Scouting The Draft: David Yankey, OG, Stanford

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

We continue to look at some of the top prospects in the NFL draft in relation to the Jets

Introduction

Although Yankey had a 5th year of eligability left at Stanford he decided to forego that and enter the 2014 NFL draft. With Stanford's success running the football inside, and David Yankey's unanimous all-american selection in 2013, it's no surprise that he is being talked about as one of the best interior offensive lineman in this draft. In 2013 the Stanford offensive line was one of the top units in the nation, in terms of running the football and protecting the quarterback. They rushed for 207.4 yards a game (22nd in the nation), allowed 1.14 sacks a game (11th in the nation) and 4.14 tackles for loss a game (7th in the nation) as well as only committing 3 holding penalties all year as a unit. As you can see he has a lot of pedigree, and he is more than likely going to be a top 20 pick when it comes down to it.

The Jets line has been in a little bit of a flux recently, and with Howard and Colon still not signed for next season, there may be some movement up front. So it seems logical to look at the players who will be available around the late first round area.

Measurables

Height: 6'6

Weight: 315lb's

Class: Junior

40 Yard: 5.48

Bench Press: 22

Vertical Jump: 28 1/2

Broad Jump: 8'6

Shuttle: 4.86

3 Cone: 7.81

Positives

  • Durability. He did lose a significant portion of his freshman year due to injury, however he has played in all but one game over the past three years.
  • Size/Strength: I expected him to put more up on the bench, but it doesn't worry me. He has excellent size and strength for inside with good weight distribution.
  • Excellent feet: His lateral ability and balance make him a very good athlete for his size. He played at LT in 2012 and gave up just 1 sack, after being pushed back inside in 2013, he excelled.
  • Sets quickly: Gets off the snap very quickly and squares up his man well, has good hand placement and stands up well to interior rush.
  • Run blocking: No surprise here, but he is an exceptional run blocker. When you get an unanimous all american selection as an offensive lineman at Stanford, this is going to be a strength. He is an excellent lead blocker with a good initial surge and athleticism to keep on churning.
  • Intelligence: Here is another asset you won't be surprised about with a Stanford guy. He is very well coached but he has natural awareness and quickly identifies defences, will be talking a lot along the line.
  • Leadership: Was voted a team-captain in 2013 and was regularly commended for his leadership and teachable nature.
Negatives

  • You want to see him finish his blocks, sometimes he won't sustain his blocks all the way through to the whistle and that's a little infuriating.
  • Needs to sustain better body control out in the open. He has the athleticism to move out in space and be effective, but he doesn't get his body into the right positions.
  • Needs to play with better pad-level after initial first contact. Can sometimes get stood up and with the power in the NFL, he may lose some of that balance after initial contact.
Conclusion

Yankey is a very good inside prospect for the NFL, his footwork, explosion and instincts make him a player that most teams will want on their line. He does have some work to do, especially on his pad level but for me he is a 1st round prospect and quite comfortably so. His natural power makes him a lock for inside and he can probably be successful both at LG and RG. Although he won't be a tackle at the next level, I wouldn't be surprised if got a few reps there just to offer that little bit extra versatility.

Would I Draft him for the Jets

We need offensive play-makers, and I'll start all of these with that. However he is a tremendous player and if the team believe he represents the best value at the selection, then I would be on board. He could be a good to great prospect for the next 10 years. I don't think you can turn that down, or be disappointed in that regardless of which position you believed we should have drafted.
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