Offensive tackle DeMarcus Love protected Ryan Mallett’s blindside for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He was successful in Houston Nutt’s run-oriented offensive scheme and Bobby Petrino’s spread offense. Love is expected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Here are some of the pros and cons to drafting DeMarcus Love. All stats are courtesy of CBSSports.com.
Love has excellent upper body strength in his arms and lower body strength in his legs. His initial punch is violent and aimed well. He can drive a defender backwards at the snap of the ball and create a wide line for a running back.
Love can make a crushing block on linebackers and secondary players when blocking down the field.
#2. Playing Attitude
Love shows outstanding effort. He will consistently run down the field to make a second block after the play is past him. Love plays aggressively and will drive his defender all the way to the ground.
However Love is aware of the whistle blowing and hasn’t had major problems with penalties.
Love was a team captain for 2 seasons. He was looked at as one of the leaders of the offensive line. Love earned his degree in kinesiology by the conclusion of 2010 and will be fully graduated before he starts his NFL career.
Love played at left tackle, right tackle, and right guard during his career. He was a starter for both Bobby Petrino and Houston Nutt, despite Petrino and Nutt using 2 vastly different offensive schemes.
#1. Lack of Quickness
Love has only average agility. He’s relatively swift to set up his stance at the snap of the ball, but slows down as the play continues.
Love can handle pulling assignments and will show good hustle to get down the field. But he isn’t able to consistently land open field blocks. At times, he can be pushed off balance by smaller defenders when moving down the field.
#2. Lack of Blocking Range
When playing at tackle, Love struggles to adequately guard both the far edge of the pocket and his inside gap at the same time. He will occasionally lunge at a defender that appears to be in a better position.
Love’s difficulty in moving laterally is apparent when defenders make a sudden move across his face. For example, a defender beginning his pass-rush with a strong outside move and then coming across Love’s face to penetrate the inside gap. Love is unable to redirect his blocking quickly enough to cover the defender.
Although Love was playing left tackle during his senior season, it’s very likely he’ll need to move to right tackle or guard in the NFL. He simply lacks the quickness to handle pass-rushing right ends on a regular basis.
I think Love’s best draft value should be late in the 1st round or early in the 2nd round. The inability to play left tackle will keep him from being drafted early in the 1st round, but Love’s position versatility and power should keep him from falling very far.
CBSSports.com DeMarcus Love’s Player Profile. January 21st, 2011.