Except for an aside with Jason Garrett, who looks like he should be coaching the Cowboys, late afternoon at the Combine centered on offensive linemen. Two of the more versatile linemen sitting down to talk this afternoon were Arkansas' DeMarcus Love and Florida State's Rodney Hudson. Yes, I use the word versatile because both of these players can play two different positions on the offensive line. How well they play each position remains to be seen.
A first team All-SEC left tackle, DeMarcus love played a big role in protecting the not-so-mobile Ryan Mallet. His draft stock took a big hit at the Senior Bowl where he struggled to contain rushers. In college, Love explained that he played on both sides of the line both at tackle and guard, though most of his work came at tackle. In Petrino's system at Arkansas, Love worked on both side of the line, usually lining up on the weak side, opposite the tight end.
Asked what coaches think about his play, Love said:
The biggest thing that jumped out at coaches is versatility...I was in a weak side, strong side offense; that means that I would play whatever side the tight end didn't go to. There's not an offensive lineman that's here that can say that they did that in college at both tackle and guard positions. Some coaches look at me at guard, some see me as a tackle. Whatever a coach wants me to play, that's what I'm going to play.
Love played tackle exclusively for the last two years with the Hogs. Arkansas runs more of a zone blocking scheme, but he noted that they did occasionally use man blocking. Love played guard under Houston Nutt before Petrino came to Fayetteville in 2009.
At one point in time, Love was considered a first round pick at offensive tackle. He struggled against speedier pass rushers at the Senior Bowl where he lunged and was caught getting too high in his blocks at tackle. Coaches in Mobile moved him back inside to guard, and he's been considered at that spot by most draftniks since then.
It's hard to peg where Love might get drafted. HIs versatility certainly helps his draft stock. His tenacity seemed to be better utilized at guard during his college days, and that's where the St. Louis Rams could certainly use him. Think of him as an upgrade over Adam Goldberg. Love is probably a third round pick at this point.
Love weighed in today at 6' 4.5" 315 lbs.