I'm taking a look at selected players leading up to the NFL draft, which begins May 8. The reports are based on watching multiple games on draftbreakdown.com; I'll let you know when there is an opinion other than my own. I'm not a fan of having to only watch them off a TV feed -- you don't always get the best angle, or see all the players -- but it's the best I can do now and it helps provide a snapshot. The draft analysts -- especially those from ESPN.com, NFL.com and CBSSports.com -- help fill in the gap, especially in terms of where they are projected.
Player: Jack Mewhort
School: Ohio State
Position: Offensive tackle
College production: Three-year starter; team captain in 2013. Started 39 straight games and played 49 straight overall. Started games at left tackle, right tackle and both guard spots.
How he'd fit: He'd be the right tackle of the future, but to expect him to be a Day 1 starter would be asking a lot. He'll take a little time to develop, depending on the system.
What I liked: He did an excellent job with straight-ahead blocking and when he locked on a guy he kept control. At times he'd drive his man off the ball, with an occasional pancake block (as he had versus Wisconsin) thanks to keeping his feet moving. Mewhort played with a good awareness for the most part when it came to handling stunts and line games. I could see him at times blocking one man, yet keeping his eye on the linebacker just in case. When he kept his hands a little tighter, it made a big difference in his blocking. His arm length is ideal for a tackle (34 inches). He's a pretty good, but not great, finisher on his blocks and has a pretty good first step in pass protection, most of the time. Mewhort was a good leader and competitor. He has good strength and the ability to absorb. If playing him at tackle doesn't work, he could slide inside. It may be a better fit, but he has to be tried at tackle first.
What I don't: Mewhort was way too inconsistent with his hands. I stopped the frame one time just to see where his hands were with his man a yard in front of him. Mewhort's hands were below his knees. The result, as happened too often: The defender would get his hand into his chest and drive him back. Mewhort could anchor much of the time, but if that happens in the NFL it'll be trouble. His arm length is negated by inconsistent technique; not just low but sometimes too wide as well. Clemson end Vic Beasley's speed was too much for Mewhort in the Orange Bowl. Beasley beat him with speed to the edge and also crossed him up to get inside and even pushed him back because of the low/slow hands. These will be issues to correct even if he's moved to the right side. It's not as if right tackles face only slow players. When Mewhort tries to get too wide too fast, he gets upright and then loses. There was an occasional lunge as well when dealing with speed. Too often he struggled with second-level blocks, whether because of angles or he didn't get there quick enough. I also saw him fall several times getting to the linebackers.
Projection: Third-fourth round. Mewhort has raw tools to work with, but he also has areas to clean up before he can be counted on as a starter -- which is why this is where he's projected.
Other players examined: