James Stone – Center
Stone is a fourth-year senior and has been a starter since midway through his freshman year. He is listed at being 6’3 – 295 but looks a bit shorter and heavier. He has average arm length for the position. Tennessee usually plays from a spread formation, and the first thing you notice about Stone is he snaps the ball with his left hand. This isn’t a big deal, but the QB has to get used to the ball coming back with a reverse spin, and when playing form under center, the ball comes up on a slightly different angle.
Stone makes the line calls. I like his consistency. He has average size, but plays with strength, has bend and athleticism, and gets the job done. He has good initial quickness and shows he can snap and step. He gets his hands up quickly and on his opponent. In the run game, when he plays against a big head-up opponent, he shows he can lose some ground initially, but is able to recover and gain back some of that ground. He does get stalemated, at times. He doesn’t have great quickness, but he shows he can take good angles to get to linebackers. He will pull, on occasion, and while not fast, he can adjust on the move.
In pass protection, he was fairly consistent in all three games I viewed. He can set quickly. Has good feet and can slide and recover. He is alert to pick up blitzes and will help out when free. He plays with bend and usually does a good job against bull rushers, but he did get walked back a couple of times versus Alabama. He has good hand placement.
Stone has the tools to eventually start in the league, though, I see him as a backup early in his career. He was recruited as a guard, and if he is able to play two positions in the NFL, that will help his ability to dress on Sunday early in his career. I say that, because most clubs only dress seven offensive linemen on game day. He is a solid mid-to-late round pick.