2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Missouri OL Mitch Morse

MITCH MORSE- 6’5, 305- RS SR.

COMBINE RESULTS: 5.14 40-yard dash, 36 bench press reps, 31” vertical jump, 112” broad jump, 7.60 3-cone drill, 4.50 20-yard shuttle

Missouri Tigers offensive lineman Mitch Morse may not be the flashiest of prospects—like his predecessor, Justin Britt, his game tape is comprised almost solely of him pass-blocking or picking up the man over him out of a two-point stance—but he can definitely be a player who can help a team at the next level. In fact, with Britt’s surprise selection as a second-rounder and strong performance as the starting right tackle for the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks during 2014, the ceiling could be rather high for Morse once he’s placed in a pro offense where he has more extensive responsibilities.

Just as with Britt, Morse’s pro position is in question heading into the draft. Morse moved all around the line at Mizzou, breaking into the starting lineup as a redshirt sophomore at center, then kicking outside to right tackle for the latter part of that season and his junior year, before finally moving over to protect the blindside as a redshirt senior. His best position as a pro may be at guard, particularly if he’s working in a zone blocking scheme where he can take advantage of his strong athleticism.

Morse went into the NFL Scouting Combine as a probable undrafted free agent with a chance to sneak into the later rounds. He gave his chances of getting selected a big boost in Indianapolis, though, as he finished second among linemen in the bench press, tied for fourth in the broad jump, finished third in the 20-yard shuttle, and also excelled in the on-field lineman drills.

Morse is not going to be a mauler, and there are concerns about his pass protection ability no matter what position he plays, so he’s more of a late-round prospect who profiles as a versatile backup. With the quality impression that he put together at the combine, though, he figures to come off the board at some point during the draft’s third day.

POSITIVES: versatile player, has worked at both tackle spots and center during his college career, and his best position may be guard at the NFL level…sits back well in pass protection, drops his hips and is able to use his leverage to his advantage…does a good job of exploding out of his stance…very quick, which could be an asset for him on pulls at the next level, particularly if he ends up playing guard…has the requisite size to fit at all five positions along the offensive line…should be a disciplined learner, was on the SEC Academic Honor Rolls in 2012 and 2013 and the First Team All-Big 12 academic team in 2011.

NEGATIVES: struggles to handle edge rushers on a somewhat frequent basis…a finesse blocker, isn’t going to make big blocks at the second and third levels…fails to show elite strength on the field…very little experience working out of a 3-point stance…needs to do a better job of bending his knees…too much separation between his legs in his pass set, which causes him to lose potential power…struggled as a pass blocker when playing center, came up too high after the snap…poor body language as a center, not confident as a shotgun snapper…could stand to put on some weight, particularly if a team wants to try him at guard.

2014 Summary: Morse moved from right to left tackle for 2014, replacing Justin Britt, who was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Mizzou’s offense wasn’t world class by any means—they finished 67th in the country in total offense, 44th in rushing, and 81st in passing—but Morse was a rock of stability among an offensive line that was shuffled quite a bit, teaming with center Evan Boehm to be the only Tiger linemen to start all 14 games at the same position.

Talent Grade: Seventh Round

Rams Role: The Rams definitely have a need for offensive line depth this offseason, so Morse could be a prospect of interest, especially considering that he has the versatility that the team frequently values in their offensive linemen. With that said, he’s a bit light for the Rams’ taste, as all of the guards and tackles on the roster last year besides Mike Person were at least 310 pounds.

Though it’s possible that it’s more because of his Missouri connection than anything else, it’s worth noting that the Rams met informally with Morse at the combine. The Rams have tapped into the Mizzou pipeline several times under head coach Jeff Fisher, bringing former Tiger wide receiver T.J. Moe to training camp last summer and drafting Mizzou products E.J. Gaines and Michael Sam in 2014.

Film Watched: vs. Kentucky (2014), vs. Georgia (2013), vs. Kentucky (2013), vs. Florida (2012)