OLBlind Former NFL Scout Takes the Blind Tape Test – Offensive Linemen

All images from 247sports.com

In our last Blind Tape Test we asked former OU and NFL RB Mossis Madu to look at Michael Warren, Joe Mixon and Nathan Starks. Here were the results: http://thefootballbrainiacs.com/?p=1773

The Blind Tape Test (like the blind taste test that was popular in the 80s with Coke and Pepsi) is where we give a former player or scout film to watch on certain high school recruits that Oklahoma may be interested in and we ask them to give us an evaluation of those players. We do not give the evaluator any information about the players in terms of their offers or recruiting background or anything of the sort. In fact we don’t even tell them what state they are from or what school they play for. They know little more than the size of the player. It’s all about the tape and what they see. We don’t offer our thoughts on the player prior to them viewing the tape. Our goal with these are to continue giving our readers the opinion of football guys on football players.

In our second edition of the Blind Tape test we asked Chris Trulove, former NFL scout and coordinator of pro scouting for the Denver Broncos to take a look at the following interior offensive linemen: Demetrius Knox, Jonathan Alvarez, Alex Dalton and Jordan Sims. Here were the results:

Jonathan AlvarezInterior mauler.  Alvarez is a strong player in the box.  He is an above average athlete in terms of body quickness and agility but is very strong, especially with the hands. His initial quickness at the snap is above average and he can be a bit deliberate getting on blockers.  Once he locks on, he has good power and to finish.  While not explosive in terms of contact, he does have some real nasty to finish blockers and grind em into the ground.  He is better at the LOS than on the move or at the second level.  While his angles are good he plays with only average range.  He is effective in pass protection with a strong punch and does have good power to anchor.  Good power to make it onto the college field earlier than some but may lack enough upside to be an elite performer. GRADE: 3.3

Alex DaltonLove this kid’s mentality.  You want guys like this on your team.  He’s nasty.  Dalton has good length and has room to put on collegiate muscle.  He is an above average athlete that makes up for any shortcomings with pure nasty effort to finish off defenders all the way to the whistle every down.  In the run game, he comes off the ball nice and low, has very good hand placement, locks on, and tries to punish.  He has a very good feel for walling off defenders at the 2nd level and has above average agility and balance to adjust on the move.  He has good length to be an effective pass blocker but will need to improve his lower unit power to have an effective anchor vs the bull rush.  His added bonus material is his experience as a short and long snapper in the kicking game.  This could get him on the field early in his college career while he hits the training table.  May get overpowered at times early in his college career by the BIG BOYS but with added bulk and muscle, this guy will make his coaches sleep better at night.  Football player. GRADE: 3.7 

Demetrius KnoxKnox has very good size with a powerful lower unit.  He is a very good athlete.   He has good quickness at the snap and comes off the ball low and powerfully in the run game.  He gets under defenders and roots them out well.  He drives the legs and overpowers most defenders with ease.  He has good lateral agility to adjust his path and he does like to finish the blocks.  He will be a very effective run blocker at the college level.  He flashes intensity but it needs to be more consistent to be a dominant player.   Knox has the base and agility to be very effective in pass pro as well but like many will need continued footwork and hand placement improvement. He will not give much ground to the bull rush but will need to craft his angles and timing. He has very good physical tools and upside with refinement.    Well rounded ability to play in the box, on the move, or in pass protection.    Not a finished product, but with dedicated focus, he could be a very good one. GRADE: 3.8

Jordan SimsTruck.  This guy can grade some roads.  Massive young man that uses his mass to totally overwhelm high school opponents.  He has below avg knee and ankle bend as well as only average initial and overall body quickness.  Takes some false steps at the snap in the run game but overcomes them with his size advantage.  Has above average body balance on the move with average quickness.  He does have a mean streak to finish blocks and when he does finish, defenders suffer.  He has very good length and anchor in pass pro and with the right technique focus he will be tough to beat on the interior.  Better box player than on the move.  Has the nature size and power to play early at the next level but will need to be in the right scheme to be special.  Tremendous upside with the right situation and dedication to improving conditioning and agility.  Boom or bust – it’s up to him. GRADE: 3.9

 

  • Jordan Esco

    LOVE this feature!

    • bjwalker82

      Ditto. More please!

      • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

        We wanna get more to you believe me!

  • Scott

    When are you guys doing the QB scouting?

    • Jordan Esco

      I’ve been told it’s in the works.

    • Jordan Esco

      K says they got their guy. So hopefully you’ll see it here soon.

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      I think you’ll like who we got to do the evaluation too ;)

      • Scott

        Is there a way to search all of the player evaluations you have done or look at who has had the highest rankings?

        • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

          not yet. There will be in the rebuild this spring.

      • CoachStauder

        You get JWhite?

        • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

          Someone along those lines…;)

  • Scott

    Jordan nice seeing you on this site.

    • Jordan Esco

      Happy to be here and nice to see you as well!

  • Scott

    When will the FB do the QB feature?

    • Super K

      Soon :)

  • Jordan Esco

    I’m assuming more were already aware, but in the event some are not. Both Alvarez & Dalton are OU commits. Knox is an Ohio State commit. While Sims is currently uncommitted, but believed to be favoring Alabama, UCLA, & Florida State among others.

    • pitbull17

      Thanks, I was knew of Alvarez and Dalton but hadn’t heard of the other two. I don’t follow recruiting too closely, I can’t bring myself to get excited until they have signed.

    • CoachStauder

      Sims is an Ole Miss lean from what I’ve read.

      • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

        Loves Bama. We just need to get him on campus.

        • CoachStauder

          Does he have a Bama offer? I can’t consider anyone a lean if they don’t have a legit offer. If he does, touche.

          • Super K

            Being asked to grey shirt by Bama.

          • pitbull17

            Saban does that all the time, It has to be hard to convince kids to do that. I guess when you’ve got 3 National Titles you can get away with it.

  • dahldennsull

    It’s too bad we couldn’t do this feature with more O-line commits and had to use 2 guys we likely won’t even land. Really wish we could get Pruitt to flip.

    • Jordan Esco

      Fair point. But they are still useful as a comp for the guys we do have that some people either might not be that excited about compared to the others (mainly b/c of who they’re committed to or being pursued by) or are ranked lower by the big recruiting services than they should be.

    • Super K

      Yeah we asked trulove to look at those so that folks could have a frame of reference. Knox is considered by some to be the top interior OL in the country

      • Indy_sooner

        I understood that basis as well. Lest people forget, Dalton was a “3 star” when he committed and was only recently bumped up to “4″ and within 250. *#sarcastic gasp* That his upside was clearly higher than the initial ranking is hardly surprising

        Dalton’s proximity to Sims’ evaluation confirms this and the coaches knew what they were doing. Yes, more OL heads would be ideal, but cannot say there’s no effort- There’s a long way till NSD with the likes of Braden Smith still on the table.

        • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

          Don’t forget Jovan Pruitt. Mama ain’t crazy about the distance to Arky either.

    • dahldennsull

      Oh yeah guys, don’t get me wrong. Love the feature, just more disappointed with our O-line recruiting this year, as I trust Bedenbaugh and think he will reel in some top guys soon, just sucks that some young talent doesn’t see the opportunity they have at OU and would rather play at some of these bottom tier SEC teams than a Big 12 champion several times over.

      Agree it’s good for a point of reference, just wish it was something where we had about 4 of ours, and then the top kid thrown in for reference.

      • Jordan Esco

        They’ve really struggled with OT prospects. Still a couple out there they have a legit shot w/ that could change that, but there’s no denying where they stand today (and it’s not a good standing, IMO).

      • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

        Good news is that we’ll do more of these. If we’re able to pull out a win against Bama, it’ll help our recruiting in so many ways. This feature is in our plans to be a staple of what we do, and we plan on having several different sources to tap. We wanted to show our guys measure up in the eyes of someone who used to do it for a living. With Orso as his teammate, you never know if we’ll be able to get Sims on campus for a visit. If that happens…

        • Jared Tyra

          Your second sentence makes me very happy hahaha

          • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

            We need to get old testament on em for sure.

  • soonerthunder

    this is the kind of stuff I’m interested in. gets me excited about football. Unrelated, but related (to OU), will TK or Thompson be able to play? Will Colvin, Shead, Shannon be a lot better (in health), or even well? Anybody else’s health a concern (minus Evans, Nelson, Phillips, etc, who I know won’t play).

    • Jordan Esco

      Knight is back at practice, all good there.

      Stoops said Monday that both Tyrus Thompson and Adam Shead will not be available for the bowl game. So unless something changes, expect to see Farniok at LT and Irwin/Kasitati at the guard spots.

      • soonerthunder

        Thank you! Colvin and Shannon’s health (I thought I heard Shannon was pretty beat up at end of the year, that’s only reason I’m asking about him; I know Colvin was)?

        • Jordan Esco

          Shannon is fine as far as I know. Colvin is a turf toe, which only really ever improves w/ rest (or surgery I suppose). So he’ll just have to gut it out like he’s done most of the year. I believe his shoulder is or will be fine by game day.

        • Sooner_Ace

          understood completely, gotta have a lil’ fun with it though :)

      • Sooner_Ace

        good farniok or the ghost of Farniok past? (Sorry could not resist)

        • Jordan Esco

          Watch out talking bad about Farniok, JY will come get ya!

          • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

            Nah I won’t get you. No doubt the guy needs to improve, but he’s far from a bad football player. He’s a guy that needs some more work at game speed and some more training. Pretty normal if you ask me.

  • JD

    I believe Sims is Orso’s teammate…maybe that will help us out some. If he has a Bama offer then I’d see him going there unless there’s a big shake up (like Saban leaving)

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      He is Dwayne’s teammate. I’d love to get him.

  • JD

    Nice write up btw

  • dahldennsull

    Sounds like Denzel Ward isn’t taking his OU trip now in January, so mark off one more HS OT from our board. Not sure what is going on

    • Jordan Esco

      Yep, no bueno.

  • Will Narramore

    Does OU have any sort of chance with Kenyon Frison or is he solid on his Utah commititment?

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      We gotta do some sniffing around on that one, because I kind of find it odd that Denzel Ward would just turn us down unless we told him we had somethin else cookin…

      • Will Narramore

        Thanks buddy. Good work as always. Y’all are quickly climbing up my most visited sites page haha

        • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

          Thanks man. K’s been travelling for the last few days, but we’ll get some good content out tomorrow and the rest of this week. We’ll find out what’s goin on with the OT’s for ya.

  • pitbull17

    Love this article, You know you’re dealing w/somebody who knows their stuff when you hear terms like anchor and length. It would really be nice to beat Bama and get Sims to flip.

    • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

      Yes sir. Chris was/is excellent at this. I want Sims as well man. You talk about a steamroller!

      • pitbull17

        Don’t sleep on Dalton though, from the videos I’ve seen he could develop into a punishing blocker with a couple of years in the system.

        • http://www.TheFootballBrainiacs.com/ JY

          I’m a big fan of Dalton’s game as well.

  • CoachStauder

    Good stuff. It’s crazy that not one of those guys could even crack a 4.0, though. Tough grader! That’s why having 4 players was good, however, as it gave us a reference point. If he graded Dalton a 3.7 on his own, then we may not be quite as excited, but when you stack that up against a 3.8 for Knox and you have a much more positive picture.

    I could read these all day long. Keep ‘em coming!

    • Super K

      More to come coach. The QB we got to evaluate the QBs is going to be cool. But honestly we’re going to send more of these to Chris as well because he did it for a living at the highest level for so long.

  • soonermusic

    Just out of curiosity I have a question: You said you don’t tell the grader anything about the players, but if they are highly sought after guys, won’t the top pros in the grading field already be familiar with them? I’m pretty much ignorant about this, but I know I’ve heard of some guys in various sports that the pros are tracking while they’re barely in junior high, much less being top high school recruits. So I’m just wondering how it works here?

    Great feature, btw. thanks.

  • JD

    Man I’m glad this site exists. Keep up the good work guys!

  • BustaVamp

    This is such a great feature.