In the final installment of the YOU DECIDE series for the OT position I will compare Phil Loadholt of Oklahoma and Augustus Parrish of Kent State. These two players will require a pick earlier in the draft, Loadholt likely in the 2nd Round and Parrish likely in the 3rd/4th. Which round we choose to pick an OT, if we pick one at all, is not clear. Some would suggest that we will draft an OT on day one and others think we should wait until late on the 2nd day of the 2009 NFL Draft. We've discussed our first round prospects and our late round prospects. Loadholt and Parrish will be our mid-round prospects. Take a close look at these two strong OTs and decide, would you rather have Phil Loadholt in the 2nd Round or Augustus Parrish in the 3rd/4th Round?
Phil Loadholt - Oklahoma
6'8", 332 lbs.
5.38 40 Yard Dash, 4.87 20 Yard Shuttle, 8.08 3-Cone Drill
29 Inch Vertical Jump, 26 Bench Reps
36.5 Inch Wingspan
SENIOR SEASON STATS:
13 Games Played, 822 Plays
94 Key Blocks, 16 TD Resulting Blocks, 8 Downfield Blocks
1 Pressure Allowed, 1 Sack Allowed
Strengths: Potentially dominant drive blocker. Massive man who can engulf his opponent, turn him away from the ball carrier and pancake him to the ground. Looks to intimidate. Only adequate initial quickness off the snap, but has a deep kick-slide and the long arms to keep the pass rusher at bay. Natural knee bender who plays with impressive leverage and balance for a man of his size. Better lateral quickness than initial.
King-sized blocker who displays a lot of skill and potential in his game. Blocks with a wide base, keeps his feet moving, and stays square. Jolts defenders with terrific hand punch, and easily controls them once engaged at the point of attack. Gets movement run blocking, driving defenders off the ball, and finishes blocks. Patient in pass protection, easily anchors at the point, and effectively plays with leverage for a tall lineman. Pushes speedy edge rushers from their angle of attack. Keeps his head on a swivel, and works well with teammates.
Phil Loadholt is large, even for NFL OL prospects. His strength and mass make him difficult for any defender to go through and make it likely that he'll be able to have relative success moving defenders off of the line. Additionally, for a man his size, he moves quickly laterally and can use his long powerful arms to keep pass rushers off of their route to the quarterback.
Negatives: Bit of a "tweener." Too often beaten off the snap by ends to remain at left tackle and might even have to be moved inside -- where his height would be a liability. Marginal lateral quickness to recover when beaten initially. Too often relies on his size, failing to sustain blocks as effectively as he should.
Lacks top footwork sliding out to protect the edge, and struggles to adjust. Somewhat overweight and looks poorly conditioned. Does not play with good balance.
While size is one of Loadholt's biggest positive attributes it can also be one of his biggest negatives. Concerns regarding conditioning could turn Loadholt into a potential "Corey Simon" on the OL. Additionally, while he is surprisingly quick for his size, his biggest weakness will be against the really quick outside pass rushers who he may struggle to get his paws on.
PROFESSIONAL SCOUTING REPORT - Dave-Te' Thomas, CBSSports.com
Body Structure: Has a massive frame with outstanding muscle development and thickness throughout his upper and lower body. With his long arms, big bubble and large hands, he can easily absorb smaller defenders. Has excellent thigh and calf thickness with broad shoulders. He's massive but his frame is not soft or fleshy.
Athletic Ability: Needs to monitor his weight (has been as high as 380 pounds) and his girth can cause him to struggle staying low in his pads. He has worked hard during his senior year to improve his overall agility and increase his power base. For a player of his size, he shows good agility for his position. He lacks explosion, but his feet are quick enough and his balance functional enough to sustain blocks (just lacks the hip snap to redirect). He is no "dancing bear," but is lighter on his feet working down the line than one would expect.
Football Sense: Some are concerned that he will not be able to digest a complicated playbook. He is a work in progress in the mental aspect of the game, but takes well to hard coaching and will do whatever it takes to succeed. He will get taken out of his game and revert to foolish penalties, but as a senior, he seemed to be much more alert to his surroundings, evident by his 16 touchdown-resulting blocks and a very impressive reduction in penalties (from 13 in 2007 to four in 2008).
Character: Loadholt had two off-field issues (suspicion of DUI/disorderly conduct) that could be character concerns. He has responded to tough coaching at Oklahoma and neither staff at OU or at Garden City has anything bad to say about him. He is still maturing off the field and is not a problem on the field.
Competitiveness: Has good mental toughness and will not back down from a confrontation but isn't aggressive. He uses his body a bit as a crutch to lean into a defender, but he is a strong finisher who might not succeed all the time due to poor feet, but he will give the effort to make blocks down field.
Work Habits: Needs to be pushed, but he does respond. Not the type to show aggression on every play, but he does work hard in the training room and appears to have "bought into the program" that hard work in the offseason pays off. While he does need structure, he is a team player who does what the coaches ask (just not a self-starter who can do things on his own).
ATHLETIC REPORT GRADE: 6.15
Initial Quickness: Even though he lacks explosion out of his stance, it is rare to see him give up on a play and is the type that locates secondary targets to hit after delivering the initial block. When he uses his natural knee bend, he has good success to leverage (will get into trouble vs. the bull rush when he bends at the waist, failing to redirect). He has adequate quickness and foot speed, sliding and reaching his set point effectively, along with the size and strength to create movement and clear rush lanes, but needs to use his hands better to lock up and sustain. A player of his size needs to drive and maul better than he does, but he uses his body to wall off. He struggles in the open on trap plays, but has enough quickness (just must learn to lower his pads) to work in combination with the interior blockers on gap protection.
Lateral Movement: Has decent quickness for a player his size, but does not always mirror defenders when working on the edge (slow to bring his feet), as he is too stiff to open up his hips to slide back and recover when he is beaten by a speed move.
Balance/Stays On Feet: Has very good lower-body mass and thickness, but it does not translate into a strong anchor (gets up on his heels, causing him to lose balance). He lacks the body control and balance to recover quickly when beaten, but when he stays in front of an opponent, he uses his frame well to occupy and sustain. His hand strength lets him control defenders playing over his head (lacks lateral agility to effectively slide and mirror vs. speed rushers) and started to show in 2008 that he has a better concept for knowing when to use his body to sit and anchor without overextended for blocks.
Explosion/Pop: Stout at the point of attack when he plays with a wide base and is starting to show confidence in his reach to separate and pin the defender at the point of attack. Excels with phone booth combat, where his huge frame and outstanding wing span help him engulf defenders. He is a physical drive blocker who uses his body mass effectively to push and move defenders off the line. Is a much better blocker in tight quarters, making him a more likely guard prospect, as he simply can't adjust to speed moves along the edge.
Run Blocking: Loadholt spends too much time on the ground as a drive blocker and needs to play on his feet better rather than trying to lunge and execute a low block. More comfortable walling and sealing off when working in the rush lanes, but with his size, a patient coach can teach him to use it to generate better pop on contact.
Pass Blocking: His heavy feet cause problems when asked to slide out and defend on the edge, making him a better candidate for right tackle or a shift inside to guard (will not be able to handle speed moves from left tackle in the NFL). His pass set is marginal -- trips over and crosses his feet rather than playing with a wide base to anchor. He looks hesitant when trying to maintain inside leverage and re-adjust back when the defender slides off his blocks. Can be beaten by the speed rush and quick counter moves, as he generally plays with a narrow base that sees him struggle to mirror and adjust in pass protection, but with improved hand placement and punch, he can get an advantage protecting the pocket.
Adjust on Linebacker Downfield: Struggles to reach and adjust when pulling into the second level (better working near the line). He is not consistent shooting his strong hands, but he has the upper-body strength to catch with extended arms and keep proper separation. When he gets overextended, he will lunge and miss in the open field.
Use of Hands/Punch: Would expect better power to pop and jolt with his hands, but when he gets his mitts into an opponent's chest, the battle ends quickly. Loadholt uses his size to wall off defenders, showing proper hand usage to engage and punch his opponent (only when he keeps his hands inside). His hand jolt is inconsistent, but he has the upper-body power to rocks the defenders back on their heels.
Reactions/Awareness: Scouts say that Loadholt needs to play with better field awareness and concentration, as he gets too "antsy" by a charging defender and is easily drawn offside, (resulting in 17 costly penalties in 27 games as a Sooner), but as a senior, he was much more alert to the snap cadence to cut down on his rash of false starts. He needs a patient coach to help him develop, but until 2008, there were doubts in scouting circles that he had the mental capability to respond.
Compares To: MAX STARKS, Pittsburgh -- Might develop into a left tackle, but his lack of lateral range and explosion off the snap would make him a better fit on the right side or in the interior, as he is best when playing in a phone booth rather than working on an island. For a team that plays smash-mouth football, he could be an ideal fit, as you need a city to get around his massive frame. He just appears too stiff in his hips to trust him with protecting a quarterback's blind side at this stage of his game.
While Loadholt has a lot of upside in his size, his lateral quickness may not translate well against NFL level competition. Speed-rushers will have their way with Loadholt, particularly if they get him back on his heels. Additionally, if Loadholt has to face top-tier speed rushers in the NFL, his history suggests that he'll have a tendency to false start. To some degree this is forgivable, Tarik Glenn was notorious for false starts in the last two or three years of his career. To another degree, this could suggest that Loadholt is jumping to make up for his lack of athletic ability as a pass-blocking OT. He would either need to drop weight and improve his quickness, move to RT, or potentially move to G (though his height may be a liability for him there).
SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE RECAP - TFYDraft.com
Monday Practice Notes: A load to get around, the former Sooner displayed flashes of great talent and then would have stretches of inconsistency. Started out at right tackle, then saw time on the blindside, Loadholt has nice long arms to ward off defenders, he mirrored well at times, and really finished some blocks. Keeping his balance was an issue today, often playing over his toes. And sometimes those long arms are not used properly when Loadholt does not get proper extension.
Tuesday Practice Notes: A rough day for the oversized tackle. Loadholt spent most of his time working on his pass set in which he struggled mightily. He was coached up quite a bit on keeping square and not opening up too early in his pass set, which he did anyways. Because of his height, he tends to play over his toes which gets him off balance. One thing is for sure, when this tackle does get his hands on an opponent he can completely overwhelm them.
Wednesday Practice Notes: An up and down practice which did display some noticeable improvement. The former Sooner spent a lot of extra time working on his hand placement with the coaches. While he still was not dominating on a regular basis, it did show. His pass set was a bit more smooth and his placement was erratic but it was obvious he was looking to follow the proper coaching technique. In the run game, he did show some flashes of being a force at right tackle, especially when asked to double down on opponents.
Thursday Practice Notes: During run blocking drills, Loadholt needed to sink his hips and explode into his blocks. Instead he was often caught with his head down and bending too much at the waist. Troubled early in his pass set but as those individual drills progressed, the big tackle was able to really iron out some technique deficiencies and envelop a few defenders.
Analysis: Immediately impresses with his size, yet the tackle prospect certainly needs plenty of work on his technique. He is not a natural at the position, but he worked very hard throughout the week to improve all facets of his game. Loadholt will be drafted higher than he rightly should based on potential and physical tools. The Oklahoma product will then need to develop a few years under NFL tutelage possessing the raw skills to eventually be a very good right tackle at the next level.
Although Loadholt is a physically imposing OT prospect, it seems that he may require too much time in development to warrant a 2nd Round selection, and it's rather likely that Loadholt will go before the Colts pick in the 3rd. There are a lot of technical areas Loadholt would need to improve and potentially a lot of athletic development that would be needed for him to improve his consistency, become more disciplined, and excel more as a pass-blocker. Still, as a back-up RT with potential for the future he has value. Just maybe not for the Colts, who have other needs that could be addressed with this pick. Need/value line might not meet here.
Augustus Parrish - Kent State
6'4", 303 lbs.
5.29 40 Yard Dash, 4.86 20 Yard Shuttle, 7.61 3-Cone Drill
23.5 Inch Vertical Jump, 21 Bench Reps
35 Inch Wingspan
Strengths: Uses his long arms well to hold off his man. Very good mobility to the second level and blocking down on tackles and on pulls. Can work as personal protector on called passes from outside the pocket. Good cut blocker to keep ends from knocking down quick screens, and will keep working the legs after he hits the ground. Works hard to sustain blocks downfield. Plays with a bit of a mean streak. Can punch smaller ends and keep his hands active in pass protection.
Relatively athletic blocker who moves well about the field. Quickly gets off the snap, displays the ability to adjust as well as block in motion. Terrific pass protector who keeps his feet moving and displays the ability to slide laterally, covering a good amount of area on the field. Stays square, correctly uses his hands, and jolts defenders at the point with good punch. Effective when he stays with the action and shows resiliency.
Augustus Parrish is an intriguing prospect who has a bit more of a well-rounded game athletically than Loadholt. His feet and balance are more secure, his hands are potentially a bit more consistent, which means his ability as a pass-blocker is immediately superior to that of Loadholt. As a run blocker, he may not be as much of a road-grader but he is quicker than Loadholt and will be more effective getting to the second level and pulling on sweeps or for stretch plays.
Weaknesses: Only adequate height for a left tackle, and a bit large in the middle. May move inside to left guard in the pros. Struggles with speed on the edge at times and is inconsistent with his lateral movement, so quicker ends can beat him wide. Will miss his target in space. Stands up a bit coming out of his stance and needs better knee bend. Can get blown up by blitzing linebackers when he's on the move -- he runs too upright and lets them get into his chest.
Really does not show a sense of urgency to his game. Falls off blocks and does not play with good balance. Does too much leaning on defenders. Falls asleep, gets lazy, and seems to loses a sense of what's happening on the field.
Parrish is the same height as Charlie Johnson and Robert Brewster, meaning his may be a little short for a starting OT position in the NFL. However, his 35 inch wingspan is good arm length which could make up for some of his height questions. Another guy who could play at G or OT, with a lot of versatility as a back-up OL. Although, Parrish seems polished enough that he could potentially be a starting caliber RT soon after entering the league. The biggest question mark for Parrish, like a lot of the other OTs in this draft, is his ability to work against top tier speed rushers off the edge, DEs or LBs. He would need some work on his technique in these areas.
Phil Loadholt is a monster-sized man who can completely neutralize defenders if he gets his hands on them. However, with balance and lateral mobility issues, concerns about his concentration on the snap, and potential "tweener" height/weight status... he may need additional conditioning and technique work. Augustus Parrish much shorter but more polished as a pass-blocker and quicker to get to the second level in the run game, or pull to run support on sweeps or stretches. However, he is inconsistent against pure speed rushers and in taking the proper angles to be effective blocking at the second level. He too would need some work before he'd be ready to start at the NFL level. The question is, if both players are projects, and neither immediate starters on our current OL, which player has more value in their respective rounds? Loadholt in the 2nd or Parrish in the 3rd/4th?
Draft Loadholt in the 2nd or Parrish in the 3rd/4th?
Phil Loadholt in the 2nd Round. (12 votes)
Augustus Parrish in the 3rd/4th Round. (22 votes)
34 total votes