NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
Why do I do this to myself? Being a die hard Cyclone fan, sitting down and watching a couple of hours of Iowa game film is a form of torture. I promise to you though that I stayed objective despite my strong dislike for the black and gold. One thing you may notice is that in the title I have Guard listed before Tackle, and no, that is not a typo. Why? Read the rest of the report to find out.Name: Brandon Scherff
School: University of Iowa (Sr.)
Weight: 320 Lbs.
In the running game, Scherff possesses NFL ready technique and fundamentals. He shows good footwork when pulling and has exceptional football strength in both his upper and lower body. Additionally, he has good balance, bending at the knees rather than at the waist. Scherff is a tenacious run blocker with a mean streak. He gets to the second level quickly and finishes blocks with proper leverage. In pass protection he properly extends his arms and has strong hands to keep defenders away from his body. I highlighted a couple plays below where you can see Scherff doing a nice job in run blocking in a couple of different situations.
Where Scherff struggles is with speed. He is stiff in the hips, which leads him over compensate with his upper body. This leaves his chest exposed and gives the defender the upper hand. His footwork in pass protection needs work, especially when trying to force edge rushers outside. He is heavy footed and seems to have his weight on his heels rather than his toes, which leads to him getting off balance. At times, Scherff gives up too much ground to defenders on pass protection allowing them to create trash at the QB’s feet, which I highlight in the play below. He moves much better going forward rather than backward and his arm length could be a concern if he is asked to play tackle in the NFL.
From a run blocking perspective, Scherff is an intriguing prospect with elite potential and he’s NFL ready from that standpoint. He is aggressive and tenacious. From my vantage point, a move inside to guard would be best for him. He reminds me a lot of Logan Mankins or Zach Martin and would be an immediate upgrade for the Patriots at that position. He struggles with speed, and putting him at guard would minimize his exposure to it. Grading Scherff is complicated as it’s going to depend on the situation he goes into. I give him a late first round grade as a Guard and if I am grading him as a Tackle, I would give him a late 3/early 4.