Derek is an athletic offensive lineman who shows excellent effort on every play. He shows on film good overall mental stamina and looks to be a very smart player. Derek has played both the left tackle and the right tackle positions, depending on the play call. Most of the time, if the call is a running play, Derek lines up as the right tackle. If the play called on the next play is a pass, Derek will flip over and line up as the left tackle. Just like high school. That being said, Derek still does a solid job pass blocking strictly because of his athletic talent. Derek shows the quickness out of his stance to be a guard as well as the size and athletic ability to play offensive tackle. If his workouts are good, I suspect that Derek could easily push himself into the 1st round.
Derek's techniques to play any position on the offensive line in the NFL are lacking at this point of his career. He is not ready to play any position right now, much less be a starting NFL offensive tackle. Right now on film, I do not see the lateral agility to be a left tackle at the NFL level. Flipping this kid back and forth from one side to the other depending on the play call has left Derek without a true position for his pro career. His length to impact (LTI) is a bit out there right now because he will have to get much bigger and stronger in both his upper and lower body. Derek will also have to learn techniques that up until now, no one has bothered to teach him -- or he doesn't believe in, or adopt, them. Your guess is as good as mine.
I do not think that Derek will be a left tackle for the team that drafts him. I'm sure there are many teams that feel the same way, but that does not mean that Derek is not going to be a good offensive lineman at some position on an offensive line. There are teams that will look at his workout numbers and feel they can coach him up into being a tackle, but for me, to get him on the field and to take advantage of his body type as quickly as possible, I think Derek might be a very good left guard or right tackle. In either case, it will take some time. First, he has to get on a program to get much stronger than he is right now. Next, he has to learn much better blocking techniques and how to work with his line mates on picking up stunts and line calls. In the system he's been in at Mississippi, Derek was just flipped from one side of the line to the other and just blocked the guy in front of him without any care to blocking schemes. This all changes at the next level. Derek can do it. He is smart and looks to be a hard worker and has good athletic talent -- but it will be a long road. I thought he did the best he could against his opponent in his bowl game and never gave up after he got beat on numerous occasions during that game. That mental strength will serve him well at the next level. Along with some good workouts, the lack of overall offensive line talent in the NFL and this draft, Derek could push himself into the first round. At this writing some people are suggesting that Derek is a top ten pick. Personally, I don't see that but I do see potentially a good offensive lineman.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan/11