Seventh Round: 227th Pick
Chadron State's Garrett Gilkey is an intriguing NFL prospect who has a chance to be an excellent player at the next level. He features the measurables, work ethic and mean streak most look for in an offensive-line prospect.
The big question is if Gilkey can translate his dominance against the lesser competition he faced at Chadron State to the next level.
|+ Aggressiveness||- Fluidity|
|+ Strength||- Small School|
Height: 6’6” Weight: 318 pounds Arm Length: 32 5/8” 40 time: 5.33
Intangibles/Character: ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill did an entire article centered on the strong character of Gilkey. The focus of the article surrounds how he dealt with bullies throughout his high school days. This says everything you need to know about Gilkey’s personality.
System: Gilkey will fit either a power- or zone-blocking scheme. However, his aggressiveness and nasty streak make him a better fit in a power system. The image below shows Gilkey driving a defender several yards down the field. This is a guy who works to put his opponent on his back on every play.
Pass-Blocking: Playing offensive tackle in college provided Gilkey with experience while working in space. However, he doesn’t have the fluidity needed to consistently protect the edge at the next level. The image below shows Gilkey struggling to remain balanced as he works his way to the edge.
This is the main reason why Gilkey needs to move inside to guard, as he’ll get more protection at this spot.
Gilkey’s strength as a player is his power and aggressiveness. Moving inside to guard will provide him with a better opportunity to quickly get his hands on the pass-rusher. His strength helps him wrap up defensive linemen and control their movements.
Run-Blocking: Gilkey is arguably the most aggressive offensive lineman in this draft class. He’s a nasty player who works to the whistle and wants to put his opponent on his back. That mentality helps make Gilkey a powerful, and potentially dominant, run-blocker.
His success as a run-blocker isn’t tied only to his raw strength and effort. He also does a good job of keeping his pads low and gaining his hands inside. The clip below shows Gilkey firing off the ball, keeping his pads down and driving the defender off the ball.
Gilkey’s commitment to gaining leverage is why he’s able to move inside to guard despite his 6’6” frame.
Blocking in Space: The ability to hold up in space depends on the balance and fluidity of an offensive lineman. Gilkey possesses some athleticism, but just doesn’t have the quick feet to consistently protect the edge. The quicker pass-rushers in the NFL will easily be able bend the corner and generate pressure on the quarterback.
Hand-Fighting: Because of his upper-body strength, Gilkey is able to lock on to a defender and control his movements. That will play a role in his success as a run-blocker and pass-blocker. His first move off the line is always aggressive and aimed to gain inside hand placement.
Recovery: Gilkey is able to remain balanced in most situations. However, he has a tendency to over-extend himself when trying to protect the edge against speed-rushers so that is the main reason why his future success depends on moving inside to guard.
On the inside, Gilkey can use his strong base to absorb initial contact and re-set himself. He also boasts enough quickness off the snap to keep defenders from shooting through the gap.
Technique: The consistency at which Gilkey obtains his hands inside and gains leverage is a major asset. After gaining this initial positioning, he engages the defender and works to the whistle, helping him drive defensive linemen off the ball in the running game and keep pass-rushers out of the quarterback’s face.
Future Role/Versatility: Gilkey’s future in the NFL is at the guard position. However, his experience at left tackle in college means he can potentially fill in at tackle in a pinch. That type of versatility is important to NFL teams because injuries often occur in the offensive line.
Draft Projection: Fourth round