Scouting Report: A.J. Cann, OG

If the Patriots decide to draft offensive line early, A.J. Cann might be a nice option.

If the Patriots decide to draft offensive line early, A.J. Cann might be a nice option.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Anything exciting happen over the weekend? Oh yeah, that boring Super Bowl game that no one watched was on I guess.  What a snoozer, right?  I won’t lie, I rode an emotional roller coaster that I thought was going to kill me.  I was just glad the night could end with me doing snow angels out in the front yard just like in 2001.  Like Belichick probably has done already, we too must move on to next season (maybe not just yet, I have the Patriots marathon on the TV as I am typing this.) The ending to the Super Bowl was great, but the game was far from perfect and this team has plenty of areas it can improve upon, so today I went back and watched some more guard play.  A.J. Cann was a guy that jumped off the tape for me, so lets break him down.Name:  Aaron (A.J.) Cann

School: South Carolina (Sr.)

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 311 Lbs.

Positives:

Cann brings a unique combination of size and movement skills to the guard position. He shows excellent power when drive blocking.  He shows good fluidy when he gets to the second level and keeps good balance when lining up and blocking players in space.  Cann shows good technique in his hands and arms, getting them extended quickly and latching on in great position.  He has a powerful initial punch and is able to redirect his opponent.  Cann shows good awareness on stunts and blitzes.  Cann has good power in his lower body and anchors well in pass protection.  For a guy his size and body type, Cann shows impressive short area quickness.   He also shows great toughness and will play to the end of the whistle.

 

Negatives:

Cann does struggle at times with quicker, smaller interior pass rushers, but its not something that shows up on tape on a regular basis.  His footwork at times can get sloppy which leads to some balance issues, but again, it does not show up so much as to be too alarmed.

 

Overall:

You can tell by my very brief notes in the negatives that I really like this guy.  He is big and powerful with above average movement skills. Add to that his great technique and hand use and you have a guy who can be a day 1 starter for a team at Guard.  I also think he brings some position flexibility to the table. Not in the sense of him playing a different position, but more in the scheme the offense wants to run.  He has the power to excel as an in line blocker, but shows the movement skills and fluidity to excel in a zone blocking scheme as well.  Cann is a 4 year starter and was voted permanent team captain in 2013, two qualities I think the Patriots will covet.  I give Cann a late first round grade and would have no issue with the Patriots drafting him with pick #32.

4 Responses to “Scouting Report: A.J. Cann, OG”

  1. Jeff says:

    Projected Roster for next season. Draft picks are identified by the round they are selected in parentheses. I’m anticipating one compensation pick in the 3rd round. Without the picks, this roster will be a Superbowl contender – if they hit and get some development from the youngsters, this team could be a wagon.

    OL:
    Starters: Solder, Josue Matias (2), Stork, Wendell/John Miller (4), Vollmer
    Backups: Cannon, Fleming, Wendell/Miller (4), Kline

    QB: Brady, Garopollo

    RB: Blount, Gray, Bolden, White

    TE/FB: Gronkowski, Wright, Hoomanawanui

    WR: Edelman, Lafell, Amendola, Jaelen Strong (1), Dobson, Slater

    D-line:
    Chandler Jones, Ninkovich, Wilfork, Siliga, Easley, Chris Jones, Preston Smith (3), Michael Buchanan, Zach Moore

    LB:
    Mayo, Hightower, Collins, Ramik Wilson (3), Kwon Alexander (4)

    CB:
    Revis (extended 4 years, $54 million), Browner, Arrington, Butler, Ryan, Dennard

    S:
    McCourty (franchised, extended if possible), Chung, Harmon, Wilson, Ebner

    Special Teams:
    Gostkowski (re-signed), Aiken (extended), Allen

    Practice Squad (some undrafted guys probably displace several of these guys):
    OL: Devey, Miles Dieffenbach (6), QB: Gilbert, RB: Gaffney, TE: C.J. Uzomah (7), WR: Boyce, DE: Jermauria Rasco (7), DT: Joe Vellano, LB: Morris, Gordon

  2. Philip says:

    just a quick thought … how about taking Marcus Peters at 32 (if still available) and Ogbuehi at 64 … imo it’s possible that both are available or gone.

    In NE Peters has a good enviroment to overcome his off-field issues.
    Ogbuehi could be the next Mankins and a future replacement for Solder if he’s to expensive to keep.

  3. acm says:

    I have no problem with AJ Cann from a technique, power standpoint; Pats will likely have to take him at #32.
    One concern I have about Cann is if he has the nasty in him. It’s that ability to dig deep, show character and smash the opponent in the mouth when the going gets tough, that I covet the most in OL-men.

  4. Russell says:

    Bills grab 6’3″WR Justin Brown a 6th round pick by the steelers, off the Wire.

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