Two junior linemen with impact potential

With Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft last week and sources saying that Rutgers OT Anthony Davis will likely do the same Tuesday, the National Football Post breaks down the two prospects and what their NFL futures potentially look like.

DT Gerald McCoy: Oklahoma, 6-4, 297

What we like:

Awareness off the snap. He’s consistently the first defensive lineman moving off the football, which only further enhances his first-step quickness.

His ability to generate such explosion and power out of his stance. Possesses a flexible base and does a great job getting his hands up quickly and controlling blocks on contact.

Displays the first step to cross the face of interior lineman and penetrate his way into the backfield. Exhibits impressive balance and lower body strength, and consistently is able to drive his way up the field.

Hand placement. Does a great job extending his long arms and getting his hands under the chest plate of opposing linemen on contact.

Showcases the base strength and body control to hold the point of attack and consistently stack and shed vs. the run game.

Versatility. Exhibits impressive athleticism in space and has shown the ability to line up as a five-technique defensive end and rush the passer from the outside.

What we don’t like:

Plays with a good pad level initially but has a tendency to get upright once he gains a step and can be pushed past the play and/or sealed from the ball.

Will take himself out of plays at times trying to find the football inside.


If Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh didn’t have the type of phenomenally dominating season he had, it would be McCoy we’d be talking about as the nation’s top defensive tackle. His combination or awareness, explosion and overall power in his lower half allows him to consistently win one-on-one matchups inside and make his way toward the football. Plus, he’s very technically sound and does a good job using his hands to gain initial leverage on contact, shed blocks and track the ball away from his frame.

He looks like an ideal fit as 3-technique in a 4-3 scheme where he can beat opposing linemen inside and make his way into the backfield. However, a guy with his base strength, length and ability to shed blocks on contact also makes him an intriguing fit as a 3-4 DE. Either way, McCoy grades out as one of the top prospects and projects as an impact defensive lineman in any scheme at the next level.

Grade: 7.0

Starts in first game as a pro.…A prospect who possesses physical attributes that will create mismatches vs. most opponents….A featured player on a team.

OT Anthony Davis: Rutgers, 6-6, 325

What we like:

Displays impressive range for his size in pass protection and is consistently able to reach the corner vs. speed off the edge.

Possesses the body control to shuffle his feet, extend his arms and stay on blocks through the counter move.

Has the ability to drop his pad level and keep opposing pass rushers from flattening out along the edge.

Exhibits a long set of arms and impressive power on contact, has the ability to engulf defenders at the point of attack and is tough to disengage from once he gets his hands on you.

Base strength. He’s consistently able to sit into his stance and anchor on contact. Is very powerful vs. the bull rush and looks natural when asked to move his feet through contact and maintain his block.

Grace on the move. Has the ability to pull in space and consistently reach/seal defenders at the second level.

What we don’t like:

Gets a bit overextended with his base off the snap from a two-point stance. Will need to tighten up his footwork on his initial kick-step at the next level.

Still has a tendency to get impatient as a pass blocker and will lunge into blocks, even when he’s in good position on the outside.</p>

Lacks ideal body control off the snap as an in-line run blocker. Has a tendency to again lunge into blocks and is too easily slipped/side-stepped for a guy with his athletic ability and power.

Does have some minor character concerns: failed to make weight, suspended for violating team rules, benched for being late to team lunch.


Davis possesses a rare athletic skill set for a guy his size and does a great job not only anchoring vs. the bull-rush, but is fluid in space and can mirror on the edge. He has an impressive wingspan and, in my opinion, rates as the nation’s top left tackle prospect.

Now, he does have some minor character concerns and will need to clean up his footwork a bit at the next level. However, if he’s able to prove to NFL scouts and team officials that he’s willing to put in the work, there’s no reason this guy can’t develop into an upper-echelon offensive tackle in the NFL.

Grade: 7.0

Starts in first game as a pro….A prospect with physical attributes who will create mismatches vs. most opponents….A featured player on a team.

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