1. Cameron

    My boiled down take on what will make you look more attractive to NFL scouts as an offensive lineman:
    1) Starting from a three-point stance;
    2) Running a lot of traditional pro-style runs, e.g., power, counter, iso, etc.
    3) Being in pass protection for extended periods of time, e.g., homerun play-action passes, 7-step drops, etc..

    Does 1-3 actually make you a better offensive linemen at the NFL-level? Speaking as a fan of a team (Notre Dame) who benefits from this bias, my answer is probably not. It think it’s more important to have a good offensive line coach and play against a lot of good defenses. I.e., you should draft Nelson because the dude looked great against every NFL-level defender he went up against. Not because he lined up in a three-point stance in college. But let’s be real: NFL guys do like that three-point stance part.

  2. Anthony Phillip McCoy

    Apply 1-3 to the good/great o-linemen in college and see which of them have adopted those techniques.
    What do you think a good offensive line coach is going to teach?
    Do you think a good technique might just be something a good line coach teaches?

  3. DannyCanes

    The team that was not mentioned but won 3 of their NCs (before Dennis Erickson came in) would be Miami which still runs the pro style today! It’s a joke that they weren’t mentioned!

  4. I understand the article is several years old, however, I feel the need to note that an optimal stance for an offensive lineman enables them to run and pass protect from both two and three-point stances with negligible differences in their ability from either one. I don’t have an exact link, but LeCharles Bentley is a figurehead for Offensive Linemen and would back me up on this. However, an Offensive Linemen would benefit from using the three-point stance in college by becoming more comfortable in it. Some athletes lack the mobility (hips and ankles) to be as productive from a three-point as they are in a two-point. Spending the time in college getting used to this and fixing any issues hindering their ability will help them in their future.
    As for the pro-style section of the article, I think the main points when it comes to Offensive Linemen is the emphasis on zone schemes over gap schemes in college. The priority in zone schemes is to generate movement, notice I didn’t say what type. The main thing taught is, “Horizontal is good, vertical is better.” This enables many college offensive linemen to get away with simply displacing defenders laterally and letting a superior athlete with the ball take advantage of the space they created. In the NFL it’s not as easy because the defenses are equally as athletic and prepared to fill those created holes (unless you have somebody as dynamic as Lamar Jackson/have threats all over the field for the defense to worry about as the Cardinals MIGHT this coming season).
    Because of my aforementioned points, I think that you’re point about NFL coaches not wanting to spend time on development becomes VERY crucial and true (hats off to you for calling them out on it). Because an offensive lineman at a school that runs mostly zone scheme can still be well suited for a pro-style offense, however, it comes down to HOW they block rather than WHAT they block. I think that the coaches in the NFL are becoming more adjust to scouting and drafting this (as this article is a few years old and couldn’t know that) but still lack the want to address some linemen who have mobility or system issues but possess very high potential to be good. I think that an upcoming name we will see that shows this point is Ethan Pocic for the Seahawks. I suspect he will get some play this coming season and was one of those guys who needed some work but has a very high ceiling as a player.

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