OL Scouting Notebook - Week 3
For the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft I will be scouting upwards of 60 offensive line prospects and many of the eligible tight ends. While the scouting report itself won’t be shared here (announcement coming), I am introducing a series where I select a few players I am studying that week to spotlight.
The goal will be to showcase how each player wins, their best matchups of the season, any notable anecdotes, game notes, and some concerns that I have about key areas of their game. In doing so you will get a snapshot of dozens of linemen around the country with insight into their evaluation. You can expect this series to run in a similar format as below, with tweaks throughout draft season.
Players covered in Weeks 1-2: Landon Dickerson, Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown, Wyatt Davis, Royce Newman, and Brady Christensen.
Oklahoma State T Teven Jenkins - 6’6” 320 pounds - Junior - 23 years old Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season
Tapes viewed: 2019 - TCU. 2020 - West Virginia, Texas, Tulsa
Best matchups: Week 5 vs. Joseph Ossai
Top traits: Upper body & grip strength, square power, competitive toughness, use of hands
Biggest concerns: Range in pass protection, Angles to the second level
2019 Week 9 vs. TCU: Pass protection: Jenkins showed good patience in his 45-degree sets this game and once rusher’s engaged him he used a Hamilton technique to unlock their arm at the wrist plus a snatch/trap technique to take away their leverage at the forearm, including one rep sending RS freshman DE Ochaun Mathis on his face. Jenkins also flashed his immense power on a jump set to knock an end back on his heels. His issues came against an inside counter move where he dropped his inside foot on a power step that caused him to lose his balance and give up penetration, allowing multiple rushers to get through on full slides to his left (spatial awareness and levels with his linemates were off), and late in the game against freshman DE Colt Ellison when he was late with his outside hand against Ellison’s cross-chop technique (something Jenkins figured out how to defeat the following season).
Run-blocking: Jenkins has a phenomenal backside cut-off showing very good quickness out of his stance to intersect the off-ball linebacker and drive him across the field on the angle he found him on (1 of the ‘5 plays’ below). Jenkins also used the same Hamilton technique that he did in pass protection early in the game on an angle-drive block to get underneath the defender and create displacement. He fell off another angle-drive block against Mathis when the DE went inside then spun back out, leaving Jenkins off-balance. As the game wore on Jenkins started to have more dominant reps including a heavy-handed strike at the second level that knocked junior LB Garret Wallow off of his feet and then an angle-drive block against Ellison (2-point 7-technique), driving him into the ground for a pancake.
2020 Week 1 vs. Tulsa: This is the game that Jenkins had his lone start at left tackle before moving over to his normal right tackle spot for the second half due to injury. Early in the game Jenkins used a viciously powerful snatch/trap technique multiple times against senior DE Cullen Wick to put him on the ground then executed a skip pull technique around the opposite tackle to clip a linebacker to spring a big run behind him. Jenkins hooked and sealed Wick on an outside zone run then on the next play scooped and sealed him from the backside (both at LT), and a third time scooped him when he was aligned as a 3-technique (at RT); an outstanding sequence of plays that showcased what he can do in an outside zone scheme. Jenkins also led around the edge to his right on a pull and lined up a DB in space later in the game.
2020 Week 2 vs. West Virginia: Pass protection: Jenkins was dominant in this game. He showed off the cinderblocks he has for hands stunning and swallowing senior LB Tony Fields II on one play then shortly after showed his outside hand on a subtle flash technique in pass protection to bait junior DE Dante Stills’ into using his cross-chop move against air. Shortly after he engulfed RS freshman Jalen Thornton’s inside club move and showed a very stout anchor against Stills’ bull-rush.
Run-blocking: Jenkins got to open up and get near full speed on a WR screen where his gait looked natural and smooth. He drove freshman DT Akheem Mesidor back 5 yards on a combo getting minimal help from his tight end and had another silky smooth climb up to the second level on an inside zone combo to fit on a backer. Jenkins showed good processing to pick up another backer over the top of a scrape-exchange with the DE.
2020 Week 5 vs. Texas: Jenkins got beat clean twice this game in pass protection. Once when he turned his hips early in his set that created a soft inside shoulder and allowed penetration and another in what was the game-ending sack in overtime to junior Joseph Ossai (wide-9 technique) when he underset him and got beat around the corner. This was a huge play that stretched Jenkins’ range on an island against high level speed off of the edge.
Aside from these two reps Jenkins was flat-out dominant, locking up Ossai multiple times and putting him on his back including an epic finish where he drove him nearly 10 yards into the ground on the opposing sideline. Jenkins showed off vice grips for hands locking Ossai up on two other reps where Ossai had no hope of disengaging and another memorable finish where he had two knockdowns on the same play (a DE and LB).
Best fit: Panthers, Broncos, Giants, Cardinals, Bears, Jets
Five Plays: These are five reps from Jenkins’ tape that I think tell the story of what he can do as a pro player.
Georgia OG Ben Cleveland - 6’6” 350 pounds - Redshirt Senior - 23 years old Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season
2020 was Cleveland’s first year as a full-time starter after rotating at right guard the prior three seasons. His career starts (25 total) are as follows: 2017 - 5, 2018 - 4, 2019 - 7, 2020 - 9
Tapes viewed: 2019 - Tennessee. 2020 - Auburn, Alabama
Best matchups: Week 4 vs. Bama DTs Jamil Burroughs, D.J. Dale, and Christian Barmore
Top traits: Size, build, power, anchor, mental processing
Biggest concerns: Foot quickness, agility, dropping his head too often
2019 Week 6 vs. Tennessee: Right away Cleveland showed impressive mental processing to diagnose multiple different games including early in the game passing off a 3-technique slanting inside to the center before picking up the slanting 7-technique DE, then late in the game picking up the blitzing strong-side off-ball linebacker and coming off of him to help his right tackle on a DE that spun inside. Cleveland handled junior DT Matthew Butler on several reps, showing a very strong inside hand against Butler in a 2i-alignment to widen him outside of the pocket and again using his inside hand to knock him off balance and anchoring with one short hop step back after Butler attempted a cross-chop move.
2020 Week 2 vs. Auburn: Pass protection: Cleveland was very sharp processing a variety of different stunts and twists in this game, snapping his head inside when the 3-technique hesitated to set up a twist with the opposite DT or outside to pick up the penetrator on E-T stunts, including one where he threw a forearm into the penetrating end to knock him on the ground.
Run-blocking: You could see some stiffness in his lower half when he had to work up to the second level off of a double-team. Cleveland knocked the DT over for the center to overtake but was beat outside by linebacker Owen Pappoe after being lined up directly over him pre-snap (tough angle for Cleveland). He had to get out in space a few more times in this game and took choppy, unnatural steps on his releases, struggling to quickly redirect against movement. Cleveland knocked a few players off of their feet on down blocks including senior DT Daquan Newkirk twice. He drove freshman DE Zykeivous Walker back several yards multiple times and took RS freshman ‘Buck’ Colby Wooden further than he wanted to go by several yards on a wide zone play. It was very clear in this game that Cleveland’s size, girth, and play strength were very good and capable of generating easy movement at the point of attack.
2020 Week 4 vs. Alabama: Pass protection: Cleveland had three excellent pass-offs in this game; one of a T-E stunt, a T-T twist between two stand-up linebackers, and he picked up a slot corner blitz when uncovered due to active eyes and staying alert. Cleveland’s best rep came against sophomore 3-technique Byron Young’s attempted club-swim move, stoning him with accurate hand placement, resetting underneath his frame after initial contact, and anchoring to set a firm pocket. His lack of range in pass protection was exposed once when Alabama had two ‘creepers’ at the line of scrimmage that ran an E-T stunt, forcing Cleveland to have to explode out of his stance and get to a spot. Cleveland lost his level with the right tackle and gave up penetration due to a lack of juice coming out of his stance. This is a concern at the next level when he will likely be put in these scenarios more often.
Run-blocking: Cleveland was tested but only lost one glaring rep this game when his base got narrow out of his stance on a double team and he dipped his head on contact against D.J. Dale who was in a 0-technique. Cleveland went too far inside and got beat to his right. There was another rep where he initially was beat against Christian Barmore (2i) on an inside zone play when Barmore used a swim move but Cleveland recovered in time to seal him off and prevent much penetration. Aside from these reps, Cleveland showed off excellent torque and rotational power against Jamil Burroughs on a slant inside from a 4-technique alignment to twist his upper body towards the ground before driving him back 4 yards. Cleveland did an outstanding job of being thick and heavy on double-teams, getting hip-to-hip with his right tackle and center to cover up Phidarian Mathis on a duo play, Barmore, and Justin Eboigbe at different points in the game. Cleveland has a concrete head that he uses extensively on contact to stun defenders both as a run- and pass blocker that can get him into trouble at times but it is usually very effective. You saw that in this game on some of these doubles and at the second level including one late in the game when he absolutely stoned Dylan Moses on a blitz off of an inside zone run. At 6’6” 350 pounds, Cleveland is a force at the point of attack with the body control to stay balanced through contact, steer, and maintain control at a very high level in the running game and in his anchor.
Best fit: Raiders, Ravens, Steelers
Five Plays: These are five reps from Cleveland’s tape that I think tell the story of what he can do as a pro player.
Clemson T/G Jackson Carman - 6’5” 320 pounds - Junior - 21 years old Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season
Tapes viewed: 2019 - Ohio State. 2020 - Wake Forest, Miami, Notre Dame
Best matchups: Week 5 vs. Quincy Roche
Top traits: Size, play strength, power, physicality, agility
Biggest concerns: Footwork, use of hands, pad level
2019 Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State: Carman got to face off against Chase Young a handful of times in this matchup and faired okay considering he was a true sophomore at the time while Young would go on to be the number two pick in the NFL Draft four months later. In pass protection Carman had two beautiful reps against Young, one early in the game that showed good strike timing and placement (with tight end help) and another late in the game that Carman used an outside ‘flash’ technique on followed by an inside strike to mirror Young up the arc. Carman was beat clean around the edge by Young multiple times both as a result of being late and inaccurate with a two-handed strike, something he relied on too much in his college career. Carman also had a underset against Tyreke Smith after using a flash technique with his inside hand, giving up the corner at seven yards behind the line of scrimmage. On the backside of an RPO Carman showed a nice snatch/trap technique to put Tyler Friday on the ground, a technique Carman would go on to use with relative success the next season. While this wasn’t a great game for Carman in a vacuum, his size, agility, and physicality were notable.
2020 Week 1 vs. Wake Forest:
Pass protection - Early in the game Carman read the defensive end’s pause that signaled a potential line game with the defensive tackle and snapped his head inside to crush the 3-technique with a violent push. Soon after he faced Carlos Basham Jr. (Senior Bowl invitee) in a wide-9 technique and showed off more of his movement skills to beat him to the spot but was late and wide with his hands, giving up his chest in the process but getting saved by help from the left guard. Carman’s erratic use of hands popped up several times in this game including on a later rep against Jacorey Johns when he was again wide on contact, leading to him having to grab and wrap around Johns’ neck to slow him down.
Run-blocking: Carman quickly showed one of his primary strengths when on a double-team he banged down on the 3-technique to knock him over for the left guard to overtake before climbing up to the second level and latching onto the backside linebacker scraping over the top. Later he showed massive pop against Basham (5-technique) on an inside zone run, knocking him back 2-yards and sealing him inside to create a massive lane off of his backside. Late in the game his technique started to fall apart a little bit as he made a lazy attempt to block Johns on a hinge block, bear hugging him and not moving his feet to mirror, and was getting grabby on the backside of runs when a defender crossed his face. He was on the ground on another rep when Basham crossed his face from the 5-technique alignment due to the same issues of not moving his feet and lunging to try and make the block.
2020 Week 5 vs. Miami:
Pass protection: Carman’s matchup against Quincy Roche (Senior Bowl invitee) was revealing for a few different reasons. Carman won a couple of reps after making some necessary adjustments to his technique, but Roche finished with several convincing wins and on top overall. Early on Roche gained access to Carman’s chest via a long-arm technique that put him on his heels (pads were too high) and then beat him around the corner 7-yards behind the line of scrimmage using a swipe-rip combination on another rep shortly after. On this second rep Carman used a double flash technique (don’t see this often) prior to Roche’s move that was unnecessary and wound up hurting Carman’s positional leverage, resulting in him hooking Roche around the neck to slow him down. Later Roche again used a long-arm to get inside and underneath of Carman’s initial strike due to his pads being too high, but Carman was able to swallow him up using sheer size and strength. Carman was able to mask this issue a few times on tape due to his physical prowess but despite the result being okay, the process revealed some holes in his game that quality rushers were able to expose throughout the tape of him that I studied. Carman was beat clean around the edge later again by Roche after a failed two-handed strike (late), with Roche using a sweet chop-rip combination to knock down Carman’s outside hand. After getting beat a few times Carman started to display some patience with his hands that resulted in one very nice circle punch technique where he came up and around Roche’s chop, then mirrored him up the arc. Roche was able to string moves together and in the process exposed a slight hitch in between Carman’s 3rd and 4th step in his pass set that popped up numerous times on tape and effectively created a short corner because he wasn’t able to smoothly mirror up the arc. Cameron Williams beat Carman with a forklift technique and cornered late on one rep due to Carman’s hand placement being too high on Williams’ frame and later Carman got him back with a nice snatch/trap technique after making initial contact with a well-timed two-handed strike. Williams used a club-rip technique near the end of the game that Carman had to grab and reach to stop, highlighting erratic hand placement which is one of the key weaknesses to his game.
Run-blocking: While Carman was up and down as a pass protector he was much better run-blocking, which is a microcosm of his game as a whole. Carman made some nice adjustments vs. the scrape-exchange that Miami was running to combat Clemson’s RPO game, demonstrating excellent power and torque to toss Roche inside a couple of times as he was attempting to penetrate the ‘B’ gap from a 5-technique alignment. Carman also showed off his athletic ability and very impressive agility leading in space on the edge several times this game. He tracked down linebacker Bradley Jennings Jr. on an outside run to his left, got on his horse to line up and kick out the force defender (cornerback) on a swing pass to his left that he traveled at least 15 yards on, and leveled an unsuspecting safety (Bubba Bolden) on a combo/climb on another rep. The best play I saw on any tape from Carman (1 of the ‘5 plays’ below) was on another swing pass to the left where he initially banged down on a DT before transitioning outside, working his hips around and cutting off linebacker Zach McCloud who was lined up outside of the tackle box pre-snap in what was a special display of movement skills from a guy Carman’s size. Carman also cratered in the Hurricane defense on deuce blocks, delivering massive jolt on the 3-technique to knock him over a gap on multiple power runs. His inconsistent hand placement and over aggressive nature bit him a few times as a run-blocker in this game too, so it wasn’t a totally clean performance in this area, but his appealing blend of size/AA/power was on full display.
2020 ACC Championship vs. Notre: Carman really showed more of the same as in the prior matchups highlighted above both for the good and the bad, but really fell apart late in this game to give up consecutive sacks in overtime. On one he missed with an inside snatch/trap technique against Ade Ogundeji (Senior Bowl invitee) with his outside hand getting forklifted, followed by a push-pull-swim combination back inside by Ogundeji for a clean win. The next play Carman gave poor effort on a hinge block where he needed to provide better help on the 4i-technique (Daelin Hayes), leaving his center out to dry who had to back block Hayes due to the left guard pulling, giving Hayes a free run for a sack.
Best fit: Raiders, Colts, Ravens, Browns
One-liner: Carman has some traits (size, power, AA) and flashes that are certainly worth developing and building off of, but right now needs to clean up his technique before he can maximize his physical tools.
Five Plays: These are five reps from Carman’s tape that I think tell the story of what he can do as a pro player.
Stay tuned for next week’s OL Scouting Notebook which will feature Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater.