This under the radar prospect plays Thursday, November 1 at 7:00pm against the Akron Zips. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network if you get that channel. He will be #73 for Northern Illinois University in the white jerseys.
Max Scharping is a 6’ 6” 320 lb left tackle at Northern Illinois University who has the talent to be a force in the NFL. He is a smart kid with a unique understanding on how to use his body in run blocking and pass sets. He has played 254 pass blocking snaps this year, and he has allowed no sacks and a single QB hurry. His pass blocking efficiency is 99.0 according to PFF which is the 2nd highest among draft eligible tackles.
He has started 48 straight games, every game the Huskies have played since his freshman year. His freshman and sophomore years he played the right tackle position. He moved to the left side his junior year.
Scharping was a major reason NIU allowed the fewest sacks in the FBS in 2017. He allowed no sacks and a mere 5 QB pressures in 425 snaps, which was one of the best rates of protection in the country.
He is on the watch list of both the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) and the Wuerffel Trophy (player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement).
I have five clips of Scharping below. I figured I would take five snaps in a row to show you a proper representation of his play.
In this clip Scharping #73, is trying a reach block on a defender on his inside shoulder, which is a difficult block to begin with. He gets to the player and is trying to turn him out of the hole. He is at a bad angle because he didn’t get far enough in front of his man plus he is a little high in his set so he has bad leverage. Invariably he keeps his man from the play so it was an effective block, although he could have used better technique to do so.
Here he does a really nice job in his pass set. His man doesn’t press him right away, but Scharping stays down in his stance so he doesn’t get too far over his toes. He shows great balance here. He squares up the defender, and you see his man is positioned right in the center of his body once he makes his move. It is a fairly poor pass rush attempt by the defender, but Scharping keeps good concentration and does his job as well as it can be done.
This clip shows a much better job on the reach block that he attempted in clip #1. He has very good knee bend. and once he gets to his man he is able to twist in front of him to wall him off from the play behind him. The defender #41 is a much smaller man which makes it more difficult to get position on a smaller, quicker target. This is a very nice job.
Here he is using a straight power drive block approach against his defender. There is no nuance to this. Just square your man up then drive him out of the way. Both he and the LG push their players 5 yards downfield and away from the play. It’s a read option, and the QB has a misread on the play. The DE is sliding down to take the dive play. If the QB had just kept the ball he had an entire open side of the field to run to. Nevertheless, Scharping showed good power and a nice body lean on his drive block. Again nicely done.
On this play the defender seems to be just holding the edge because he is going nowhere on his pass rush. Once he sees that the play is a pass he needs to get upfield, but Scharping has him stopped cold. He is going nowhere. Scharping is much stronger than the defender. He has a good base, and his anchor is solid.
Scharping appears to be a quality prospect who possesses good strength and has excellent technique for the position. He seems to have heavy feet so he is probably a better prospect as a right tackle, but we will see how he looks at the Combine.
Watching other tape of him, he looks solid. The only visible thing I would say he could work on is his hand placement which can get wide a times. He should do as many agility drills as he can to increase his lateral movement and dexterity.
He has the size you look for and a great temperament for the position. Since he comes from a smaller school he could get lost in the process (not really likely) and slide down the Draft boards. The Jets need a few more players like Scharping.
I will try and bring you some more under the radar prospects in the coming weeks so hopefully you can watch some games and form your own opinions.