Since the season ended, we’ve been looking at the players the Jets have signed to futures deals since the end of the season. We wrap up today with a look at offensive lineman Brad Lundblade.
The 24-year old is listed at 6’3” and 305 pounds and was an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma State in 2018. So far, he has only played in one NFL regular season game with the Panthers, having spent his first two training camps with the Bengals.
Lundblade initially walked on at Oklahoma State, but saw plenty of action as a back-up center and started one game in his true freshman season to earn a scholarship.
After that, he was a three-year starter at center and was voted as a first team all-Big 12 selection in his senior year.
At the end of his college career, Lundblade wasn’t invited to the scouting combine but did play in the East-West Shrine Game. However, he wasn’t expected to get drafted.
After initially signing with the Seahawks, he was released three days later and then attended Bengals rookie camp on a try-out basis. However, he earned a contract and attended training camp in his rookie year. He was released in final cuts but spent the year on the practice squad and signed a futures deal at the end of the season.
In his second season, Lundblade was again released in final cuts but this time was signed to Carolina’s practice squad. They activated him in late November and he played in one game, although he only played on special teams and was released the following week.
The Jets signed Lundblade to their practice squad in December and then inked him to a futures deal at the end of the season.
Let’s move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Lundblade brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Lundblade has decent size and strength, managing 24 bench press reps at his pro day. He also had some success in the shot put and discus while in college. However, scouts have noted that he has short arms.
He is regarded as limited athletically, although his vertical (28 inches) and broad jump (95 inches) were about average.
In NFL.com’s scouting report, Lance Zierlein suggests that Lundblade is just a center, but reports out of Bengals camp were that he had good versatility and could play both guard spots. In preseason action, he’s played a mixture of all three interior positions, albeit only 24 snaps at left guard.
In college, he only played at center other than one game as a freshman where he lined up as a full back on a short yardage play.
Lundblade has improved as a pass blocker since allowing five sacks in his sophomore season. He only allowed one sack and seven total pressures in his senior year and has only given up a few pressures in preseason action.
Lundblade’s best assets are his strength and hand placement. As you can see here, Lundblade (#61) shows an ability to stay in front of his man.
When Lundblade allows his man to get upfield leverage on him, he is capable of using his strength to ride his man out of the play. However, he lacks the ideal footspeed to recover. Also, although he battles well, Lundblade can sometimes be susceptible to the bull rush.
Lundblade isn’t really a dominant run blocker but shows the ability to control his man at the point of attack.
While he lacks elite athleticism he’s capable of making blocks on the move or getting out to the second level. On this play, he executes a pulling block well.
On some plays, defensive players are able to take advantage of a quickness advantage to gain leverage and then he can struggle to recover.
One thing he needs to work on is finishing his blocks. On this play he initially makes a good block but his man is able to throw him off to get back in on the play.
Getting out in front of a screen pass isn’t really something Lundblade has shown much of in his college career or in preseason action. He may need to work on his athletic conditioning to be able to get downfield better.
Lundblade is a good technician who is balanced in his sets and understands how to reset his feet or hand placement to keep his man angled off. In college, he was effective at reach blocks because he would move his feet to get to the outside shoulder before engaging the block.
As noted, though, he has short arms and can sometimes lunge into blocks, leaving him susceptible to over-balancing.
He can also be susceptible to quick moves at the point of attack. This arm over move gives the pass rusher a leverage advantage and Lundblade reaches across and is lucky not to be called for a hold.
Lundblade plays with good discipline as he didn’t have any offensive penalties in his nine regular season and preseason appearances. In college, the highest penalty count he had in any season was three.
He did, however, have a false start on special teams which forced the Bengals to retake and ultimately miss an extra point. They lost that game by one point.
Lundblade has only contributed as a blocker on the placekick unit while with the Bengals and Panthers. His only significant contribution was the false start penalty mentioned above.
Lundblade is definitely an intelligent player, as he won a series of academic awards at Oklahoma State and was a finalist for the William V. Campbell trophy - also known as the “Academic Heisman”.
While pass protecting, Lundblade keeps his head on a swivel when he’s the spare man and will look to help out. However, scouting reports indicate he can be distracted from picking up blitzers by “occupy blocks”.
Lundblade has a good work ethic and leadership abilities, with some experience as a team captain at Oklahoma State. When he graduated, Mike Gundy predicted Lundblade would be running a major company within five years.
On the field, he flashes some nastiness and will take his man to the ground when the opportunity presents itself. He dishes out a pancake to an unsuspecting defensive lineman here.
Lundblade hasn’t had many injury issues so far in his career, but did miss two starts in his senior year due to a foot injury. He otherwise started every game during his three seasons as the full-time starting center.
Based on his film, Lundblade appears to be most effective in zone blocking schemes. His offensive line coach in his rookie year was current Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack, who no doubt was involved in the decision to bring him aboard.
With the Bengals, he was a teammate of Jordan Willis and Josh Malone, each of whom could be back with the Jets in 2020.
The Jets look set to overhaul their offensive line this offseason, so there will be opportunities for players like Lundblade to step up.
There is plenty of young competition on the interior line with Jimmy Murray also having signed a futures deal and Leo Koloamatangi expected back in 2020, so it will be difficult for Lundblade to stand out. However, he’s a good technician and could provide them with a consistent depth option as he continues to develop.