Dan Santucci OG/OC Notre Dame
Dan is a quick and powerful guard with excellent intelligence and mental stamina. He shows good leadership skills and has the ability to make the players around him better. He does a solid job pulling for the running game and uses good techniques when blocking in the passing game. Dan has remarkable lateral agility for an interior lineman and is smart enough to use leverage to defeat his opponent when he is being bull rushed. He has a lot more upside to his game and does a good job playing guard, but I think this kid is a “diamond in the rough” future center for the next level. At the center position, he could develop into a future Pro Bowl player for the team that drafts him.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
He needs to get stronger and improve his techniques; of course if you want him to play center, he needs to work on the snap and the shotgun snap. Dan should be a average guard at the next level, but an impact center if you give him a few years.
TALENT BOARD ROUND: 5
I’m always looking for centers in a draft because a good center is the only way you will ever have a powerful enough offense to get into a Super Bowl. Dan has that thing that a center needs to lead players and make them play hard. You can see it when he is on the field. He is an efficient leader and player. He talks to other players, but does not scream. He accepts when a player is having problems and instead of just getting mad and going his own way, will adjust his play to help another offensive lineman to get to his block. I have seen him go over to the side and talk to Darrius Walker and explain what is happening to the blocking assignments so that Darrius can adjust his style to be more effective. He does it quietly, but at the same time, all the players know what he is doing. Dan is a communicator and although he is not as athletic as Nick Mangold, he could be as impacting as Nick has been. It will take a year or two, but he will get there and a smart team with an aging center would be really smart to draft this kid and start the learning process right away. Dan is smart and every time I saw him in a game this year, he improved from the game before. When he struggles, he works harder and does not give up or get down on himself and start to commit a lot of penalties. I believe that if his college team did not already have a damn good center and if Dan had played that position for a year or two for his college team, Dan would be a first day pick in this draft. He is a good guard, but he will be an impact center if a team is smart enough to realize it. His talent level grade reflects my belief that he will change positions at the next level and will need some time to become consistent. Believe me when I tell you that Dan has first day character, intelligence and passion to play the center position to go along with some pretty good talent.