Brandon Scherff is a veteran of 33 career starts at left tackle for Iowa, with another two starts early in his career at guard (35 total starts). His success on the field has resulted in being named First Team All-Big Ten in both 2013 and 2014, First Team All-American in 2014 and Second Team All-American in 2013. He was the winner of the Big Ten’s Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year award this past season. Physically, Scherff is every bit of 320lbs and appears to be maxed out there. He seems really comfortable at his current weight, displaying movement skills of a man that’s lighter. His body is well-proportioned with tree trunks for legs. The power that he creates from his lower-half is obvious. There aren’t many linemen who have come out in recent years that are as physical and strong as Scherff is on the field. The power that he generates through his hips is impressive, often times resulting in the defender laying on their back. His strong base and good overall flexibility allows for Scherff to anchor and hold up against power moves with very little effort. And he’s nasty, too. He not only has strength; he loves to use it in an effort to manhandle his opponent. Athletically, Scherff is pretty light on his feet and shows better than expected overall flexibility. He’s capable of getting to the second level in the run game and he has the necessary body control to finish the play in space. Scherff is effective as a step and seal player; he takes quick and effective steps that position his body in the ideal place to wall off the defender and open massive running lanes for his back. Scherff isn’t perfect, as he needs to slide his feet a little quicker in order to keep up with speed rushers to the edge. He’s strong enough to ride them out of harm’s way, but he’ll be facing an entirely different breed of pass rushers in the NFL. In pass protection, Scherff possesses good, strong hands and is able to stun the oncoming rusher with a powerful punch almost immediately out of his stance. He always maintains control over the action and often times drives the pass rusher into the ground. I like his aggressive style, but he has to be careful not to lean and bend at the waist too much when attacking the defender. He’s had a lot of success playing with a wrestler’s mentality, but he’ll need to be prepared for the arsenal of pass rush moves that he’ll face in the NFL. That’s not to say that Scherff doesn’t already react and respond well to counter moves. He’s rarely beaten by an outside/inside pass rush, showing the kind of feet and agility needed to slide from left to right to left efficiently and smoothly. But the speed rush to the corner can give him problems at times (causing him to lean and bend at the waist.). Scherff might be the nastiest and most effective run blocker in the 2015 NFL Draft class. From his ability to reach his assignment to the jolt he creates on contact and his ability to get a good fit and drive his opponent to the ground, Scherff simply does it all. He’ll project well to any scheme (whether it’s an in-line power scheme or a zone blocking scheme) because he’s athletic enough and displays the kind of on-field awareness to be an asset in space, while also being flat out nasty in a phone booth.
BOTTOM LINE: Brandon Scherff might not be the sexiest pick in this year’s class, but he’s one of the safest. He’s a plug and play tackle from Day 1 who has a low risk to “bust.” In the event he can’t keep up with NFL speed to the edge, slide him inside and enjoy his pro bowl performances at guard.
GRADE: 8.3 (1st Round)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)