Scouting report: Michael Oher

 

Michael Oher

6’5, 320 pounds | Ole Miss | Offensive tackle

Strengths: A longtime top prospect, Oher has prototypical size, strength and agility to start at left tackle. A strong player throughout his frame, which is beneficial in run blocking. Does a nice job extending his long arms to push opponents away from the quarterback. Adept at picking up and stopping inside pressure.

The foot speed Oher possesses allows him to block on the move or play in-line. His lateral movement is reminiscent to that of Bills tackle Jason Peters. Oher works well on the move blocking in open space on screen passes. Long arms and big hands. Strong enough to manhandle opponents once he gets his hands on them.

Weaknesses: Hand usage is Oher’s biggest weakness. He is a player who doesn’t get his hands up fast enough at times, allowing speed rushers to beat him on the edge. He’ll also grab at an opponent’s shoulders and get called for holding penalties. Will sometimes lunge at an end in pass protection instead of absorbing the blitz. Needs to consistently play with a high effort.

Whether it’s fair or not, some will question Oher’s intelligence and ability to learn a playbook. The subject of the book [i]Blindside[/i], Oher’s learning disabilities are well-documented. Effort will become inconsistent in run blocking when the play isn’t coming in his direction.

Final word: Oher is a much better pass blocker and run blocker, but has all the tools to be an All Pro offensive lineman. There are some technique issues with Oher, but nothing that can’t be overcome with solid professional coaching. If the right coach can consistently keep the fire lit under Oher, the sky is the limit. A four-year starter. Played at guard as a freshman. Named to the All SEC first team in 2007 and 08. All American in 2008.

Round projection: 1

 

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