Eric Fisher | Offensive tackle | Central Michigan | 6'7, 302 pounds
Eric Fisher is the antithesis of the high school recruiting process. A two-star prospect as a 230-pound offensive tackle, Fisher was recruited by only Eastern and Central Michigan. It took him some development time, but he ended his college career as a senior All-American.
Following the season, Fisher took full advantage of the all-star game and NFL Combine process. No player arguably had a better Senior Bowl than Fisher. According to reports, he routinely was the best player on the field. At the combine, Fisher proved his athleticism while measuring in at a legit 6-foot-7.
After his obvious size, the first thing you notice about Fisher is his footwork. The high school basketball player is nimble working laterally and beat pass rushers to the edge. Because he's so athletic and quick-footed, Fisher can cover a wide area in pass protection.
As a pass blocker, Fisher is patient. He lets the defender come to him and then likes to drive around the corner and out of the play. Because he has fast movement skills, Fisher can wait a tick in case he has to move to his right on an inside rush. Knows when to let the guard take a defender so he can stay outside and block a late rusher.
Can get out on the move to reach the second level and blocker linebackers and defensive backs. Run blocking, Fisher can engulf and pancake a defender out of the play. Will play with a nice mean streak when run blocking. Played with his hand in the ground, so it won't be unnatural for him in the NFL.
While the majority of his college starts were on the left side, Fisher did get four right side starts in 2010. He's more natural on the left because of his athleticism, but could be used on the right in the NFL.
Needs to get decidedly stronger throughout his frame. Fisher doesn't possess a great power base and will get pushed around by power rushers. He may need to get up into the 320-pound range to really maximize his potential. After already adding more than 70 pounds since his freshman year, you wonder if it will be difficult for Fisher to get even bigger.
From a technique standpoint, Fisher has many of the same issues as other taller offensive tackles. He can get high in his pads, overextend and lose leverage. Could get a little better at getting off double-team blocks faster to beat a late-developing blitz.
Doesn't always extend his hands fast enough in pass protection. Relied some a little too much on his athleticism. It worked in the MAC, but it's something he'll have to improve on in the NFL. Didn't face a lot of top-level pass rushers playing a MAC schedule.
Had a knee injury in 2011 that knocked him out of Central Michigan's final two games.
Conclusion: In a few short months, Fisher has gone from being a fringe first-round talent to a lock top-10 pick. At first he benefited from tackles like Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews returning to school. Then he stood out at the Senior Bowl and further elevated his stock at the NFL Combine.
NFL comparison: Jared Veldheer, Oakland Raiders
Like Veldheer, Fisher gets by on his athleticism, and is still developing the instincts and power aspects of his game. They're both natural pass protectors because of their quickness and length. But both at times can be dominating run blockers, but need to continue improving in that area.