The great thing about the SEC linemen is the fact that they enter the league as the most battled-tested prospects available.
P.J. Lonergan didn't receive much national attention during his time at LSU, but as a three-year starter in the SEC, he put together a solid career which should earn him a shot at the next level.
What you see is what you get with Lonergan, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. He's an intelligent, technically sound offensive linemen who gets the most out of his ability.
He has the skills to play center or guard, and that type of versatility will make him a valuable backup on the depth chart.
Lonergan was a productive three-year starter at LSU, but his physical tools limit his NFL potential.
He's sort of a 'tweener, who lacks the strength to dominate as a power run blocker but also lacks the athleticism to be an asset on the move.
There's not a whole lot to get excited about with Lonergan's physical tools. His measurements are adequate, but he lacks the dominant strength to make up for his modest athleticism.
Lonergan also has an odd physical build, and he looks almost top heavy. He would benefit from adding to his leg strength to help him anchor against bull rushers and provide more power in the running game.
Lonergan helped anchor the LSU offensive line as a three-year starter at center.
He suffered a few minor injuries throughout his career, but nothing that should affect his draft stock. In 2011, he missed two games with an ankle injury. He was also slowed by an arm injury in 2012.
It's tough to pinpoint the scheme in which Lonergan would be the best fit. He has attributes that will hinder his effectiveness in both man-blocking and zone-blocking schemes. However, his versatility will be an asset in either system.
Lonergan struggles with bull rushers in one-on-one situations. He simply lacks the strength to hold up against some of the more physical interior pass-rushers and also lacks the athleticism to recover when he's beat by the more athletic ones.
He will need help from the guard against interior pass-rushers at the next level.
For the same reasons he struggles in pass protection, Lonergan has issues against the run. He struggles with his balance at times and isn't always able to get low enough to maintain leverage.
When asked to block on the move, Lonergan has enough athleticism to get to the second level but his mobility is limited. Unless he catches a linebacker off guard, he often struggles to engage his assignment due to his limited agility.
Blocking In Space/Recovery
Lonergan can move in a straight line reasonably quickly, but he lacks lateral mobility. His foot quickness is average at best for interior lineman, which hinders his ability to recover if he's beat off the snap.
Despite limited tools, it's impossible not to notice Lonergan's tenacity. He's physical and battles hard whenever he's engaged.
His technique is generally sound, but he does tend to get knocked back on his heels a lot. If he were able to stay lower in his stance and maintain better leverage, he would hold off more bull-rushing interior linemen.
Lonergan's upside is definitely limited, but he still has plenty of value. A lineman who can potentially play center or either guard position is exactly the type of offensive line prospect teams want to find in the later rounds of the draft.
He may never be a full-time starter, but Lonergan could put together a solid career as a reliable backup.