Drew Boylhart March 2008

Steve Justice   OC   Wake Forest 



Steve is a smart player who exhibits strong leadership skills.  He is a good athlete and has excellent mental toughness to compete at the next level.  Steve uses his hands well and has great overall techniques.  He shows foot quickness and can be used in a pull-trap system.  Steve has no problems going out to cut block a LB if needed.  Steve, in the right system, should be a terrific center for the team that drafts him.  He does a good job blocking for the pass and could do excellent work in a spread offense system or WCO with a zone run blocking scheme.    



Right now, Steve does not have the size to play head up against a nose tackle in the NFL.  He also has to use perfect leverage every time he makes a block or he will get beat like a drum at the next level.  I'm not convinced that Steve has the body type that can add a lot more weight or bulk.  Steve is very light in his hindquarters, which will cause him big problems against most defensive fronts in the NFL.       



If you have a spread offense where the passing game sets up your running game, then Steve is your man; he's ready to step in and take over.  The Colts and Patriots could be a couple of teams that might rate Steve very high on their draft boards.   Teams like the Bears and Cowboys as well as a few others might not have him rated as high.  Steve is a good center, but as an impact center he is a systems player which to me makes him a steal in the later rounds for the teams that run the systems in which he can impact quickly.  The problem with a systems center is that if you fire the coach, the next coach that comes in may introduce a completely different system for which Steve's talents do not fit and then he becomes expendable.  The problem with that is the rest of the league knows that you are going to cut him and then you get nothing in return for a draft pick that you might have picked very high in this draft.  If you pick him later in the draft and the same thing happens, it's not that much of a loss.  A Head Coach or GM will not lose his job for picking a center who does not fit a scheme in the later rounds, but you better be damn sure of what you're doing if you pick a center high in a draft and he doesn't work out.  You as a Head Coach or GM will have a warning shot fired right across your bow.  That warning shot will have a subtle message attached to it from the owner will be:  Don't make that mistake again, I am watching you.