Ricky Wagner 2012 NFL Draft prospect notes

ANN ARBOR MI - NOVEMBER 20: James White #20 of the Wisconsin Badgers jumps arond the block of teammate Ricky Wagner #58 while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 20 2010 in Ann Arbor Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Ricky Wagner
6'6, 322 pounds | Offensive tackle | Wisconsin

First word:
We all know the importance of the tackle position and how much that value impacts draft position.  The NFL's love of the position sometimes leads to players leaving school before they are ready.  I cannot imagine how tough of a decision it is to pass up a shot at the NFL.

Ricky Wagner is one of those players who might be facing a tough decision at the end of the year.  He is only a Junior but plays the all important tackle position.  Wagner is already receiving a ton of draft buzz because of his size and quickness.  He also has privilege of playing at Wisconsin who is known for producing technically sound offensive linemen.  At this point in his career, Wagner is a much better pass protector than a run blocker.  He does a good job of sitting in his stance and absorbing contact.  His feet are quick enough to reach the edge and protect.  However, speed rushers might give him a little bit of trouble.

With his impressive size, you would expect Wagner to be a very good run blocker.  However, doesn't do a good job of staying low and maintaining leverage.  This impacts his ability to create a push off the line and open running lanes.  Wagner is more of a pusher rather than locking on and driving the defender.  This wouldn't be a major problem if he had a powerful punch.  However, he doesn't explode into the defender and create a jolt limiting his ability to create space.

Overall, Wagner has potential but needs to make some improvements in order to be considered a top level prospect.  This season will have a major impact on his stock as more attention will come his way after the departure of Gabe Carimi.

Bold statement: Wagner will not enter the 2012 draft because he will not be rated as a 1st round prospect

Games viewed: Iowa ('10), Ohio State ('10), Michigan State ('10)

Ricky Wagner
6'6, 322 pounds | Offensive tackle | Wisconsin

Notes:

  • Wagner has very good size and bulk but is a bit linear
  • He is inconsistent with his pad level keeping low in pass pro but getting high in the running game
  • His best attribute is his ability to pass protect
  • However, he struggles to change direction and is susceptible to counter moves
  • Wagner does have the quickness necessary to protect the edge but might struggle against quicker pass rushers
  • When the edge is threatened, Wagner gets duck arms which opens up his body and allows defenders into his frame
  • For his size, Wagner isn't a dominant run blocker and struggles to generate a good push
  • He tends to punch and push rather than lock and drive
  • This is an issue because he doesn't roll with this hips and explode into the defender limiting his jolt
  • Wagner just doesn't come off as explosive or powerful but has some quickness
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