Brandon Linder – Guard/Tackle – Miami
Size – 6053v – 316v – 5.40e
Note: “v” stands for “verified,” while “e” stands for “estimated.”
Strong Points –
Plays both guard and tackle in every game, very productive, run block, pass block, hand use
Weak Points –
He’s an average athlete, has limitations when playing in space, does not play with top bend
Brandon is a fourth-year senior and a 3.5-year starter for the Miami Hurricanes. In the games I viewed, Linder split time at both right guard and right tackle. He is a big, productive overachiever who knows how to play within himself. He is very tough and competitive and tried to be physical on every play. Linder is an average athlete, does not have much speed and looks to be a bit tight in the knees, but still plays well at the line of scrimmage. When he has to play in space, Linder can have some trouble because of his athletic limitations.
Linder started 13 games for the Hurricanes last season.
Linder is very strong, but not overly explosive. He has good snap reaction and initial quickness and gets to his blocks in a hurry. While he doesn’t have a lot of “snap” on contact, he is powerful and will run his feet to get movement and finish most blocks. He is good with drive blocks and angle blocks and also productive with combo blocks in tight space. When Linder gets into space he’s a bit inconsistent and doesn’t always adjust well on the move when playing at the second level. He can do a fairly good job with short pulls, but is not consistently able to get to his block on longer pulls.
In pass protection, Linder has a quick set. He displays good hand use and more times than not gets his hands on his opponent first. He has a good punch and can keep his hands inside. While Linder isn’t a natural knee bender, he does play with some bend. He plays with a wide base and keeps good position on his opponent. He anchors well because of hand use and strength. When he was playing at tackle, I saw him get beat wide only a couple of times. While Linder doesn’t have great lateral quickness, he does take good angles. He knows his limitations and plays hard to offset them.
Overall, Brandon is more suited to play guard instead of tackle at the next level. In saying that, he may be able to get by at right tackle for a few games if he has to play there. He may also be able to play center and that may ultimately function as his best position. I see Linder as a backup during his rookie year, but he will dress on Sundays because of his position versatility. He should be a productive starter by year two. You don’t like this player much when you first watch him, but the more tape you study, the more you begin to appreciate Linder’s talent and competitive nature.
Grade: B 6.5