Vladimir has strong overall talent to become a starting offensive lineman in the NFL. He shows nice agility and looks to have good mental stamina. In the Senior Bowl, Vladimir improved his techniques during the game; he got better and quicker out of his stance as the game went on. This is very impressive and makes me feel that, given time, Vladimir will have no problems stepping up to the NFL level. He shows decent lateral agility and looks to me like his impact position would be as a left guard, but I would not rule out playing him at left tackle. He shows the ability to mirror his man in passing situations provided he is not matched up against a real speed rusher. That means if he sticks to using good techniques, in some systems, he could be a very tough and good left tackle. Vladimir is one of the few interior offensive linemen that has the overall athleticism to play at the NFL level. He is a little big for the center position, but it would not surprise me at all if some teams think of him for that position also. The fact the Vladimir improved in his techniques and quickness during the Senior Bowl makes me feel this kid is one smart cookie. In this draft, there aren't too many interior linemen in general, and perhaps none with Vladimir's overall athleticism. Therefore, he could sneak into the first round because of this. Vladimir has the potential to be a Pro Bowl interior lineman for the team that drafts him. However, he is raw and it will take some time.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Vladimir struggles when he plays tackle to keep his balance off the snap. His change of direction skills are good, but not great, so it is imperative if he is going to be a tackle at the next level that he uses good techniques consistently and not rely on mirroring a player unless he plays the guard position. Of course, he needs more overall strength. He drops his head a lot when he goes to run block, but he does that to get better leverage and push. All of these issues can be corrected by addressing his overall strength. Vladimir is smart and I think the potential is unlimited at this point.
The only film I had to look at for evaluating Vladimir was the Senior Bowl and to be honest, at first, I was not impressed. However, as the game went on, this kid improved dramatically. He played mostly left tackle and although Ciron Black has more mature athletic talent, you could see the difference in a player who was getting better during the game and a player who has the talent to play left tackle, but didn't bother to improve his game during the Senior Bowl because he was happy with his performance as is. Vladimir was not happy with his performance and kept working on his game the entire time. Think about it....as Vladimir was learning new plays and techniques as well as addressing a step up in talent, he still showed improvement. He was up against players from a different level of competition and was holding his own and shutting them down. You could just see the leadership and ability to play the game of football oozing out of this kid the whole time he was on the field. Just to summarize, I have only seen one game film of Vladimir, but I was impressed. His ability to adjust in techniques and develop during a game is Pro Bowl-like. I just think Vladimir is going to make some team very happy they drafted him. He is the type of kid that will learn more if you just throw him onto the field and let him learn from his mistakes rather than not play him and wait a year or two. He is raw, but he is also a fast learner.
Drew Boylhart 2/10