Adam Ulatoski  OT  Texas 

TALENT BOARD

 Round 2


 

STRENGTHS

Adam has good size and athleticism to become a solid offensive lineman in the NFL.  He shows excellent mental stamina and has quick feet.  Adam is a technically sound offensive tackle who is a very good pass blocker.  He is smart, understands his responsibilities and takes pride in his pass blocking.  He uses good techniques when pass blocking.  Adam, in the right system, could be a Left tackle, but for most teams he should be a right tackle or left guard.  He is a smart kid and, at this point of the draft, is very underrated.   

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

The funny thing about Adam is that he does a good job moving his feet when pass blocking, but seems to lumber when run blocking.  He looks like he lacks the confidence when pulling and takes too wide a berth into the backfield.  This gives the sweep away and allows the defense into the backfield too early, blowing up the play.  When Adam blocks for the run, he loses his feet and pulls his man to the ground.  The strange thing about that is that he has the talent to mirror that same player when pass blocking the very next play.  I think it is a matter of technique and confidence.  Adam needs to practice on how to run down the stadium steps so that he can learn to move his feet with his brain on all plays.  Once he does that, you will have a solid offensive lineman and maybe a Left Tackle. 

    

BOTTOM LINE

I believe that the Texas offensive linemen are taught when they are run blocking to latch on to their opponent, move five steps and pull their man to the ground.  In every game, all I see in the running game is offensive linemen on the ground.  After a while you have to think that they are being taught to block that way.  In the NFL, we call that holding.  So Texas offensive linemen never seem to reach their potential because they are always overweight and holding.  I think Adam can break this mold because he plays a very intelligent game when pass blocking and I think he will be coachable and realize after being called for holding that he will have to get better because it will hurt his team.  He plays with a lot of pride and shows some leadership skills through his play on the field, so there is hope for Adam that I rarely see in most athletically gifted Texas offensive linemen.  I believe the reason Adam seems less confident when pulling is that he is thinking too much.  Once Adam gets with an NFL coach and after some experience and repetitions Adam will find a place on an NFL line and become a core player for the team that drafts him.  He is too good a pass blocker for coaches not to live with him as he learns better techniques in the running game.  Maybe a team that runs a zone blocking scheme would fit Adam the best.  In a zone blocking scheme, this kid might be able to play left guard or right tackle right away.  In the future, it would not surprise me to see him play left tackle if the system is right for his talents.  I like this kid's potential overall. He is not as athletically gifted as some former Texas offensive linemen in the past, but he just might wind up being one of the better ones. 

 

Drew Boylhart  2/10