ADAM SHEAD- 6’3.5, 338- RS SR.
COMBINE RESULTS: 5.74 40-yard dash, 26 bench press reps
After five players were selected over the past two years to play offensive guard in the first round of the NFL Draft, it’s debatable whether any will be taken during the 2015 draft’s first round. There’s plenty of solid interior line talent in the draft class, though, and Oklahoma guard Adam Shead has a chance to be a contributor at the NFL level if he can stay healthy and lands with the right team.
Shead, one of the heaviest players in the draft this year, is not a fit in a zone-blocking scheme that values athleticism and agility from the guards; we could see that at the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend, when he ran the slowest 40-yard dash among all the offensive linemen at 5.74 seconds.
With that said, he’s a heavy, strong mauler who is going to be very physical when he’s on the field. Shead has technical issues which need to be addressed, most notably his tendency to create power by bending at his waist, rather than simply keeping his torso upright while bending his knees. He knows how to clear holes, though, and he possesses a lot of natural strength, so if he gets matched up with a good offensive line coach who can get through to him, he could be a starting guard at some point.
Of course, Shead’s injury history is also a concern, as he’s dealt with a plethora of different ailments at Oklahoma which have kept him off the field at times. Shead’s medical evaluations at the combine could have a major effect on his draft stock, but if teams feel comfortable with his health, he’s a talented player with potential who has a good chance to be selected between the fifth and seventh rounds.
POSITIVES: very good size, built to be a mauler…does a good job of getting to the second level, meets his man with a strong exertion of force…swings his hips around well as a run blocker…effectively drives on double teams with the center…solid cut blocker…quickly executes his assignments on pulls.
NEGATIVES: balance can be a bit of an issue at times, kind of waddles when he gets into open space…gets decent knee bend, but tends to look like a “heavy-legged waist-bender” at times, bending his waist too much and leaning his torso too far forward…footwork is a bit lacking, not really smooth and his feet slow when he’s driving off the ball…lacks quickness off the line of scrimmage at times…has dealt with shoulder, knee, and back injuries at Oklahoma, which could create concerns about his durability among NFL personnel departments.
2014 Summary: Shead started 11 of 12 regular season games for the Sooners in 2014, and he was a key part of an offensive line that boosted a very strong running attack that ranked 12th in the nation. The line opened plenty of holes for true freshman Samaje Perine, who ran for 1,713 of Oklahoma’s 3,395 rushing yards in 2014.
Talent Grade: Fifth Round
Rams Role: The Rams will need help at the guard position this offseason, and in addition to establishing depth, they may need to fill a starter spot if Jake Long isn’t retained and moved inside. As a heavy road grader, Shead fits the profile of the guards the Rams seem to covet. Due to his health concerns and lack of elite athleticism, he’ll probably fall to the later rounds if he gets taken at all, but he’s definitely a player worth taking a low-risk chance on.
Film Watched: vs. West Virginia (2014), vs. TCU (2014), vs. Oklahoma State (2014), vs. West Virginia (2013)