the lower body flexibility to compensate for his 6-foot-6 stature, good mobility, and plenty of play strength. Vorhees has starts at right guard, left guard, and even left tackle. Likewise, USC’s blocking scheme makes use of inside and outside zone, man-gap blocks, and frequently asked Vorhees to pull or climb to the second level. He was able to execute both positions and all of the schemes well.
He needs to clean up his hand usage and placement a bit, and his unconventional frame (his height but short arms) could create some problems at the NFL level if his technique slips.
But perhaps what stands out the most with Vorhees is his competitive toughness. Not only is he a mauler on the field, but he still made sure to compete on the bench press despite the torn ACL – and still paced the offensive line group with 38 reps.