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Brandon Linder NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Jaguars OG

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Brandon Linder NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Jaguars OG
J Pat Carter

Brandon Linder, OG, Miami, (HT: 6'5⅝", 311 lbs)

Jacksonville Jaguars (Jaguars trade 105th and 179th picks to Patriots for 93rd pick)

Third Round: 93rd Pick 

NFL Comparison: Alex Boone, OG, San Francisco 49ers

Combine Weigh In
Height Weight Arm Hand
6055 311 34 1/12" 10 1/4"

NFL.com

Combine Workout
40-yard dash 10-yd split Bench Vert Broad 3-cone Shuttle
5.35 1.84 32 26.5" 8'4" DNP DNP

NFL.com

Positives 

  • Named offensive MVP of the 2013 Miami Hurricanes team—quite a feat for a lineman. 
  • Burly, brawny player that looks every bit of the part for an NFL guard. 
  • Long arms that look like thick vines, the eighth-longest among guards measured at the combine.
  • Comes with positional versatility; played both right guard and right tackle at points during the 2013 games reviewed. 
  • Keeps his feet pumping through plays.
  • Good feet and explosion off the line of scrimmage.
  • Player with tremendous upper-body strength, big, strong hands; when he gets his hands on the defender, he is relentless and hard to get off of. 
  • Prospect with a great motor who evaluators will rarely ever notice not playing to and through the whistle. 
  • Even when moving from position to position, was constantly the source of communication regarding defensive fronts and alignments to teammates; a player who consistently understands not only his responsibility, but its place within the framework of the play design. 
  • Mirrors and moves well while engaged in pass protection; shows flexibility and swivel through the hips to re-adjust naturally while maintaining firm power base. 
  • Has less trouble than most prospects his size gaining favorable initial positioning on smaller, more athletic players; simply a menace to get off of once he's latched on. 
  • Always looking for work. 
  • Tied for the seventh-best bench press performance at the NFL combine. 
  • Seems like a natural fit as a future powerful body-mover within an NFL man-power scheme. 

Negatives

  • Had an extremely tough week during Senior Bowl practices; looked overmatched and off-balance.
  • Lining up at tackle versus Pitt in 2013, was made to look foolish on occasion by DT Aaron Donald.
  • Can lunge into engagement with his head down in pass protection allowing defenders to cast him aside or jerk him upfield. 
  • Struggled in Senior Bowl practices versus Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman and failed to cause any real positive blips on the radar through his week in Mobile versus elevated competition. 
  • Strength, explosion and power in leg drive same to pale in comparison to what his upper body is capable of. 
  • Can get caught off-balance—forward, backward and even laterally—when anticipating the bull rush in pass protection; much better at handling rushing defenders in close spaces.
  • Has proven to be a liability in handling counter and inside pass-rush moves from penetrating interior defensive line presences. 
  • Has a great initial punch to go with his big mitts, but needs work on hand placement; too often latches on to defenders on the outside of their arms and shoulders. 
  • Height causes issues with bending at the waist while drive blocking.
  • Much less adept at executing cut blocks to the play-side of calls than other prospects. 
  • Lateral agility and ability to change directions remains a concern that was not answered with any measurables at the combine as Linder did not take part in the three-cone and short short-shuttle drills.

 

Personal Notes

  • Younger brother Nick will be a freshman lineman for the Hurricanes in 2014 per the Miami Herald.
  • A graduate of the well-known St. Thomas Aquinas high school in Florida. 
  • Received his degree in business management per the Miami Herald.

 

Ratings Chart

Grades by Alex Dunlap

 

Overall

 

Linder walks into a room and already looks like an NFL player. On tape, he has good feet, versatility, a natural flexibility through his core and generally athletic attributes. His issues with balance and technique as well as his weaknesses in countering and anticipating defenders stunting from free space will be the main question marks evaluators will have. 

Linder's tough week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl showed his continuing issues with leg drive, overextension and general tentativeness on the big stage. He will come into the NFL as a work in progress. 

 

Draft Projection: 4th Round

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