Fifth Round: 141st Pick
Oday Aboushi enters the NFL draft at a time when solid offensive tackle play is needed desperately. After studying him, however, I can say with confidence that Aboushi will only be drafted out of desperation.
It certainly won't be based on much of the film we have seen.
The 2013 NFL draft is incredibly stacked at the top when evaluating offensive tackles. Eric Fisher and Luke Jockel will be cornerstones of the offenses that acquire their services for years. Lane Johnson has shown freakish athletic promise, while players like Terron Armistead and D.J.Fluker have many attributes to love.
What is there to love about Oday Aboushi?
The feet are the most important thing to look at when scouting offensive line prospects, and the good news is that Aboushi shows fairly good, natural feet. He does not get knee-locked and seems to generally keep a good, athletic base when firing out of his stance in his initial direction.
Motor, Toughness and Power
Aboushi is not a power guy, and he's not a motor guy. Which pretty much means he isn't a prospect scouts will consider a "tough guy," either. Aboushi is not a hard-nosed tackle who enjoys latching onto defenders and putting their numbers in the dirt. He can play with a hesitancy that scouts hate and seems "picky" about the blocks he will take on, especially when pulling. This is a shame, because this is actually an area where Aboushi's skill set could line up to be most dominating, as we'll show.
Quickness, Agility and Balance
Aboushi can get to his responsibility well, keeping good positioning. Where his issue lies is in his functional balance at the point of attack. Far too often, Aboushi gets to the spot where he needs to be, but is unable to accomplish his goals once he gets there. As we analyze this run-blocking play, it should serve a case in point.
Aboushi has a big responsibility here. This is the reach block, a common occurrence in football. This image used in a previous article illustrates the general goal.
As you can see, in a run play coming off-tackle, the offensive lineman has a task on his hands.Aboushi, in this play, must seal off Kareem Martin of UNC, who is lined up in a five-technique in much the same way.
Aboushi gets great first and second steps, showing agility. His left foot is positioned to go outside of his opponent's right foot, and his positioning is good to execute a seal-block.
At this point in time, Aboushi should be getting underneath the opponent's right armpit with his left hand and attacking the outside "half of the man" back inside, away from the runner's eventual path.
What Aboushi does is get caught out of position, which is a common theme in many parts of his game. He shows the quickness and burst to often get to the right spots, but has generally exhausted a good bit of his athleticism upon arriving at the point of attack. It took too much out-of-control motion to get outside of Martin on this play, and now things are going downhill.
This is awful. No. 95 has already won this battle. Aboushi is not turning him inside and driving him backwards. He is, rather, falling down at an angle that sets the edge the defender will eventually pivot off of to wreck the play.
After never having even gotten a hand on Kareem Martin, somehow—following a great start to the play—Aboushi just stands and watches as the thing explodes. Another common theme when scouting Aboushi. A lot of standing around, watching.
This is how Aboushi handles a speed rush. As mentioned previously, Aboushi actually does flash decent feet and athleticism. He has a generally smooth kick slide, and while he doesn't mirror aggressively, he can physically get to the spot to mirror the fastest of outside rushers effectively. The problem is—again—his propensity to lose functional balance in getting to his target. Aboushiis expecting a rush from the outside, again facing No. 95 Kareem Martin, who is operating out of a two-point stance.
As usual, it's easy to like his first step, especially when comparing it to the first step of the Virginia RT on this play, who looks like a textbook picture of everything an offensive tackle shouldn't look like upon making his power step. Aboushi is coiled in through his upper body, has his hips facing relatively upfield and keeps a good, solid base without getting overextended.
At this point, you can tell Aboushi is uncomfortable with how fast the rush is coming to the outside. The rhythm and gait of his kick slide speeds up, and again, he is well on his way to being out of control. His hips are beginning to point more and more outside and he is bracing for contact, something an offensive lineman never wants to do against a speed rush.
Aboushi has once again gotten ahead of himself. His hips are a mess, and the dotted lines indicate the area from which Aboushi is best positioned to defend. Unfortunately, the defensive end is now only three easy moves away from the quarterback.
1. Attack Aboushi's left inside shoulder and rip under the inside of his power base.
2. Plant the left foot inside of Aboushi towards the quarterback and stab with the left arm.
3. Rip the right half of the body through the space created inside.
End result: Sack.
Aboushi is an intriguing prospect due to his size, generally good feet and athleticism, but he is a soft player who does not do any one thing particularly well at this point. Scouts will like the fact that he is not balky and has a decent frame to build upon as a pass-blocking NFL offensive tackle. The bend and twist Aboushi flashes are indicative of future NFL promise at the position, as is his gliding, smooth kick slide and fundamentally sound first and second steps.
When looking at the package, though, Aboushi needs work—and should be drafted accordingly. I can't see how any team could justify taking Aboushi in the 2013 NFL draft prior to late Round 4 or early Round 5.