Riley is a big, strong kid with great potential and athletic talent to be a successful left tackle for the team that drafts him. He has good feet and shows strong lateral agility. He has nice upper and lower body strength to handle the bull rush, but is quick enough out of his stance to deal with the speed of the pass rushers at the next level. Riley does a good job using his hands when pass blocking and looks like he plays with pride. He likes the responsibility of his position; you can see in his play and in the way he recovers when he gets beat that he wants to be the best player on the field. He is one of the few left tackles that I have seen recover as fast as he does when he makes a mistake. He does a good job when run blocking because he brings his feet and drives until the play is over. You can use Riley to pull; he is athletic and can get out quickly for screens. Riley has tight end talent in a left tackle body.
There is not one play that I watched of Riley that technically, he didn't do something wrong and yet because of his athletic talent, he recovered and made it right. That will not happen at the NFL level. Riley is very raw and strikes me as a kid who has never done anything in his life left-handed. Some people are like that. He is uncomfortable moving to his left. His hands are wrong until he puts his hands on his opponent. His first step is short as if he thinks he is off balance, but he is not. He just looks clumsy and uncomfortable at times. He also moves as if he's surprised by his opponent and this from a kid who has played a lot of left tackle! I don't think he thinks about what his opponent is trying to do to him. He just lines up and plays. I think he may get very frustrated during a game and I question his football intelligence. Riley strikes me as being difficult to coach. I think the kid is stubborn to learn and adapt to change.
This profile of Riley says that he is an athletic kid who has played a lot of left tackle, makes a lot of mistakes but still is very successful. Tell me, what can you conclude from just that statement? You have to ask yourself why he is not more technically sound. Why does he make mistakes and why does he not learn from his mistake?. You have to ask yourself why is he clumsy at times. The truth is, this kid should easily get into the right position and use the correct techniques on every play. So, what conclusion do you come up with when I give you that information about Riley? My conclusion is the kid is stubborn and may have an unwillingness to learn because he has always relied on his athletic ability to get by. Riley is very raw; it will take some time to break him down and get him to use techniques consistently on every play in order to become the player his talents suggest he will become. In spite of that, you have to draft Riley in the first round. There is too much talent to pass over in the first round. He looks like a good kid and a hard worker; however, he will have to accept coaching to become better than he is right now and sometimes that takes time. Riley can eventually be one of the better left tackles at the NFL level. It will be up to him to abandon (emotionally) some of his athletic talent to do that. You have no choice but to draft Riley early in this draft because there are not very many left tackles in this draft with the raw talent this kid has. There is nothing that I have said that makes me not want to draft Riley if my team needed a left tackle but remember this, draft him and give him a chance to learn and be patient. This is a kid who thinks his athletic talent is enough to get by and it will be a shock to him to find out differently. First, his confidence will go and then his lack of technique will be magnified. If this occurs, it will take time for him to recover and start to grow. This is a tough pick for me, but I like a quick LTI in my top ten. At this point, I'm not sure if I would rate Riley personally as a top ten pick, but he is in the running.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Jan /12