Orwin Smith was a fan favorite during his time on campus, but that is irrelevant now that the NFL Draft is approaching. He was unable to attend the combine and didn’t participate in Tech’s pro day, which caused his draft stock to take a hit. The most important thing in the scouting process, however, is game tape, and Orwin has quite a bit of it. He was a key contributor in Tech’s offense for three years and has made many game-changing plays in his career. This scouting report will highlight his key strengths and weaknesses by looking at the first half of the Miami game from last season (I decided to spare everyone the second half) and a highlight video of his career. Below are the two videos respectively and he is #17 like always. Continue reading
As many of you hopefully saw, I did Part 1 of Omoregie Uzzi’s scouting report a couple of weeks ago. If you missed it, here it is. For Part 1, I used the Clemson tape from last season and highlighted many of his strengths and weaknesses. This time around I’ll be using the game tape from Georgia Tech’s ACC Championship Game contest against Florida State. This game should be more telling of Uzzi’s ability since they have more talent along their DL. Below is the video I will use for reference in this scouting report and Uzzi is #77 at RG like usual.
Uzzi’s first strength I pointed out from the Clemson game was his ability to dominate DL and push them back at the point of attack. Although it isn’t as noticeable in this game (given the increased competition), he is still able to control his blocks and get leverage on the DT. If you look at 15:20 in the video, Uzzi gets off the line well and pushes the DT back. He holds his block, which keeps the DT from arm tackling the B Back. Throughout the game, Uzzi shows the strength to play in the NFL and it should help him see some playing time early on.
In the Clemson game Uzzi didn’t get a chance to show his pull blocking and pass protection abilities, but luckily he was asked to do this more against FSU. At 27:50 in the video, Uzzi gets out of his stance and pulls to the left side of the line. He gets a block on the defender and takes him out of the play, opening up the field for the A back. Another example of his pull blocking is at 1:01:00, when Uzzi gets out of his stance and gets to the defender. He isn’t able to cut block the defender because the DE makes a better play to avoid the block. In this instance however, we are just looking at his ability to get out of his stance and pull with good footwork. He has impressive athleticism that helps him quickly get off the line and get into position to finish the block.
After watching the Clemson game, I had Uzzi’s pass protection down as an unknown, purely since he never had to in that game. Almost all of Tech’s passes were short routes where the ball was out of the QB’s hands in 2-3 seconds. In the ACC Championship game however, Tech was forced to pass the ball against better CBs, which means longer blocking for the OL. At 24:55, Uzzi stays in front of the DT by using his quick feet. He keeps his balance and maintains the block through the play. He does it again at 51:45, where he dominates the DT and holds his block. He did a great job of pass blocking during the ACC Championship game and he projects favorably to the NFL.
Much like the Clemson game, Uzzi played well against FSU. There isn’t much to critique after watching the tape, but there are a few minor issues he needs to work on. At 29:15 in the video, Uzzi gets thrown to the side by the DT, who ends up getting a tackle on the play. This is another example of Uzzi getting caught off balance. It could certainly be a problem going against NFL caliber DTs, but it doesn’t happen consistently enough to be a major concern. He also whiffed on a few cut blocks during the game, but he has all the ability to fix this problem (check out 26:40 and 51:10). In both plays, he completely eliminates the defender from the play, which is ultimately what you want all of your OL to do. Again, after watching the FSU video he doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game, which is why he is a two time First Team All-ACC guard.
Omoregie Uzzi is an extremely athletic OG who has the ability to become a starter in the NFL. He has been a successful football player at every level of competition so far in his career and I don’t see him slowing down. Had he not been injured for the combine, I believe he would be a 3rd or 4th round pick in the draft. Since he wasn’t able to perform for scouts, however, other players have risen ahead of him and he is now a 4th or 5th round pick. What also hurts Uzzi’s draft stock is the depth at the OG position this year. There are three or four potentially elite OGs in this year’s draft along with a few potential starters, which makes it harder for him to stand out. In the end, Uzzi dominated some of the best DL in the country throughout his career and I don’t see any legitimate reasons why he won’t succeed in the NFL.
Now that we are through the two major parts of the pre-draft process(Combine and pro day), it is time to look at another Tech draft hopeful, Omoregie Uzzi. Uzzi was considered Georgia Tech’s best NFL prospect back in January, but his stock has slowly slipped after missing the combine due to injury. When scouts go back and look at his game tape, however, they will see an impressive prospect who is undervalued heading into the draft. This scouting report will be divided into two parts because the only game tape I could find is full games against Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech. It would be very difficult to complete one scouting report with 5-7 hours of youtube video, so the first part will be based off of the Clemson game. Below is the video I will reference throughout the scouting report and Uzzi is playing RG in the video.
Uzzi is 6′ 3″ and weighs 300 pounds, which is ideal size for an NFL offensive guard. Along with his size, he shows the strength to physically dominate DL at the point of attack. At 1:16:07 in the video, Uzzi completely consumes the DL and uses his strength to push the defender back. Throughout the game he shows the strength necessary to compete as a rookie in the NFL. He has clearly spent time in the weight room and it shows on tape. What helps Uzzi along with his strength is his ability to bend his knees and get leverage on defenders. At 20:50 in the video, he shows he is able to maintain proper form throughout his block and gets good leverage to keep his ground. Throughout the game, I very rarely saw Uzzi give up ground and get pushed back by Clemson’s DTs. This is directly related to his ability to win the leverage battle in the trenches.
Another one of Uzzi’s strengths is his ability to hold his blocks and take defenders out of the play. At 50:51 and 1:02:30, he holds his block and drives the Clemson player back. The second time I just mentioned was an exceptional play by Uzzi as he completely removes the defender from the play, which is what scouts look for in OG prospects.
All of the above strengths show that Uzzi is a very capable run blocker, which would be expected coming out of a triple option system. What was more of a surprise when watching the game was how he projects as a pass blocker. At 22:20, Uzzi uses his footwork to stay in front of the DE and keeps him out of the pocket. Sine he is an excellent athlete, he is able to quickly slide and use his feet to keep his balance. Tech’s offensive mentality during this game was to utilize a lot of quick out passes though, which makes it hard to determine how he’ll hold up when he’s required to hold blocks for longer periods of time in pass protection. Right now I see his pass protection projecting favorably to the NFL, which will help him see more playing time early on.
Let me first clarify, Uzzi had a very good game against Clemson. He was able to create holes and did a great job of keeping defenders away from the plays. Therefore, these weaknesses are more consistency issues than they are actual problems with his game. The first weakness I saw was at 33:20, when Uzzi gets caught off balance and is thrown to the side by the defender. Throughout much of the game, he was able to dominate the competition and showed good footwork, so I am chalking this up as a consistency problem. The next weakness I saw was at 52:45, where Uzzi completely whiffs on a cut block and the defender blows up the play. This happened multiple times throughout the game, so it is certainly something he needs to work on. When college teams play Georgia Tech though, they know they are going to get cut blocked throughout the game, so it is easier to avoid them when you’re expecting it. NFL teams don’t use the cut block as often, which means he should be more effective at it at the next level.
Another big question scouts will have regarding Uzzi’s game is his lack of film on pull blocks. Pull blocking is a very important part of an OG’s game and I don’t recall seeing Uzzi attempt one in the Clemson game. He certainly has the athletic ability and quickness to become successful at it, but it is still a mystery.
Omoregie Uzzi is an extremely athletic OG who has three years of excellent production in the ACC. He is an experienced player that shows the skills required to translate his game to the NFL. Prior to the combine, he was considered a third or fourth round prospect. After missing the combine due to an injury however, he now projects to go in the 5th or 6th round. I believe he will wind up going somewhere in the 4th round because he has the talent level that teams won’t want to pass up on. If he goes to a strong running team, he should see some playing time as a rookie in a bench role. He has proven, with three years of All-ACC performances, that he can dominate some of the best players in the country and should be a very solid player in the NFL.
For Part 2, I am either going to use the Virginia Tech game or the FSU game in the ACC Championship. Do you guys have a preference? If so, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to use whichever one is favored. Thanks!
TJ Barnes was one of the two Georgia Tech players who received an invite to this years NFL Combine. By all accounts, he helped himself with his faster than expected 40 time and the rest of his performances. It certainly helps that he measured in at 6′ 6″ and almost 35″ arms. He has some upside, but let’s see exactly where he stands heading into Georgia Tech’s Pro Day on March 14th.
Here are the two videos I will be referencing during this scouting report. The first video is TJ Barnes’ performance against Florida State, who had a pretty good run-blocking offensive line this year. The second video is a compilation of his highlights from 2012. This video should be taken with a grain of salt, but it does show some nice traits of his that he can continue to improve on. Here they are.
Let’s take a look at what TJ has done well in his time at Tech and what should get him drafted. His massive size(6′ 6″ and 370 lbs) allows him to be a successful space eater and take on double teams. NFL teams love adding players on their D line who require a double team because they free up space and blockers for the other defenders in the front 7.
After seeing TJ run the 40 at the NFL Combine, it is clear that he is an athlete and has quick feet. In the first video at 1:07, he uses his quick feet to fend off a cut block by the offensive lineman and get into the backfield. Another example of his quickness is at :40 in the same video, where he splits the gap between the C and LG to knock the RB off his path and stop the play.
One of his best attributes is his ability to keep his eyes on the QB and knock passes down at the line of scrimmage. When successful defensive linemen can’t get to the passer, they keep their eyes up and try to swat passes away. The player who does this best in the NFL happens to be the reigning Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt. If you go to :23 and 2:07 in the second video, Barnes shows he is able to time the passes and knock them down.
Successful DT’s in the NFL are able to move the pocket by providing push up the middle. Therefore, lower body strength is extremely important and they should know how to use it. TJ Barnes shows the tendency to get stood up at the line and frequently get pushed back. He doesn’t get low enough on the C and is unable to push the pocket. This is something that can be improved on with better coaching, but it can’t entirely be fixed. His height will make it hard for him to gain leverage, so he will need to improve on his lower body strength.
The other big issue I saw on tape was how easily he can be blocked out of plays. At 2:06 in the first video, Barnes gets absolutely manhandled by the LG, who moves him 10 yards out of the play. This again goes back to leverage at the line and improved lower body strength. He will have a very short career in the NFL if he doesn’t correct these issues in his game, even with the strengths mentioned above.
Barnes shows some very nice tendencies that are excellent compliments to a DT’s game, but he will need to improve his lower body strength and explosion to ever see an NFL field on Sundays. With that said, he is an above average athlete for his frame and has good quickness. Right now I see TJ as a late round pick in the NFL Draft. I can see a team like the Ravens, Patriots, or 49ers spending a 6th or 7th round pick on him to stash him on their practice squad for a season or two. He will need quite a bit of coaching, but those teams have Pro Bowl DT’s on their roster already and can afford to give him time to develop. He has good upside and that will eventually get him drafted.
Earlier this afternoon Rod Sweeting ran his 40 at the NFL Combine and he made the best of his opportunity. He posted an unofficial 4.40 in his first run and a 4.38 in his second run.
Overall Sweeting has had a very nice day, also posting 37″ in the vertical jump and 10′ 4″ in the broad jump. In his pre combine analysis I stated that he needed to run a fast 40 to help eliminate some of his weaknesses on film. He would consistently get beat deep by receivers, and he needed to prove to scouts that he had the speed to be drafted. Although a fast 40 doesn’t mean he won’t show the same issues when he gets to the next level, it still certainly helps his draft stock.
I think both Tech prospects at the combine this week(TJ Barnes was the other) showed up and helped themselves. They still need to have good pro days to ensure getting drafted, but this was a great start for them and should give them some momentum going forward.
Also, I have a video of Sweeting running his 4.38, but I’m having trouble uploading it, so come back later if you missed it and want to see him run.