Matt Tennant  OC  Boston College

TALENT BOARD

 Round 5


 

STRENGTHS

Matt is very athletic and should be a good, solid center for the next level.  He does a tremendous job blocking in the passing game.  He shows decent lateral ability and uses his hands well to fend off DT's, steering them away and giving his QB clear passing lanes in which to throw the ball down the field.  Matt is strong in anchoring and not getting pushed back into the QB's face on bull rushes at the college level.  He shows good balance and techniques when pass blocking; unfortunately for Matt, being a good pass blocker is not all that a good offensive center needs to be in order to be successful in the NFL.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

As good a pass blocker as Matt is, it surprised me to see how poor a run blocker he is.  First, he is on the ground way too much.  He drops his head just before he goes to make a block at the 2nd level and either misses the block or is on the ground after he engages.  He does not move his legs once he makes initial contact, which then forces him to lose balance and fall to the ground.  It really is weird to see since this kid has strong athleticism in his blocking.  This is a technique issue and the coach that can get this kid to move his feet when run blocking could have a solid center in the future.  Also, on film, I do not see any true leadership qualities which would also be a plus for a center.  It's all right for a guard to miss these, but not for a center.   

  

BOTTOM LINE

In a spread offense, this kid might be a pretty good center.  The problem is that, in the NFL, if your center cannot run block, it's just not going to be a successful offense.  Matt's lack of leadership skills also may present a big problem.  If you move him to guard and he doesn't improve his run blocking, you have even more significant issues.  Right now, Matt is a "systems" center with a lack of leadership skills and technique problems in blocking for the run.   With all of that being said, Matt has the athleticism to get better and, with work and experience, he could grow into a decent offensive lineman.  The problem/question is: how long will that take?  Good pass blocking centers are hard to find so giving up totally on Matt might be a big mistake.  The decision for me to draft or not to draft Matt will be made at the Senior Bowl for sure.  Right now, Matt reminds me a lot of Jeff Saturday (Center - Indianapolis Colts).  Jeff went undrafted and bounced around until he found the right system that fit his talents.  Matt may take the same path to the NFL as Jeff did and sometime in the future could have just as much success. 

 

Drew Boylhart  1/10