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2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Iowa OT Brandon Scherff

Brandon Scherff is misunderstood. Let's fix that.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports


Scouting Report

Brandon Scherff is a tricky prospect. What position you think he'd be in the NFL largely translates to how much value he has as a prospect. Let's dig a little deeper and see where he'd fit for the Rams.

Pass Protection

Many probably think because he's a prime candidate for a position switch inside, this isn't an area of strength. But upon closer look, the tools are there. Scherff is incredibly strong and capable of defending against players who come straight at him. He has excellent technique - he doesn't lunge, he is efficient with his movement and he has great hand placement. Take a look at him completely neutralize the end here. His swim move? Nah:

His pass technique is more impressive as you watch. His footwork is efficient and smooth, but he is a tad slow out of his stance at times (nitpicking here) and can be caught when trying to recover against speed, or when he relies too much on his strength to try and stop defenders. Take for example this play, where he's caught flat footed:

That's why a lot of people see him playing on the inside. With less space, players can't move around laterally, giving Scherff a better match-up by letting him utilize his strength. What he lacks with tempo, he more than makes up for by being a brick wall:

Calling Scherff a technician is a disservice to how strong he is. At times, he uses leverage and hand placement to completely neutralize defenders. But his greatest weapon is his power. He's often targeted for a move inside, but it isn't because he can't pass block - more because he doesn't move well in space.

Run Blocking

I don't want to keep banging the drum about Scherff's technique and strength. You can read any scouting report and find out about that. Take a look at this play where he jumps into the second level and hits the linebacker hard. He gets spun around (always watch for holding!), but when he sets back the other way, he pushes him again so hard that he trips over his own man:

Here's another, cleaner example. He pushes his man so far back he goes off screen:

That's juts an example of how strong Scherff is. He can manhandle defenders in the run game and it's clearly his biggest strength as an offensive lineman. He doesn't just hit his opponent - he drives through them. That's something the Rams could use; last year it was often the other way around.

Unlike TJ Clemmings, the last prospect I looked at, Scherff is controlled with his movements and finishes players off with his strength, rather than having it be his go-to weapon in the ground game.


This is where it gets tricky. If you view Scherff as a tackle, having him as a top ten pick is pretty reasonable. If you view him as a guard (and many do) then picking him in the top ten, or even at ten, may not be the wisest choice. For the Rams, it's likely to come down to which lineman is the best rather than who presents the best value. If you can trade down, go for it. But the Rams need help over nearly the entire line - so nitpicking on positions is somewhat moot. Scherff's best fit on the team is likely left guard because it minimizes his effective blocking area, but he could also play right tackle if a hole opens there over the offseason.

The bottom line is that Scherff is a prospect who excels in the ground game. His strength, hand placement and technique allow him to maul defenders easily. As a pass protector, he gets caught using those methods sometimes against speed rushers and fails, but he also is capable - moving him inside might negate some of the tightness he has in space, so ultimately, that's where he'd likely see the most use.

BEST FIT: Left Guard