Florida's 2014 spring game ended in a tie, but score means nothing when the season is nearly five months away. The Orange & Blue Debut was about development and inspecting the near future. Here's what we learned. [details]
The Good: The total package at tackle. Possesses a big, strong-looking frame with long arms and a well-built upper and lower body. Displays an explosive first step and can consistently get outside and reach speed rushers. Excellent lateral mobility and feet. Plays low with good leverage and exhibits a powerful punch on contact. The most upside of any tackle in the group. The Bad: Has had some well-documented learning disabilities and may need his fair share of reps at the next level. Isn't as consistent as you'd like to see; seems to have lapses in concentration vs. lower level competition.
Positives: Naturally big. Is very light on his feet and can shuffle and slide to protect the edge. Fluid mover with long arms. Can pull and hit a moving target. Good balance - plays on his feet. Sets quickly in protection with good anchor strength and can absorb a charge. Flashes some explosive power and can knock defenders off the ball. Can pull, trap and maneuver in space. Showed great improvement as the season progressed. Negatives: Not physically or mentally tough and does not have a great feel for the game. Takes some bad angles and gets out of position. Is not quite as agile and quick changing direction as would like in an elite left tackle and mechanics break down the farther he has to travel. Inconsistent hand placement and punch. Technique will need refinement - too often opens his shoulders and loses his base and balance. Bends at the waist and needs to do a better job sustaining. Looks disinterested at times and can be late to recognize the blitz. Needs to spend more time in the weight room and convert baby fat into muscle. Has been too coddled throughout college, and his desire, passion for the game and football intelligence are questionable. Will require extra attention to absorb a playbook and is best when assignments are kept simple. Raised questions about his passion and psyche in team interviews. Summary: Clearly has the traits to line up at left tackle and many of his flaws are correctable with good coaching. But questions persist about how easily he will be able to transition to the pro game. Has had to overcome so much change in his life, including the shuffling of three different OL coaches in four years, that it could take years before he is ready and may need to be brought along slowly. A team investing a high pick had better be certain it properly has identified his intelligence and motivation levels and evaluated the environment he will be entering before pulling the trigger. Has classic boom-or-bust potential. Grade: First-round talent.