STRENGTHS - Surprisingly smooth and fluid for an OT, Pugh can bend knees and sink hips to pass block with great base/leverage. His quick feet combined with his ability to block with base makes it easy for him to slide out to pass block speed rushers and to re-direct to adjust to quick COD pass rush moves. When he stays in his shuffle he can ride pass rusher completely around pocket. Possessing good playing strength, once he locks up on pass rusher he can keep man tied up and eliminates man from the play. Quick off the ball and highly competitive, Pugh does a good job of pinning inside shaded DL inside on down/side run blocks. Consistently fast getting through the LOS to the second level, Pugh can be an outstanding blocker out in space when he stays over feet and keeps knees bent. Pugh showed his athleticism off when he was able to drive DL down the LOS and then could peel off block and adjust to block backside LB to open up inside hole for RB. He has the size, playing strength and athleticism to start at any offensive line position.
WEAKNESSES - Not a huge OT at 6'4 1/2, some in NFL have real concerns about his ability to play tackle at the next level due to his shorter than ideal arms (Arms measured 31 1/2 at the Senior Bowl and 32 at the Combine). For a player who does not aggressively punch in pass pro and tends to try and "get a good fit," having shorter arms is an even bigger concern because it allows aggressive pass rusher to get to his chest first. When he blocks out in space he has a bad habit of getting high and struggles to adjust to block a moving target when he does. He is viewed as somewhat of a "tweener" as his measureables are best suited to playing guard, but he is not an aggressive, powerful blocker and could have trouble against NFL DT's.
SUMMARY - Pugh is a fourth year junior who came out early for the Draft after graduating from Syracuse. Although he does not fit the prototypical mold of an offensive tackle, when I evaluated his play on film it was clear to me that he looked big and athletic enough to be an effective left tackle in the NFL. With quick feet and the ability to pass block with good base, Pugh has consistently displayed the ability to slide out quickly to cut-off the speed/edge rusher. Although he was not dominant, his play during practice at the Senior Bowl proved to me that he can handle playing left tackle at the next level. Overall, I do not think Pugh will be drafted as highly as I have him rated, but am confident that within a season or two will develop into a quality starting left tackle in the NFL. He is a good risk to take because even if he does not pan out at tackle due to arm length, he has what it takes to be a good starting guard or center.