Andrew Donnal is one of the myriad of players drafted to help the offensive line. Relegated to the shadows due to his high profile counterpart Brandon Scherff, Donnal manned the right tackle spot for Iowa. The offensive line will be one of the most interesting camp stories this year, but does Donnal factor into the equation?
Like Havenstein, I'm impressed with Donnal's pass protection chops. Sure, they're both right tackles. Let's not beat around the bush - both are 'functional' pass protectors. But when talking about scheme fits and the necessary skills at your position (right tackle), being an elite finesse pass protector isn't at the top of the list.
Donnal does a good job of getting to his stance and displays good patience and awareness after the snap. He also has active hands, but he doesn't display a forceful pop or push on initial contact to jar the defender. He also needs to work on his balance, as he can get moved around at times. This would lead me to believe he would struggle against defenders who utilize speed as their primary pass rush technique.
Donnal's strength is his awareness and technique. He does a good job of passing #90 off to the inside and sees #43 on the stunt and blocks him as well. On both blocks, you see Donnal use his hands to slow the defender, but like I said earlier, he doesn't display that pop to knock the linebacker off balance. He's definitely going to need some weight room seasoning.
Here's a good example of him against a speed rusher. Donnal does a decent job here. I think you see a good job of him keeping the rusher away with his hands, even if he's not fully able to keep up with him. He pushes him far enough downfield that the QB would easily be able to step up, but it doesn't come to that.
Like his pass protection, Donnal is what I'd consider 'functional' here as well. He displays sound technique when taking on and driving blockers back, but what you don't currently see is any explosion at the point of contact. Donnal will need to add lower body strength so that he can push defenders off balance at first contact. Donnal also has a tendency to get spun around in space. He's decent at pulling, but he might fit better on the inside where his lack of lateral ability is minimized.
Here's Donnal getting up to the second level and engaging the linebacker and the safety:
Donnal does a good job staying balanced, but like I said before, you don't see a surge at initial contact. He does a good job of neutralizing the linebacker here and his technique is good. He just needs to get stronger with his legs so that he drives through defenders rather than pushing them with his core, like you see here (the back sheds the block). He takes a little bit of a lunge at the safety, but he makes contact so I'll let it go.
Donnal isn't going to overwhelm you with athleticism or strength. His key ability is being acutely aware of what's going on around him and displaying proper blocking technique. His stiffness may limit his ceiling on the outside of the line, but I think that Donnal is a true blue-chip player with starting potential.
He's going to have do a lot of work adding some lower body strength (and it'd be nice to see a little more force when using his hands) but Donnal displays enough technical ability to a least consider him as a possible future starter. If he hits the weights early and often, I think he could become a sleeper late-round gem for the Rams.