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St. Louis Rams 2010 Draft Report: Rodger Saffold

Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana - 6'4⅝" 316

NFL.com Grade 8.1

Summary

Saffold is a good collegiate lineman who started at left tackle for three consecutive years at Indiana. He lacks the massive stature that teams are looking for in a left tackle and may be lacking a step in quickness to play on the left side but should be able to find a home on the right side or even inside at guard. He has above-average initial quickness and does a good job of getting a fit with his hands to control and steer opponents on by the hole or pocket. He understands blocking angles and does a good job of recognizing stunts and twists up front and keeps his head on a swivel when in pass pro. While he doesn't really jump off the screen at you, the end result is that he consistently gets the job done and often makes it look pretty easy.

Strengths

Saffold is tall with good bulk. Has a quick first step and engages with his hands to get inside defenders. Takes precise blocking angles in the running game and gets leverage to steer defenders out of lanes. Displays good awareness dropping back in pass protection and consistently picks up his blocking assignment.

Weaknesses

Frame is not wide enough to play left tackle in the NFL. Does not have the power to be a road grader in the running game. Lacks the lateral range in pass protection to neutralize edge rushers. Not athletic enough to make blocks in space at the second level and will struggle to pull if he makes the move to guard.

Scouts Inc: Grade: 89, Overall Rank: 31, Position Rank: 6

Overall Football Traits

 Production 1 2006: (7/6) All six startsat left tackle. 2007: (13/13) All 13 starts at left tackle. 2008: (10/10) Started all 10 in which he appeared at left tackle. 2009: (12/12) All 12 starts at left tackle.

 Height-Weight-Speed 3 Lacks ideal height for OT position. However, he is thickly built and runs well for his size.

Durability 2 Started 41 of 42 games played during four-year career at IU. Played through a nagging back injury in 2008 and missed two games with a knee injury that season.

 Intangibles 3 Has a reputation for being a bit lackadaisical. Plays hard though and has shown willingness to play through pain.

Offensive Tackle Specific Traits

Awareness 2 Good overall awareness. Consistently shows good feel for picking up stunts and blitzes.

Toughness 2 Shows adequate to good toughness. He's not a nasty street-fighter type but he clearly has a mean streak in him. He plays with a bit of an edge and gives solid effort to the whistle.

Pass Protection 3 Quickness in pass pro set is not elite but certainly good enough to protect the edge versus most NFL pass rushers. He's thickly built with long arms and big hands. Will jar defenders with initial punch. Typically plays with balance but lacks ideal mirror and slide ability. Struggles to sustain at times (see: spin moved used to beat him back inside with 10 seconds remaining in first half versus Illinois in 2009). Also lacks ideal lower body strength. Good bull rushers have been able to drive him back into the QB on occasion.

Run Blocking 2 Takes good first-step and solid angles. Thickly built and shows good upper body power. Generally in very good position and will knock defenders back with initial pop. Works to finish and shows toughness but he doesn't always show the lower-body strength to drive defenders off the line. Bottom line is that he rarely fails to execute his assignment in the run game.

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