Travis Swanson   OC   Arkansas

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Travis has the size and quick feet to become an impact offensive center for the team that drafts him. He shows solid leadership skills through his aggressive play and the foot speed to get out in front of screens and sweeps to make his blocks. Because of his quick feet, he has the potential to be an excellent pass blocker at the next level as well as an aggressive and dominating run blocker. His aggressive nature and style of blocking lend themselves well to Travis having the ability to play guard or center at a very high level. He can make all the snaps, is quick out of his stance and has just enough lateral agility and quick feet to recover after he gets beat to shut down those 1-gap attack defensive lineman.

CONCERNS
Travis has excellent athletic skills and talents, but he is very sloppy and inconsistent with his techniques. His run blocking is a mix of athletic talent masking the dropping of his head when engaging, not bringing his feet and a lack of balance that will be magnified at the next level. His athletic ability is also covering his lack of upper body strength and poor techniques that allow him to be bull rushed back into the quarterback. He struggles with someone right on his nose because of this lack of strength. He allows his opponent to get into his head and challenge his manhood. Unfortunately, when that happens, Travis loses focus on working with his line mates then tries to outmuscle his opponents. Until Travis can grow stronger and get his head out of his buttocks, he most likely will start off at the guard position where his inconsistency can be masked until he matures on the field.

BOTTOM LINE
Itís very possible that Travis, once he gets to the next level and concentrates on just football, can improve very quickly with his upper body strength, techniques and blocking consistency. Sometimes having more that 20 hrs to spend on your craft will do that. Nevertheless Travis has this aggressive nature to his overall game that will be a problem at the next level if he doesnít start to control it during a game. A center has to lead with intelligence first and aggressiveness second. Travisí brain works opposite of that theory. He thinks aggressiveness is the key to being a great offensive lineman. That might be true for the guard position, but not for the center position. Right now Travis is taking short cuts with his techniques and leadership skills because of his athleticism. That has to stop if he wants to be a great center and Travis has the type of athletic talent to be a great center if he can shift his priorities emotionally on the field. He truly can. Travis will move up the boards when he works out and interviews. His athletic talent will be impressive and in the interviews he will shine, but Travis will have to take it from there and work hard on his mental strength and true teamwork skills to reach his true potential. Jury is out, will Travis be a good guard or a possible great center? Itís all up to him but I think he will be a great center after some emotional growing pains.

Drew Boylhart
DEC/2013