BRANDON SCHERFF- 6’5, 320- RS SR.
We’ve seen a large number of very highly-regarded offensive linemen in the last several NFL Draft classes, and the 2015 class looks to be no different. There will be heavy competition for the top offensive tackle spot, and one of those competitors will be Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff. Though the massive redshirt senior is not the greatest athlete in the world, he’s shown an unbelievable drive at times and looks dominant when he turns it on. The biggest hurdle for him to clear in order to establish himself as one of the best tackles is to make sure that he plays at that high level as consistently as possible. Too often, Scherff seems to play below his potential, and those are the times where his lack of elite athleticism gets a little bit exposed. His pass-blocking form can be slightly lacking, and he resorts to having to hold people off with his strength. That won’t always work at the next level, so he needs to make the effort to ensure that his technique is always sharp and he goes as hard as he can. If he concentrates on those things and does them well, Scherff definitely has the potential to be a Top-15 pick.
POSITIVES: keeps his feet under him well; though he plays with a high pad level, is strong and powerful enough to keep pass rushers from getting to the quarterback…gets good arm extension on pass blocks…very strong, though he lacks the style of a true “road grader” at times…has the ability to be physically dominant when he wants to…an adequate puller.
NEGATIVES: Lacks elite first-step quickness…kickslide on pass blocks lacks fluidity…doesn’t consistently play to the whistle, tends to walk around when he’s done with his initial assignment instead of searching for people downfield…too often does his blocking with his arms rather than his body…he seems to have inconsistent drive; stood out as an elite player against Minnesota in the second half, looked like a superstar against LSU, but other times didn’t seem to be going at 100 percent…doesn’t finish cut blocks…suffered a broken fibula and dislocated ankle in 2012 that knocked him out for the season.
2014 Outlook: Scherff will look to establish himself as the country’s best offensive tackle in 2014. He’s certainly in the right spot to do it, with with Iowa’s smash mouth running offense and long history of elite offensive linemen. Scherff’s toughest challenge will likely come in the Hawkeyes’ regular season finale, when they face the Nebraska Cornhuskers and star defensive end Randy Gregory, who is a prime candidate to go first overall in next year’s draft.
Talent Grade: Mid-to-Late First Round
Rams Role: The Rams drafted Greg Robinson second overall this year with the intention of him becoming their long-term left tackle. With that in mind, it would seem unlikely that they would spend another first-rounder on an offensive tackle next year. However, right tackle Joe Barksdale is a free agent after 2014, so in theory it’s possible that the Rams could be in the market for more line depth early on. If Scherff ends up dropping to the second round, perhaps he could be a possibility.
Film Watched: vs. Wisconsin (2013), vs. Minnesota (2013), vs. LSU (2013), vs. Ohio State (2013)