It seems like the late rounds of the NFL Draft are full of Offensive Line prospects, some of which eventually become pretty good players. While all those guys obviously have some short-comings, teams have to find those one or two things that make them standout amongst their peers. There are a couple things I believe make Matt Stankiewitch from Penn State a guy the Colts should look at in Round 7, and definitely if he makes it to Free Agency.
Stankiewitch started 27 games in his Nittany Lion career, fifteen at Guard and all 12 games last season at Center, which makes him a little green snapping the ball, but he was voted by the coaches to the All-Big Ten First team as a Senior. He was rarely off the field in those two years, playing a team-high 966 snaps in 2011. In total he played in 42 games over his career, as he missed six game in 2010 with mono. Oh those Happy Valley Co-Eds...
One thing I really like about Stankiewitch, which reminds me a lot of Colts C A.Q. Shipley, another Penn State graduate, is that he never quits on a play, constantly going and going. It's a trait most of the good Offensive Linemen have, and it makes up for some of the talent deficiency he may have against elite Defensive Linemen. Give me a guy with a little less talent who busts his ass over a talented guy who won't do anything extra than what he's asked.
Everyone obviously knows what went on at Penn State last offseason, and they experienced a mass exodus of some decent talent to other schools, while some players, like Stankiewitch, decided to stay and finish out their career at Penn State. I like he didn't take the easy way out (he was offered to come to Alabama, to show the level of interest other schools had) and finished off what he started, and he and his teammates had an extremely successful season despite the circumstances. He's clearly not one to shy away from a challenge, which I also really like.
His ability to play both Center and Guard is a plus, as the Colts have holes several places on the interior of the line. Early on he'd be a solid depth guy, and would continue to push the starters trying to get on the field. Teams get better with better competition for spots in practice, and Stankiewitch will bring that no matter where he ends up. With Shipley already being a Colt, and Stankiewitch having so many similarities, don't be surprised if he ends up in Colts blue.
Scouting Profile from NFL.com:
Shows the ability to recover and reanchor when initially beaten. Aggressive on that first contact, shoulders even go over toes in the hopes of jolting. Is a hard worker to regain seal if blocking position is lost. Rarely out of the battle because of consistent grip and latch.
Will go to the ground against powerful, or even average, slanting defensive linemen. Defenders will slip off his blocks in pass protection. Tight hips take away from mirroring skills, bends at the waist on one-on-one blocks.
Considered a better run blocker than in pass protection, he is a tough, gritty player who does a nice job extending off the snap with good hand placement and strong wrists. Stankiewitch is an assignment sound player and looks to eliminate defenders from the play, blocking through the whistle. He has only one year of true starting experience, but does have playing experience at guard and is a team leader.
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