Mike is a very good center who can make all the snaps. He has good size and strength and shows solid lateral agility for pass blocking. Mike uses good technique and has a little "nasty" to his game. He shows good leadership skills through his play on the field. Mike does a nice job handling nose tackles, moving them in the running game and handling the bull rush when pass blocking. He is strong in pass protection because he is quick out of his stance, gets set and utilizes good techniques. I think his pass blocking techniques might be the strength of his game along with the fact that he is very good handling opponents who play right over him. If you are a team that is up against a lot of 3-4 defenses and you need a center, I think you might look at drafting Mike early in this draft.
Mike has problems going to the next level to make blocks against 4-3 defenses when run blocking. He is smart and knows he struggles do this so he decided to compensate and wait a little bit until the linebacker comes to him instead. The problem is that when he does this, he is late getting off the double team and instead of using his arms, Mike butts players in the head with his helmet to stop them from coming through the hole and making a tackle. This will be a problem at the next level. It could lead to neck injuries and penalties for him. He does this for a few reasons: his arms are a little short, he is a bit heavy-legged and he lacks the change of direction skills in open space as he works better in close situations. He also might have a shoulder injury (or had one) in the past and just got into a bad habit. Mike needs to get into better football shape. He does get tired and when he does, he gets sloppy particularly when run blocking. Nevertheless, Mike is a very good center and, in the right blocking scheme, should be a core player for the team that drafts him.
Except for this little freaky thing of him bashing players in the head with his helmet, Mike's a good center. His workouts show that he has decent foot speed, so I think he just needs to work a little harder and get in better positions quicker, to make the combos blocks and slide off those big DT's faster. Mike doesn't have the reach that most centers have, but he does have good feet and his lateral agility and quickness are very good and can make up for this. As I watched film of Ohio St and some of their blocking schemes, I was confused how they used Mike at times. In spite of that confusion, you can see a solid center and a player who is an excellent pass blocking center who just needs to get into a little better football shape and trust his own athletic talents.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/12