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2015 GAME

POSITION REVIEW: The offensive line

Tue, Feb 10, 2015

Executive Director Phil Savage spent 20 years in the National Football League as a coach, scout, executive and general manager. Prior to the Combine, he will evaluate the Reese’s Senior Bowl practice sessions, position-by-position, for both the North and South squads. 

Here is his analysis of the offensive linemen based on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday practices.

'STARTING FIVE'

With 20 total linemen on both squads, these are the five who had the best weeks at their respective positions and would deserve All-Senior Bowl recognition.

SUMMARY: This 4th year junior graduate elevated his game in Mobile after having a subpar campaign in 2014. Although he could stand to drop 10lbs or so, he has size, athletic ability and the skillset needed to play left tackle in the NFL. With his long arms and re-direct agility, if he will truly get serious about his craft, Donovan could have a long pro career.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:      Wins: 7           Losses: 3
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Since 2013, 4th year juniors who graduate before December 31 have been allowed to participate in the game. Donovan and teammate Deion Barnes both met the criteria and joined a list of six total players that have taken advantage of this exemption. Donovan hails from Owings Mills, MD, the practice facility home of the Baltimore Ravens. 

SUMMARY: Of the five FSU Seminoles invited to the RSB, Tre was the only one who actually made it to Mobile. He was “king” of the 1-on-1’s by winning all nine of his individual battles against zero defeats. Although he aligned as a RG at Florida State and for most of the week here, his athleticism may warrant a move to LG because of his pulling ability.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:      Wins: 9           Losses: 0
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Tre was selected as the South team’s Most Outstanding Player in the Saturday game after successfully going toe-to-toe with Washington’s Danny Shelton and Iowa’s Carl Davis.

SUMMARY: In a rare occurrence, Max was part of the North team even though he played collegiately for the Gators after transferring from Maryland. He provides length in the pivot and plays with surprising base and balance for a taller center. With his position versatility of having starting experience at both left tackle and left guard, expect Max to be a valuable mid-to-late round selection.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:       Wins: 6           Losses: 2
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Max sat out the 2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules before starting 25 straight games for the Gators as a junior and senior.

SUMMARY: This 5th year senior was a picture of consistency all week because of his knee flexion and upper body strength. He fits the profile of a “power” right guard and appears to be a plug-in and play starter as a rookie. His confrontations with Washington’s Danny Shelton (6016/343) were highlight worthy.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:      Wins: 9           Losses: 3
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: The winner of the Alabama Power Practice Award for offensive linemen, Laken is also a standout in the classroom where he graduated as a double major in evolutionary anthropology and psychology. Laken Tomlinson Prospect Profile

SUMMARY: A consensus All-SEC and All-American choice in 2014, La’el has all the traits needed to be a blue-chip pro. He has height, long enough arms, a powerful punch and the ability to snap his hips. He went back and forth between LT and LG and didn’t look flawless as a RT, however, he has too much going for him from a talent standpoint not to play early and often for a team in need of a young offensive lineman.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:       Wins: 4           Losses: 7
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Highly recruited five-star prospect from Baton Rouge, he was considered by many to be the best high school offensive lineman to ever come out of the state of Louisiana. La’el won the Jacobs Award for the SEC, spotlighting him as the league’s top blocker.

POTENTIAL 'STARTER' UPSIDE

OT       #68 T.J. Clemmings/Pittsburgh       6045/307      34 7/8” Arm-10 3/8” Hand
A favorite of the NFL scouts during the regular season, T.J. entered the week with much fanfare as a potential 1st round pick. He only played two years of high school football and did not move to the offensive line until his redshirt junior (2013) season. Still, he has all the physical traits necessary to become a starter in the future. With his long arms, natural athletic skill and positive demeanor, despite looking uncomfortable on certain reps, T.J. flashed more than enough ability for teams to believe they can coach him up as a possible answer at left tackle.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:     Wins: 5           Losses: 7
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: First team All-ACC selection in 2014 after starting 26 consecutive games at right tackle.

OG       #50 Ali Marpet/Hobart College       6036/307      32 7/8” Arm-10 1/8” Hand

The only D-III prospect in the RSB, Ali started for three seasons at left tackle before making the conversion inside to guard in Mobile. He has light feet, plays with balance and did not back down at all against the bigger school competition. Arguably the most intriguing player in the game, he is certain to be thoroughly evaluated by all 32 teams because of his position flexibility (he took reps as a center in the QB exchange period) and high ceiling to improve.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:      Wins: 5           Losses: 5
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Ali was named Liberty League Co-Offensive Player of the Year, the first time in conference history an offensive lineman received that distinction.

BLUE COLLAR/LUNCH PAIL PROSPECTS

OT       #78 Rob Havenstein/Wisconsin      6073/332      33 5/8” Arm-10” Hand
A card-carrying giant, Rob is a classic right tackle who uses his height and girth to absorb and control defenders. He really understands how to play and wins “ugly” most of the time.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:       Wins: 6           Losses: 4
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Rob opened 41 consecutive games for the Badgers and played in a school-record matching 54 contests. He blocked for three 1000-yard rushers during his career: Montee Ball, James White and Melvin Gordon.

OG       #70 Shaq Mason/Georgia Tech       6015/310      31 1/8” Arm-9 ½” Hand
Maybe the most improved player of the week, Shaq came to Mobile from GT’s option-oriented offense, but adjusted quite well by Thursday and showed the willingness to compete on every snap.
1-ON-1 PASS PRO:       Wins: 6           Losses: 3
SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Even though Shaq stands a little over 6’1, his given full name is “Shaquille Olajuwon Mason”. The Yellow Jackets led the nation in rushing yardage per game (342.1) and Shaq was named to several All-ACC and All-American teams.