Over the next couple of weeks, I will be doing a scouting report on each of the Lions' draft picks. Basically, I'm going to dig up information on each draft pick from various sources so we can get a better idea of what each player is like. To start things off, today we will look at Detroit's first-round pick, Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus.
Before diving into the actual scouting report, I should note that Cherilus is by far a better right tackle than a left tackle. As a Lion, I imagine he will come in and start at right tackle from day one. He is an outstanding run blocker, which is perfect for the Lions' new offensive scheme that focuses more on putting the ball on the ground. On top of that, Detroit really doesn't have anybody that will be a lot of competition for Cherilus as Damien Woody is gone, and although he had a decent season before injuries ended it early, I don't think Jonathan Scott will be a big factor.
Moving on, let's find out exactly what Cherilus brings to the table by looking at what various sources think of Detroit's first-round selection.
Pass Blocking: Excels versus power rushers who come straight ahead on a bull rush. Struggles greatly against speed rushers who move to the outside. Lacks foot quickness and has trouble changing direction. Struggles to recover. Could get better against countermoves.
Run Blocking: Can engulf opponents on running plays. A road grader at tackle. In run blocking, Cherilus needs to learn to become more explosive off the snap.
Strengths: Has a massive frame and good feet for his size. His arms (36.2 inches) and hands (11.6 inches) are enormous. Plays with a mean streak. Is big enough to engulf defenders if he's in position, can wear them down over the course of a game and has the frame to add even more weight. Won't take many false steps, is efficient and generally gets into sound position. Drives legs once in position, shows above-average lower body strength and is a powerful run blocker that can get movement in short-yardage situations. Plays with good motor, stays under control when gets into space and is an effective downfield blocker. Efficiently gets into pass set and uses long arms to ride pass rushers past the pocket. Moves feet well for size, stays balanced and flashes the ability to counter double moves. Keeps head up, shows good awareness and can pick up the blitz as well as line stunts.
Weaknesses: Plays entirely too high. Has quick feet for his size and good overall strength but both can be compromised by his marginal leverage. Though he gets good hand placement and rarely loses battle once locked on to the defender, he doesn't deliver a powerful initial punch. While big enough to hold ground most of the time, he bends at the waist rather than the knees and powerful bull rushers should have some success pushing back into the pocket.
POSITIVES: Powerful, king-sized tackle who projects to the strong side. Keeps his feet and hands active throughout the action, plays with a nasty attitude, and annihilates opponents. Always looking for someone to hit, dominant at the point, and easily removes defenders from the action or engulfs them altogether. Makes good use of angles, jolts defenders with good hand-punch, and keeps his head on a swivel. Picks up stunts and blitzes. Gets a lot of movement from run-blocks and anchors at the point in pass protection.
NEGATIVES: Lacks footwork and lateral blocking range and exploited by speedy edge-rushers. Not light on his feet, lacks adjustment, and ineffective in motion.
Eagle in Atlanta (Boston College blog):
Gos has all the pieces to be great. He moves well and has the ideal size. The lone question is about his mental focus. He struggled last year after we moved him from the right side to the left. He was also prone to mental mistakes throughout his career (false starts, etc). BC's track record producing lineman is solid. I expect him to be a very good pro. Let me know if there are specific questions you want me to answer.
Click here for Todd McShay's take on Cherilus.
Goodell announcing the pick and analysis from Mike Mayock afterwards:
- Gosder Cherilus Interview
- Highlights versus Wake Forest (look for the left tackle, #77)
- Highlights versus Georgia Tech
- Highlights versus Michigan State
Basically, Cherilus is someone that can come in, start at right tackle, and be a pretty good player in the NFL. He is a better run blocker than pass blocker, but once he develops the latter should improve. He needs to work on his footwork the most, and if that gets better, his pass blocking will as well. If Cherilus can continue to stay healthy as he did for most of his career at Boston College, then the Lions have found their starting right tackle for years to come.