This week we mocked Germain Ifedi to the Seahawks at #26. Ifedi’s tape is far better than some people will have you believe, he’s a genuine physical freak of nature with incredible upside and athleticism.
Essentially, he’s exactly the type of player the Seahawks have drafted in round one.
Ifedi was one of the big winners at the combine. He looked like the Hulk, moved incredibly well in the mirror and kick-slide drills and he had the second best vertical jump at 32.5 inches (Connor McGovern beat him by half an inch). Jumping 32.5 inches at 324lbs isn’t easy.
Scouts Inc. moved him up to #21 on their big board after the combine. You need to subscribe to read their full breakdown — but here are some of the highlights…
They grade players using a 1-5 scale:
1 — Exceptional
2 — Above average
3 — Average
4 — Below average
5 — Marginal
Ifedi is given an exceptional grade for: Production, height-weight, durability and pass protection. He’s given an above average grade for: Intangibles, awareness and toughness.
The one average grade he gets is run blocking. The blurb reads:
“Raw run blocker. Has the size and natural strength. Comes from an offense that predominantly features two-point stances and is more finesse than power in the run game.”
They end with the following status report:
“Straight out of central casting with a massive, long and ripped frame. Ifedi is an early entry with three full seasons as a starter under his belt (started freshman season at right guard and primarily right tackle last two seasons). Ifedi has the tools to develop.”
Jason Spriggs is generally considered the big O-line riser because of his athleticism. However, Scouts Inc. grades him at #46 overall with several average grades for durability, pass protection, run blocking and awareness. He gets a below average grade for toughness.
When you consider Taylor Decker’s middling combine performance, Ifedi could be challenging to be in the top five at his position. His #21 overall ranking on Scouts Inc’s board makes him the #4 offensive tackle.
They aren’t the only ones speaking highly of Ifedi. He was mocked in the first round by Daniel Jeremiah too. At the combine Jeremiah made the following remarks:
“I think he can play tackle. I know that there’s some debate, some belief that he can kick inside and be better at guard. But guys, to me he is what you want your tackle to look like. He can bend. To me the awareness is an issue and that’s something he’s going to have to learn and develop but man all of the tools are there for him to maybe even jump up — maybe sneak into the bottom of the first round. He’s right on that edge.”
It shouldn’t be a major surprise that he’s creating a buzz. He’s always been one of the more underrated prospects in this draft. The fact he wasn’t moved to left tackle in 2015 seems to have created a false impression of his ability.
He’s an enormous 6-5 and 320lbs yet moves superbly. His footwork is quite brilliant for a man his size — his kick slide is good, he moves freely to the second level. In the two games I watched he didn’t get beat once off the edge by a speed rush.
There’s very little ‘bad weight’ to his frame — he’s an enormous tackle and most of it is muscle. When a D-end tries to hand fight he usually absorbs the defender and it’s over. Technically he had some nice blocks — turning his man to open up a crease and moving people off the LOS to create a running lane. He has the athleticism to adjust on the move and if he ever moved to guard he’d have no trouble pulling or kicking out to the next level.
Ifedi’s size and raw athleticism makes for an interesting combination. If the Seahawks make the playoffs and you’re pinning your hopes on an offensive tackle being available beyond the 21st pick — this could be your best bet.
There’s usually a blossoming offensive tackle who makes a late rise. Lane Johnson experienced it in 2013, Ja’wuan James in 2014 and Ereck Flowers in 2015.
Because he doesn’t get hyped like a lot of other prospects — people tend to assume Ifedi isn’t that attractive. As a worst case scenario you’re probably getting a good left guard. It’s a safe pick with the potential to be a great pick if he works out at tackle.
If you missed it earlier in the week, here’s evidence of his athleticism vs Laremy Tunsil in the mirror drill at the combine:
— Rob Staton (@robstaton) March 2, 2016
And here’s four back-to-back snaps vs Alabama. Note the way he uses length and a strong base to stone edge rushers. On the third snap he drives the DE into the turf and finishes. On the fourth snap he identifies and reads a stunt and shuts it down.
For all the talk of him not moving to left tackle — look at the pressure given up on the left side vs the right…
— Rob Staton (@robstaton) March 4, 2016
It’s only four snaps but it gives you an insight into his pass-protection skills vs the toughest opponent Texas A&M faced in 2015.
We need to spend more time looking at Le’Raven Clark over the next few weeks as an insurance option. He and Shon Coleman (who we’ve covered a lot) likely present the best two alternatives if Ifedi is off the board. Clark also has a high ceiling. Ifedi is far better prepared to start quickly.
While many are projecting a defensive lineman to the Seahawks at #26 — it really goes against everything we know at this stage. If Russell Okung departs in free agency, it creates a major need at tackle. It’ll be difficult to address that need after the first round looking at the players available. The Seahawks have also preferred to use the middle/later rounds and the cheap free agent market for defensive linemen. The sheer depth on the D-line will undoubtedly provide some attractive options in rounds 2-4.
Unless they find a way to retain Okung — everything points towards an O-line pick at #26. Ifedi provides a rare opportunity if he lasts — a prototype at the position available in the late first.