Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Offensive Prospect of the Week: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

Derek Sherrod has been the big name at the offensive lineman position this season. He has played very well this season, and with the lack of an elite offensive tackle prospect, many people have vaulted Sherrod to the top of their prospect rankings. I have not made such a big jump, but I have moved Sherrod up to #3 in my NFL Draft Rankings. I do not think he has surpassed Anthony Costanzo or Nate Solder, as prospects, despite their average seasons, but I think he has overtaken Gabe Carimi who is beginning to look more like a star right tackle prospect.

Courtesy of Google Images
Sherrod, a senior this year, has great size at 6'5, 305 pounds. He also possesses very good athleticism. His feet are very quick for a man his size, and this allows him to dominate defensive lineman in college. He also possesses very good upper body strength. When he gets locked onto a man in pass protection it is over. His run blocking is also very good. He gets good push and uses his strength to move defensive lineman and create holes. His run blocking is superior to his pass protection at this point, although some scouts believe he needs to work on finishing his blocks. I think he is a better run blocker than Costanzo, but he is not quite as quick or polished in his pass protection. However, he is stronger than Costanzo and if he can continue to improve on his technique and footwork he could very well be the top tackle taken come April.

This is a deep, yet weak class of offensive tackles. Their is an abundance of good tackles coming out, but their is no elite tackle prospect. Sherrod probably has the best chance of becoming the elite tackle, but I believe Costanzo and Solder are much safer bets at this point. Gabe Carimi should become an elite right tackle in the NFL, but I'm not sure he will be able to handle left tackle. It will be interesting to see how all these prospects play out in the NFL.

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