AJ Cann   OG   South Carolina

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
AJ is the type of guard that most fans will take for granted but I can tell you this, his teammates and coaches will never do that. He is a strong, powerful offensive lineman with the ability to show leadership through his play on the field. AJ has the athletic ability to be used in a short pulling offensive line system and be used for sweeps and screen plays. He is very smart and does an excellent job working with his teammates, identifying stunts and picking up the blitz through the middle. He gets out of his stance with solid quickness when pass blocking and fires out when run blocking with the power and determination that will make coaches and running backs feel the only way to gain positive yards on a third and short down is to run behind AJ. He is smart enough to play the center position and is assignment savvy. If someone works him out at the center position and he can make all the snaps, AJís value will increase even more. Right now, AJ projects to become a ten year right guard for the team that selects him with the potential to move to the left side if he can continue to improve and, as I said before, if he can work the center position that will add even more talent and value to the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
On film I see AJ has a problem going to his right when run blocking and pass blocking. Iím thinking that since he doesnít seem to have the same issue going to his left, AJ might be playing with a knee or ankle injury. This is just an observation and my reasoning for a player who seems to be more than adequate pass blocking one way, but not the other way. AJ also seems to lose his technique when pass blocking in general, but when he keeps his techniques, he does a very good job.

BOTTOM LINE
Hereís the bottom line: AJ is not a spread option offensive lineman which is the system he has played in for his college team. In a spread offense, the splits are further apart and AJ doesnít have the lateral agility to play one-on-one when pass blocking in that style. He does a solid job, but itís not to his strength. He is a power offensive lineman with the football intelligence and athletic talent to play in the style of offense the Indianapolis Colts use. In that system, he can become a Pro Bowl right or left guard. He reminds me a lot of former Giants right guard, Chris Snee. I do think that AJ has an injury issue because on film he gets beat and struggles to move to his right. In fact, when he goes to his right to pass block and moves laterally, his first step is a hop instead of a smooth lateral slide move. Itís possible that he just has gotten into some bad habits and this issue is just a technique issue, but if itís not, it will affect his value. If itís an injury, then to me itís just a matter of getting him healthy and giving him the repetitions to minimize his bad habits. However, if he doesnít have an injury then this ďhopping to his right thingĒ will affect his draft value. But make no mistake about it: in the right offensive line blocking scheme, AJ has the ability to be a ten year guard that the fans might overlook, but the coaches and teammates will not.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2015