Scouting The Draft, Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State

2011-2012 is over, it's history. Congratulations Giants, unlucky Patriots and all that Jazz. Now we can really start to look forward with the Jets, and continuing our search for those draft prospects who will call New York home; I'm going back to the offensive line. The more I look into this draft, the more I believe that trading down from #16 is the best idea for the Jets. There is a lot of talent in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds and at #16 I think we are in no mans land. Unless Richardson or even Couples falls there, trading down to mid 20's to late 20's and picking up some picks in the rounds mentioned makes the most sense to me as a team who needs to add talent at several positions; but also add depth.

So here I have us trading down to the late 20's, perhaps as far as #28 or #29. With that selection (and the draft picked accumulated) we have options. One of those options is Zebrie Sanders from Florida State, a guy that a lot of people are linking to the Giants and other teams (Lions and Steelers have been mentioned) in the late first round.

There are a lot of reasons why I like this idea and like this player, which will be highlighted in the positive section. One of them though is he is as smart as they come, on the football field and also in the classroom. He was an ACC all academic and although a lot of people like to turn their nose up at academic accomplishments, I think being successful in multiple areas of your life shows the kind of character that you have.

Join me after the jump for the positives and negatives.

Positives

An intelligent player who won't find it difficult to pick up NFL blocking schemes or the zone schemes that we tend to run. Can play at multiple positions, played mostly right tackle at Florida State but played 8 games at the Left Tackle position after Andrew Datko suffered an injury. At 6'5 and 307lb's he has excellent size and carries the weight well with his frame. Has excellent length, wingspan for a lineman and big hands. Good quickness and bends his knees well, adjusts to blitzes and generates a lot of power when playing with the correct leverage. Very strong which means that he can move defensive lineman in the run game and protect the quarterback from bull rushes. Shows good hand placement and technique is already quite polished. Good agility and is in my opinion one of the best if not the best run blocker in this class. Has good quickness and lateral ability for an offensive lineman which allows him to block on the next level if needed. Has a good first step on the play, knows ans stays with his assignment. Disciplined.

Negatives

Could struggle with the extremely quick pass rushers who dip the shoulder around the outside. Plays with good leverage the majority of the time but needs to stay consistent with this to ensure he generates the power that he should on every snap of the football. Has a below average week at the senior bowl which caught a lot of people by surprise.

Conclusion

He had a very very bad week at the senior bowl, reportedly he was off-balance all week, his footwork was dodgy. He wasn't able to generate power in the running game and he just looked all around sluggish and like a player who was out of football mode. However having seen Zebrie play numerous times since he was a freshman and he has constantly improved, I'll take several years of game action over a week of practise. I'm sure people are familiar with the play against Florida where he just didn't move (at all for the entire play) strange! I like his upside, I like his technique but most of all I like his run blocking. He is durable, athletic, solid technique (so no project), smart and physical.

Trading down and selecting Zebrie? Sign me up for that one.

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