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Cyrus Kouandjio NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Buffalo Bills LT

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Cyrus Kouandjio #71 of the University of Alabama reacts after a big stop during the game against the University of Michigan at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Alabama defeated Michigan 41-14.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Alex DunlapContributor IFebruary 24, 2014

Cyrus Kouandjio, LT, Alabama (HT: 6'6¾"; WT: 322 lbs)

Buffalo Bills (Bills trade 41st pick to Rams for 44th and 153rd picks)

Second Round: 44th Pick

NFL Comparison: Tyron Smith, LT, Dallas Cowboys

 

Positives

  • Terrific athlete with long arms, quick feet and a tendency to finish plays with anger.
  • Projects with run-­block versatility across concepts.
  • Shows a latch­-on­-and-­drive mentality to, at times, create absurd amounts of space through lanes and cutback areas in Alabama's inside-­zone scheme.
  • Plays with an intensity and sense of purpose that does not seem to wane through games;­ does not appear to be an "on/off­-switch" player.
  • Smart, assignment-­minded prospect who would clearly help with line calls, alignment identifications and two-­man assignments within the scheme.
  • Strong leg drive and follow­-through.
  • When he gets his hands on the opposition with good leverage and positioning, it's all over.
  • Keeps his hips upfield and power base square when anticipating stunt ­action from the defensive line.
  • Generally passes off—and picks up—the right members of the defense without a hitch.
  • First-­team All­-SEC selection in 2013 by both the coaches and the Associated Press.
  • Will win in most every instance as the "covered" tackle on the play ­side of inside­-zone-left calls, attacking the 5-­technique's outside armpit and driving upfield at a 45 degree angle from the line of scrimmage, as opposed to executing quick reach­ blocks and clogging lanes.
  • Should shine in certain on-­field-scouting evaluations of hips, feet, flexibility and explosive movements.

Negatives

  • Can appear flailing, out­-of­-control and frantic when resetting his kick ­slide against speed rushers in pass protection.
  • Does not possess elite read-­and­-react patience.
  • Wastes too much motion and energy coming out of three-­point stance while getting his feet under him at times.
  • Technically, needs refining in hand placement through pass protection.
  • Has a tendency to punch "inside out" and can end up looking like a holding call waiting to happen.
  • Not as dominant at engaging in driving at the second ­level on the back side of the play's action.
  • Had a supremely disappointing combine performance.
  • Looked slow in the 40-yard dash and put up the second-fewest bench reps of all offensive lineman in attendance.
  • Has put on weight through the draft process that does not appear to be "good weight."
  • Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network reported that numerous teams "failed" Kouandjio on his combine physical for reason of "an arthritic knee from a failed surgery" that was "ugly."

 

Personal Notes: (via Alabama Athletic Department)

  • Cyrus Kouandjio was one of the elite prospects at any position in the 2011 signing class.
  • The younger brother of 2010 Alabama recruit, Arie.
  • A Parade All-America.
  • The consensus top offensive line prospect in the nation by Rivals.com, ESPNU, Scout.com, SuperPrep and Tom Lemming.
  • The No. 2 overall player nationally by Scout.com and SuperPrep Magazine.
  • A consensus first-team All-State selection in Maryland.
  • Held over 60 scholarship offers.
  • Chose the Crimson Tide over virtually every major college football program.

 

Ratings Chart

 

Overall

Kouandjio falls in a category below Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews as an NFL prospect. His issues with balance, anticipation and technique can be worked on and developed at the NFL level, while his giant frame and physical room for growth cannot.

Kouandjio has put enough on tape as a dominating presence in one of football's marquee positions to justify most any NFL team selecting him with their first-round pick.

His hugely unimpressive performance at the NFL combine hurt his draft stock and may give NFL front offices reason to believe he isn't a good preparer.

The biggest hit on Kouandjio post-combine is clearly the damning medical evaluation of his knee. If there wasn't reason enough for trepidation previously about gambling on Kouandjio's upside, there certainly is now.

 

Draft Projection: 1st-2nd Round

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