Menelik is a powerful right tackle who has improved every time I have seen him play. He is a powerful run blocker and an improving pass blocker. He looks on film to be very coachable and has the athleticism to improve in all areas of his overall game. He is smart and understands the need for him to improve his techniques in order to be successful going forward. Menelik has an aggressive attitude when blocking, a trait you love to see in an offensive lineman. He's not so aggressive that he commits many penalties, but definitely does not back down when attacking and hand fighting. He commits physically and mentally to making a block to the best of his abilities on every play. He steps up to a challenge and, no matter how bad he might be getting beat, this kid never seems to hide or get down on himself. He has the mental strength you look for in a left tackle in spite of the fact that his impact position most likely will be as a right tackle at the NFL level. Menelik is a developmental offensive lineman at this point of his career with the potential in certain offensive systems to move over to the left side.
Menelik's lateral agility is poor at this point of his career, but learning better pass blocking techniques can mask this problem and Menelik is a fast learner. He is also inconsistent when zone blocking and going out to the second level to make blocks, but as I have said, he improves in both these areas every time I see him play. Menelik struggled big time in the beginning of the year with stunts and understanding pass rushing schemes, but by the end of the year, he was doing much better working with H-backs and tight ends in not over committing, keeping his balance and gaining a lot more confidence. He still can be beat inside when pass blocking because he struggles with his techniques and his lateral agility is poor, but he is learning how to recover which is a sign of a potentially excellent offensive lineman. I can tell you this about Menelik -- it's been a joy watching this kid improve this year.
Menelik is the type of player who could easily be selected in the last part of the first round by a playoff team that wants to develop Menelik and sign him to a four year contract with an option year. In the first round only, all players selected have an option year included in the contracts. That option year gives you the potential of developing that player and, once that player is developed, keeping that player. That's why selecting a developmental quarterback in the 1st round is smart business. If teams are looking at Menelik and thinking he has the potential of playing on the left side at some point in the future, then those teams will move Menelik up on their boards. Being given first round status on some teams' boards will not be because of Menelik's athletic talent -- it will be because of his intangibles. Mentally, he has what teams are looking for in a left tackle and, in the right systems such as the pistol offense and a play action vertical offense, Menelik could develop into a pro bowl left tackle. Menelik's overall athletic talent is good. His size and strength is excellent, but it is his ability to take what he learns in practice into the game along with his mental strength that is the most appealing. He shows leadership abilities through his personal strength and ability to take coaching. Playing the left tackle position in the future will depend on Menelik's ability to develop more "flexibility" and quickness out of his stance when pass blocking and will be the key to him improving his pass blocking and needing less help on passing downs. In my opinion, regardless of the round in which Menelik is selected, the team that selects him will have just selected a future pro bowl right tackle. Not bad...not bad at all.
Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart