Doug Free   OT/OG   Northern Illinois

 

STRENGTHS 

Doug is a big, strong, powerful kid.  He shows me on film that he has good mental toughness along with some leadership skills.  He has quick feet that will be an asset to him if he is drafted by a team that uses a pulling system in its run game.  Doug does a good job blocking for both the running game and the passing game.  His talents translate very well to the next level and he should be a solid O-lineman for the team that drafts him. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Itís hard to tell for sure because Doug has been playing through a foot or ankle injury, but it looks like he will have to be moved to the right side of the line because his lateral agility leaves a lot to be desired.  Of course, he will have to become more consistent with his techniques in the passing game.  When he loses technique and gets beat, he does not have the athleticism to recover.  He is locked in the hips and has problems changing direction. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 3

Doug has talent, but not as an LT at the next level.  He is very good blocking for the run because he has quick feet, keeps them moving and stays with his blocks.  However, he will have a lot of problems with quick D-linemen in pass blocking because he lacks the lateral agility that is needed to be a top of the line pass blocker.  I think he will be a solid RT or RG and a core player for his team as soon as he becomes more consistent in all phases of his game.  This is normal for an O-lineman, so to separate the men from the boys in a situation like this, you look for leadership skills and mental toughness.  Doug has both of those issues nailed down, which is why he should be picked in the first day of the draft.  Doug is exactly the type of player you look for when you are looking to draft interior linemen for your team.  He has played LT in college, but does not have the pure athletic ability to play that position at the next level.  He has all the other intangibles that will make him a quick study to be moved to another position and impact quickly.  Doug is what I call a perfect fit. 

Drew Boylhart

December/2006