2015 NFL Draft Preview: OL Brandon Scherff
The Sports Quotient’s annual Draft Preview series barrels on! This seventh week, the focus is on offensive linemen. Today’s O-line prospect is Brandon Scherff out of the University of Iowa.
Brandon Scherff is a great player and leader that had an impressive college career. On the leadership front, he was named a permanent team captain last year and has been a member of Iowa's leadership group every one of his four years at the school. Last year he was also given the honor of MVP of the Iowa football team and elected first-team All Big Ten . He earned second-team honors the year before. He is respected and well liked and no one questions his heart or work ethic.
The one word that comes to mind when talking about Brandon Scherff is grit If you've seen video of him pancaking a helpless defender or lifting over 400 pounds with ease, then you'd know what I mean. Scherff is a gym rat that's got a great edge to him and flashes great strength. He is excellent against the run game, as he is able to use power to set an edge for his RB. This being said, he succeeds against the pass as well! And although he has the strength of the Hulk, he is also light on his feet and has shows quickness and athleticism. He can play pretty much any offensive line position if asked.
Some of Scherff's greatness weaknesses stem from arguably his greatest trait: strength. Because he is so strong, he often relies on getting a good upper body push when pass blocking and does not always use his legs properly. In addition to that, sometimes, when he gets to the second level, he has the tendency to try and give backers or corners one big push and send them flying, rather than engaging and hold a block. This can allow them to stay on their feet and get back to the ball and make a play. Lastly he had a broken leg in 2012 and a torn meniscus last year, so hopefully his injury history does not continue to rear its ugly head down the road.
Scherff is the best offensive linemen prospect in the class. He is a great player that should be able to contribute quickly. His biggest strength is his run blocking, which you think might hurt him in a pass-happy league, but as we saw last year when Auburn's Greg Robinson was taken second overall by the St. Louis Rams, teams do not care too much about this. Robinson was better overall than Scherff is, but his best skill was anchoring that impressive Auburn rushing attack. Scherff may not be a top 10 talent, but he is certainly the best lineman in the draft and very likely will be a top 10 pick.
The best fit for Brandon Scherff is a team that will employ a power run scheme and let him man-handle the guy across from him. The Washington Redskins, under Jay Gruden, seem to be gearing up for this. Previously under Mike Shanahan, the Redskins employed a zone run scheme that requires smaller, athletic lineman. However Gruden and new GM Scott McCloughan love big linemen and smash-mouth football. Scherff may not be top five talent, but he makes sense as a pick for them. If the Redskins pass and opt to go QB or pass rusher, then the New York Giants at pick number nine would be happy to snatch up Scherff. I doubt he falls past them.