Nate has the size, strength and foot quickness to be an excellent offensive lineman who can play multiple positions on the offensive line for the team that drafts him. He has excellent mental stamina and never stops working until the whistle is blown. He has those long arms that you like to see for a left tackle and, this year, has improved in his techniques in every game in which I have seen him play. Nate shows leadership skills in his work ethic and play on the field. He works in a spread offense that leaves him on an island all alone against some of the best pass rushers at the college level and this kid just does not get beat very often. He has the quickness out of his stance to play more than one position on the line and is athletic enough to go to the second level to block linebackers. Nate has the foot speed to get out in front of RB's to block on screen plays and can be used in a pulling offensive line system. Nate has not yet scratched the surface of his abilities to be an outstanding offensive lineman and, in my opinion, should be considered one of the best offensive lineman in this draft. I'm calling him Nate "Ducky" Potter because he operates on his opponent like an NCIS medical examiner doing an autopsy, identifying his opponents' weaknesses before he buries them in Potter's Field.
Nate just needs to continue to work on his techniques and get better upper body strength. He is in a quick throwing, spread offense with a very savvy quarterback who gets the ball out quick and is left handed. This has hurt Nate's ability to be evaluated like other offensive tackles who play in pro style offenses with tight splits and right handed quarterbacks. (The scouts hate left handed quarterbacks.) The week of practice for the Senior Bowl will be big for Nate to prove his true abilities. I have no doubt that he will accomplish this.
I'm always on the lookout for left tackles. I believe this is the second most important position on the offense behind the quarterback position. Drafting a franchise left tackle upgrades three positions. First, it upgrades your left tackle position, then it can make your left guard much better and of course it upgrades your quarterback position. The first time I saw Nate play this year was against Georgia early in the season. He was slow, not moving his feet, off balance and, although he played well, the thought of him being a left tackle at the NFL level was not in my thinking. I saw him a couple of more times during the season and noticed an improvement from game to game that impressed me so much I started to that think he was a developmental offensive lineman for an NFL team. Then I saw him against Arizona St and I could not believe the difference in how this kid played! I kept putting on the film of the Georgia game and then the Arizona St game and realized this kid has franchise left tackle potential. Nate's improvement during the year in all aspects of his game technically was dramatic and should send a signal that he is coachable, smart, has an excellent work ethic and has the athletic talent to play just about any position on the line of scrimmage. Granted, he still has some work to do but if his workouts are good, this kid could sneak into a lot of teams' top ten list. Like I said, the Senior Bowl will mean a lot to him. At that time, he will have the ability to prove if he is a true left tackle or not. That will be the key for Nate "Ducky" Potter. If after the Senior Bowl, teams are not sure that Nate is still first round talent, he will drop to a playoff team who will have some time to develop him. I think he will prove big time that he is a potential franchise left tackle. I know, call me crazy!
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan /12