As we move on in our Player Mock Draft Series, we rumble down the line to Chaz Green, the injury-ridden right tackle who's fortunately trending on the healthy side as of late.
He's not going to be a guy you see get called on Day 1, or even Day 2, but Chaz Green is a player who, when healthy, has the potential to have a long career in the NFL as a backup or key fill-in lineman.
Green's reputation is that of a finesse swing lineman fit to aid a faster, passing-based offense. (He did commit to Urban Meyer, after all.) He's been praised for his work ethic, and proved that by being elected as a team captain. Green played on the outside for most of his career at Florida, but will probably be moved all around the line in the NFL because of his fluid pass blocking skills and his overall ability to adjust (partially because he's not elite at any offensive line position).
Let's see what the experts had to say.
STRENGTHS: Plays with good footwork and overall pass-protection technique on his initial pass sets. Hand placement is adequate. Plays with open eyes and desired football intelligence. Has a feel for stunts, twists and blitzes and can pick them up. Good initial quickness to get to tough reach blocks and climbs smoothly to second-level blocks. Played left and right tackle at Florida. Might have the athleticism and functional strength to play all five O-line positions.
WEAKNESSES: Poor base blocker in the run game. Doesn't get the hip rotation needed after initial engagement and plays with lean over drive, despite some power in his legs. Stops his feet and loses defender against counter moves on pass rushes. Could use more time in weight room for added upper-body strength. Needs to carry hands higher in pass-pro setup. Missing a jarring punch to keep pass rusher from caving the edge. Scouts question functional strength to redirect defenders around edge or on inside moves.
That report is pretty cut-and-dry, and most other reports are similar to it; Green can be a solid pass protector, but unless he can improve his functional strength in the run game, he'll be destined to a backup role. Now let's look at his mockdraftable chart.
One of the comparisons Green draws with his numbers is to fellow draftmate Brandon Scherff — interesting, because Scherff could be the first offensive lineman taken. But, ultimately, you can see from the lower percentile bench number why Green's strength can come into question. The hand size is a good trait, though. Grabbing and controlling defenders is easier with bigger hands.
Unlike D.J. Humphries, Green is disciplined and patient in his technique when pass blocking. He's great in space, and has the awareness to be reliable in zone blocking schemes; it's the run blocking strength — and, really, the strength to be able to push people around — that he needs to work on. That's not always something you can teach, hence the hesitation.
So for a guy whose target is the fifth or sixth round, who are some teams that have him on their late-round big boards? These might be a few:
- Combine Meeting: None
- Pro Day Meeting/Workout: None
- Private Workout*: Falcons, Bills, Panthers, Cowboys, Texans, Saints, Chargers, Buccaneers
- Private Visit: Bills, Cowboys, Buccaneers
*different from a private visit, which would've included an extended stay to meet personnel.
There wasn't a lot of early attention for Green during the draft process, but as things started to pick up for Humphries, I wonder if the extra tape time spent on him may have opened some additional eyes to Green during the process. Maybe, maybe not.
Regardless, here are a few landing spots for Chaz Green:
Round 5, Pick 162, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers need help everywhere on the line, especially with the passing game. I expect their first pick at No. 1 to be quarterback Jameis Winston, and I do expect them to go offensive tackle somewhere on Day 2, but that won't be the only time they address the line this weekend. Green has had both a private visit and a private workout with the team, as well as a local visit to spend some extra time getting to know Chaz. If he checked enough boxes for them to get him in for a local visit, I can't imagine Green did anything to lower their expectations of him. I think he's a real possibility for Tampa.
Round 5, Pick 163, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys had the best offensive line in football in 2014. Why would they need to waste a draft pick on an offensive lineman? Well, there's an old NFL Draft system that says every year, no matter your team needs, at some point you should take a quarterback, an offensive lineman and a pass rusher. For Dallas, I think that one offensive lineman could be Green, and even though he would have no chance to start (without injuries to the depth chart), Dallas could be a great spot for him to evolve into a suitable NFL tackle.
Round 6, Pick 197, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals finished with the third-fewest sacks allowed in 2014, but again, for Green, we're not looking at immediate need, we're looking at potential long-term fit. Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth is 33 years old. Looking at their lack of depth on the line, I'm assuming they'll be looking to move 28-year-old Andre Smith over to left tackle in the next few years. This would open the door for Green to get his feet wet, bulk up, get better in the run game, and be poised to possibly take a starting right tackle position in 2017 or beyond.