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Will Fries NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Indianapolis Colts OL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

Penn State offensive lineman Will Fries (71) leaves the field following an NCAA college football game against Michigan State in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Barry Reeger/Associated Press


HEIGHT:
 6'6 3/8"

WEIGHT: 309 lbs

       

POSITIVES

—Efficient footwork and snap timing in his vertical pass set to reach his landmark with the patience and weight distribution to play within himself and stay balanced at the point of attack.

—Crafty use of hands with a range of techniques to keep his chest clear, establish and regain leverage to get guys blocked.

—Uses a double-under technique in the run game to hit, lift and displace defenders in Penn State's inside-zone scheme.

—Excels on angle-drive blocks with sound footwork, hand placement and solid rotational strength to torque defenders off of their spot.

—Top-notch finisher with the physicality, effort, leg drive and use of hands to stay latched to defenders through the whistle.

       

NEGATIVES

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—Below-average length that shrinks his margin for error against longer, skilled pass-rushers who can get into his chest and string moves together.

—Middling anchor and square power that allows speed-to-power to jolt him back at the point of attack and leaves him vulnerable to the push-pull.

—Mediocre athlete who will be outclassed against premier athletes off of the edge.

—Doesn't look as comfortable or operate with the same play speed inside at guard with the game sped up.

—Could do a better job recognizing the end pausing on tackle-end stunts and snapping his head inside to maintain levels with his guard.

         

2020 STATISTICS

—Started all nine games, with three starts at right tackle and six at right guard.

         

NOTES

—48 career game appearances with 42 starts (26 at right tackle, nine at left tackle, six at right guard, one at left guard).

—Redshirt senior who graduated with a degree in economics at the end of the 2019 season.

—Four-time letterman in track and field who competed in the shot put and discus for Cranford High School in New Jersey.

       

OVERALL

Fries is a four-year starter who has started at four different positions for three different offensive coordinators and two line coaches during his career, most recently in Kirk Ciarrocca's zone-based run scheme.

Fries is an underwhelming athlete on tape who operates with efficient footwork in his vertical pass set to consistently reach his landmarks, with the needed patience and precision using his hands to create leverage on a variety of alignments and pass-rushers.

He's also a solid run-blocker who understands how to work his hips and hands underneath an opponent to create lift, drive and steer on angle-drive and double-team blocks with excellent effort to consistently finish. Fries has below-average length for a tackle, with adequate power and lateral quickness that results in a shaky anchor and inability to consistently protect the corner when rushers can get to his edge.

Fries will likely be moved inside and be a spot starter at tackle with the versatility, competitive toughness and refinement in his technique to provide value across the line and potentially surprise as a starter within his first contract.

        

GRADE: 7.0/10 (Round 5)

OVERALL RANK169/300

POSITION RANK: IOL20

PRO COMPARISON: Alex Lewis 

       

Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn

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