Scouting Report: Max Tuerk, OL

Although a Center in college, Tuerk could offer flexibility at other positions.

Although a Center in college, Tuerk could offer flexibility at other positions.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

The Patriots are known for taking players and using them in ways other teams might not. That is exactly what we have here with Max Tuerk.  He is a guy who played Center in college but has the build and movement skills to play multiple positions along the line. Here are the rest of my thoughts after watching this intriguing player who may be making a position change at the next level.

It was good to see the Patriots, well, be the Patriots again.  Last weekend we saw a glimpse of the team that started out the season 10-0 only to have injuries temporarily derail them. It wasn’t perfect, but it is exactly what the team and its fans needed to get their confidence and swagger back going into Denver. The butterflies have already started to flutter and we still have a few days until kickoff. What better way to pass the time than watch some exciting interior offensive line play. To be honest, I had fun doing it. Here is what I saw from Max Tuerk, who could be a very polarizing prospect come draft time.

Name: Max Tuerk (#75)

School: USC (SR.)

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 285 Lbs.



The first thing that jumps out at you when looking at Tuerk is his versatility. Even with his Senior year cut short due to injury, he has 38 career starts. Of those, 18 are at Center, 14 are at Left Guard, 5 at Left Tackle, and 1 at Right Tackle. In his Junior and Senior year though, he played primarily at Center. On tape, Tuerk showed great explosion out of his stance and is one of the rare players to have the agility and athleticism to consistently pull from the Center position.  He showed great awareness to recognize defensive schemes and call out the lines pass protections. He kept his head on a swivel and would always be looking for someone to block or help. Tuerk seems to have a bit of nastiness in his game and will finish off blocks through the whistle. Tuerk also plays with light feet and good balance in pass protection. He was considered a team leader and was named a team captain multiple times.


At 285 Lbs, Tuerk is just too light and he has a narrow frame that could limit just how much bulk and weight he can add. He will need to maximize every pound he puts on and get stronger, especially in his lower half.  The other major concern is the knee injury. It did happen early in the year, but with a guy his size, you just never know how long it will take for him to get back to normal.   On tape, Tuerk can struggle with leverage and hand placement because of his height and the position he played. I think if he is moved outside this becomes less of a factor. When going up against bigger defensive lineman, he would get knocked back, but to his credit, he did a nice job reanchoring. This did create timing issues for Running Backs from time to time however.


I am a big fan of Tuerk. I really think he has the footwork and athleticism to play Tackle in the NFL. His weight and lack of “sand in the pants” is a concern, especially coming of an injury that will have stunted his growth that he would have naturally got if he would have been able to play all year. He might need some time to develop, but the traits teams are looking for are there. I am really intrigued by his versatility and I think people will compare his versatility to Cameron Irving from last year, who was a first round pick. What I like better about Tuerk though is that I think he is better suited to move outside rather than inside like Irving did. Tuerk most definitely will be in my top 100 and probably closer to top 75 when all is said and done. With the injury and the position other teams might draft him to play, I think he might go later than that and could be a steal.





76 Responses to “Scouting Report: Max Tuerk, OL”

  1. Jeff says:

    With Defensive End looking like a position of depth and 3 young guys competing to contribute next season (Flowers, Grissom, Johnson), and with the Jones, Ninkovich, and Sheard contracts all expiring at the end of next season, do you think the Patriots consider moving one of the three? What can you expect to get for these guys? I think Ninkovich you’re not getting much due to age, maybe a 4th tops? Sheard might be worth a 3rd, Jones maybe a 2nd? what do folks think?

    • Russell says:

      Sure… if it was up to me, I would trade Chandler jones to the 49ers, for their 3th and 6th picks this year.

      • steve earle says:

        Not sure I want to give up on Jones just yet and not for a 3rd and 6th at all. I’m thinking Ninkovich is most likely to be looking for a last big payday (could be wrong) so trading Jones could leave us in a bind at DE after the 16 season. Remember how hard it was to fill that need before we drafted Jones?

    • matt says:

      Trade Sheard that would be a bad idea I think hes a great DE. I don’t know about Rob N I don’t think hes got much left. He still has his moments but there few and far between plus hes 31.

  2. Russell says:

    With Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo going down the road, look for GM Belichick to sign Brian Frenetz Oline Coach at Iowa State under his dad Kirk Ferentz. Brian was with the Patriots2008-2011 as a scouting assistant, and later offensive coaching assistant.

    • steve earle says:

      Well that’s step #1 now we still need two or three guys that can actually run block.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      They are both at Iowa, not Iowa State. Trust me, I would know. The cyclones could have used one or both of them for a long time now. The life of a cyclone fan is not easy.

      • Russell says:

        Sorry…. Mike did you see the NFLPA bowl? Jatavis brown? wow, I watched a play he ran from right OLB to the left side line running by The ILB, and making the tackle! Watched more tape on him to day, he’s going on my Patriot draft board. He runs a 4.52 40yd, best time 4.46!

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    2016 future contracts
    OL Chris Barker
    OT Keavon Milton
    FB/RB Joey Losefa
    WR DeAndre Carter
    CB Raashan Melvin
    CB/S Brock Vereen
    S Cedric Thompson
    LB James Vaughters
    possibly 2 canadians ( LB and DE)

  4. Big w says:

    The Carolina panthers have the best oline in the league and it shows , spend the draft picks or free agency on the line. Guys were open but Tom was nervous as a hell had gronk wide open and made a horrible read, was the theme for the last part of the season. Tom gets time he’s poetry no time we lose.

    • Ryan says:

      Who exactly did you see open? I saw Gronk, James White, and Edelman open on occasion, but many times they had barely a step or two on their guys when Brady threw the ball. The offensive line needs some serious help, but we also need a WR who can separate.

      • steve earle says:

        One of the fastest WR’s that could be available to us is Sterling Shepherd, Oka. Suggested he can do a 40/ 4.42. Was an impact at Oka in spite of his 5-10 195, runs crisp routes, good hands , if he was 2 inches taller he would be a top 10 guy. jmo.

  5. Dan Sullivan says:

    BB why no help for the right offensive tackle? Either Jackson at Fullback or someone at
    Tight End to chip those defensive ends. Brady had no time at all.

    Thank You Patriots players and coaches for a great exciting season and you guys fought to bitter end.

    Free Agents 2016 Andre Smith OT Bengals and Dwayne Allen TE Colts.

    2 Spencer Drago OT/G Baylor
    3 Pharoh Cooper WR South Carolina
    3 Scooby Wright ILB Arizona
    4 Tanner McEvoy S Wisconsin
    6 Devin Fuller WR UCLA
    7 Byron Marshall RB Oregon
    7 Aaron Morris G Mississippi
    7 Beniquez Brown LB Mississippi State

    Pats fans get to a game next year nothing like being there in person.

    • steve earle says:

      Right Dan, no help against the outside rush? Brady had no time for 3 quarters of the game.
      Yes we need O-line help but I’m tired of the maybe he’s a T maybe he’s a G linemen but turns out he’s not very good at either. Afraid Drago is another of these and if we are going to take a OT with our 2nd I’d want the best OT on the board.
      Still sticking with the mock I made the other day taking WR Shepherd at our top pick.

      • Dan Sullivan says:

        If Pats got Shepherd and Murphy as first two picks those would be excellent additions to
        Patriots. I have no doubt Patriots come back stronger than ever next year.

    • Matt says:

      BB why no help for the o line. BB has always left the offence up to the OC and his coaching staff. In the case of the o line Dave D. and Josh and Dave D did have a TE go into lineup next to Cannon with 8:15 left in the game. Which I think is one reason Dave D is out of a job now. A coach must be able to think on his feet and make adjustments while the game is being played coach Weis and coach Scarnecchia used to do that all the time. That’s why I think Josh should be next to go the guy can’t think on his feet at all.

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    The Patriots better think long and hard about next season and their player personel, the 2016 season will be tough as nails, as we face NFC west, AFC north, and our division. In knowing that we have to build a league beater and understand this year, nobody feared us. I understand that we had lots of injuries and bad offensive line play, but a lot of the problems are front office related ( ie: being too conservative with player personel, and drafting, not bringing in enough good talent, personel development etc. TB12 gets a year older in 2016, he shouldn’t have to do it all himself anymore, give him some real weapons. On defense, i respected what they did and we have a good base to build upon.

  7. Russell says:

    Hard game to watch, the Patriots had no answer for Miller, his pick lead to 7 pts. was the turning point. The olineman took turns losing their man, Vollmer looked slow, and fleming was a joke. The oline could not make blocks in the run game. The D keep them in the game, but Chandler Jones was a no show , Ninkovich hurt early, Edelman played hurt, Lafel , martin no shows, Scott Chandler why is he on the roster?
    The Oline needs attention in the draft, and they need a WR outside the numbers. This game showed why we need OT with quick feet, not 340 lb guy.
    Guys gone next year;
    OT Fleming
    LB Mayo (unless a cheap contract)
    WR Dobson
    TE Chandler
    DT Siligna
    DE C. Jones (unless a cheap contract)
    Time to look at what we learned, and get healthy, start improving for next year.

  8. Kevan says:

    Game came down to play calling more than anything. Poor execution as well but mainly a bad game plan and really bad play calling. Really weird season, the first 10 weeks were a tease. After the regular season loss to Denver pats fell apart. 2-4 in the last 6, pats had no business losing to Philly or Miami, they win just one of those this game would of been in snowy cold windy foxborough. I’m sure injuries has a lot to do with it but not nearly the full explanation. With great victory comes great defeat pats fans, on to the off season. This team will be set for another run.

  9. matt says:

    So with 8:15 left in the 4th that’s when Josh and Dave D figure that Cannon needs help blocking really! Its time for Josh Dave D and Cannon to go. Cannon plays next year Brady’s really going to get hurt.

    • steve earle says:

      Matt’s right here too. Five wide and Brady was getting killed for 3 qts. What kind of game plan was that? The OT’s might just as well have been waving at the outside rushers. Would it have killed them to move out another yard so the rushers would have had a few more feet to go to get Brady? This was as frustrating a game as I’ve endured in a long time.

  10. J H TARBORO says:

    I hate to say this, Denver exposed us on both sides of ball. OT Cam Flemming, Marcus Cannon and TB12 played horribly also, i know Brady’s line was suspect but so was Brady, over thrown, underthrown, and just not seeing open receivers. No receivers could get open, really! that’s exposure! Gronk,Amendola,and Edelman are good but it’s lot of tape on these guys now, we’re all crazy if you don’t think the Pats need offensive weapons.

    • Ryan says:

      I’m with you, it’s just tough to know where to start. The defense played up and down, but it was clear that we needed 1) a running back, 2) wide receivers, and 3) a better o-line. The offense struggled against Denver’s premium defense. Edelman had an average game, but the rest of the wide receivers weren’t open at all. We need someone who can separate. Throw in a non-existent running game and an o-line that allowed Brady to be pressured and it’s not a recipe for success. Belicheck needs to take a long look at the offense this season and make the requisite changes.

    • steve earle says:

      Right about O-line J H but name me a QB that can function at high level under those conditions?I was advocating for Bill to get a couple top rated OG’s last year but we got a couple mid rd. guys as usual and we saw the results today. Now I’m going out on a limb again and say I still think we need two or three top rated O-linemen. Our D held Denver to 20 points it was the Offense that fell short, way short, and that’s a fact. I realize we can’t get those three top O-line this draft but Bill should now understand that Kline, Cannon and Flemming are not a fix. Maybe Jackson and Mason will make a big jump next year then maybe not. What bothers me more then anything else is our complete inability to establish a running game not only against top teams bet even against mid level teams. A one demensional offense with a vunerable O-line seldom wins big games once they get behind. Today proved that.

  11. steve earle says:

    halftime: if thisis the best the o-line can do better pull Brady before he gets killed!!!!!!!

  12. Mineiro says:

    What a great player!

  13. steve earle says:

    @ Russell, Been thinking about Nambot. You said he played BBall so any chance he could be converted to a TE? Just a wild thought but would that be any harder then bringing him up to OT standards? Take 30 lbs off the kid and in short yardage/red zone could be interesting.

    • Russell says:

      Not sure Nembot is quick enough for a TE @Steve, If I was looking for a project, go with Tanner McEvoy 6’5″ 230lbs run 4.57 40yd, and has played WR/QB/S at Wisconsin.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Rusell, i watched games this season and last with Tanner McEvoy playing all 3 positions, i listed him below. Checkout OG/TE Laquan Mc Gowan- Baylor 6’7 400 He can play TE/OG/T and FB/H-Back.

        • steve earle says:

          Holy smoke J H, 6-6 400. Think about this a moment, put him in a FB go 4 wide, including Gronk off the line, then either go off T or play action, Holy smoke! Okay he’s on my board even if he only plays six or eight snaps per game.

      • steve earle says:

        I don’t know about Nembot’s quickness either, in fact not much I could find out about him so just thought I’d throw out the question.
        So how about this kid McGowan J H just gave us? I’ll have to start looking at him. Could you see him at FB? Remember the Fridge? This guy would be the whole darn food locker.

      • steve earle says:

        Darn, just saw a few highlights of McGowan, he can catch too! Wouldn’t want to be the DB that had to tackle him. Where do you think he will go in the draft Russell?

  14. Russell says:

    Last time I picked the Patriots score I hit it, so…. Patriots 30 Broncos 23. WR Martin to have a big game!!

  15. Russell says:

    A guy to watch who will have a GREAT Combine is LB Joe Schobert , much the same as my last years gut Davis Tull !!!

  16. J H TARBORO says:

    East/West Shrine half time report
    LB Victor Ochi- Stony Brook 6’2 245 ( he’s the truth! explosive and sudden, he’s one to watch for.
    QB/RB Keenan Reynold-Navy ( back injury, i was really looking foward to seeing him. Patriots take note.
    RB/FB Devon Johnson-Marshall ( Had to return home)
    QB Vernon Adams jr.- Oregon ( Although undersized, he’s a real football player, NFL take note, the league will change in next few years, with the way college offenses are operating, the true ” pocket passer” maybe a rarity, good luck Vernon.

    • steve earle says:

      You noticed Vernon Adams too! I hadn’t seen Ore play last year and was surprised by the kid. No one is taking him seriously but maybe I’m just a sucker for the underdog so I’ll say now, Hey Bill! take a good look at this kid. A 7th rd pick would be worth it.

  17. J H TARBORO says:

    Patriots sign LB James Vaughters- Stanford to a future contract and 2 Canadians i believe a LB and a DE.

  18. J H TARBORO says:

    Also checkout Corey Davis-W.Mich. 6’3 205 is probably the best WR over 6’0 in this draft class that’s not talked about; he’s big,fast, and smooth with great hands and is a playmaker, best of all he fights for yardage.

  19. J H TARBORO says:

    Late round/ or UDFA sleeper OT Stephane Nembot – Colorado 6’7 320 and shredded, a former basketball player from Cameroon with basketball feet, he’s playing in the NFLPA Bowl this week and is a standout. A project with upside, could be force!

    • J H TARBORO says:

      my apologies the Shriners game.

    • Russell says:

      I agree on Nembot, good looking prospect 4th round or later. I think the Patriots try for a LB early in the draft. I like Josh Perry but he could be gone, by the Patriots 2nd pick.
      This LB Antwione Williams 6’3″ 245lbs 4.7 40yd from Georgia southern playing in the Shrine game is a great prospect!! (he and Perry wear #37 ). These guys are true LB’s that get into pass coverage, and solid tacklers!

      • steve earle says:

        I expect an OL men taken on the 2nd day myself and would be surprised if one isn’t. Sounds to me as though Nembot will likely be an UDFA. He has a hugh gap to cover but as a priority FA could make it onto someones pratice sqd. Someone to watch though.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Good eye Russell! I really believe it will be DE in the 2nd round for reasons why? I think Chandler Jones has possibly played his way to free agency, it’s a contract extension year for him, his sack numbers are high and remember Hightower and Colins are the next to get paid, take your pick! I believe he’s gone after this season. My opinion only.

        • Russell says:

          I agree DE C.Jones is the least likely to resign, of the three Hightower and Collins. That’s why coach Belichick drafted DE Flowers, and Grissom. Easley played better at DE then inside also.
          With Mayo costing $11.4 mil cap , I don’t think he comes back other than a coach.
          So looks like LB could be the 2nd pick. Question may be does coach trade-up to get …….. or trade back like last year, a 3d for a 4th and 5th??
          I think he trades back.
          This year my prospect to blow-up the Combine (Last year I liked Davis Tull) is Joe Schobert LB 6’2″ 240 lbs Wisconsin.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Sounds like Nembot has had an up and down week of practice. The measurables are there though and could be intriguing late or UDFA

  20. J H TARBORO says:

    I really don’t think the Pats will draft a CB or OT very high in this draft, with so much invested into the O Line over past 2yrs. it will be late round or UDFA. At CB, remeber our last years draft pick CB Darryl Roberts-Marshall a 7th rounder who had a great camp before injury. Patriots will bring in depth but won’t spend a lot to do it. my personal opinion.

    • steve earle says:

      You could be right but remember last years OL men were guards and center. Past two years we have struggled with injuries at tackle. I’m thinking Bill will want to secure the future, protect Brady at all costs, by getting at least one OT on day two. jmo. Have to wait and see.

  21. J H TARBORO says:

    Reminder: East/West Shrine game on NFL Network Sat.4pm eastern followed by the NFLPA Bowl on ESPN2 at 6pm. eastern

  22. J H TARBORO says:

    Here is a list of 8 of the most intriguing and multi dimensional weapons in this draft that fits what the Patriots do. Most will be mid- late round draft picks or UDFAs.
    QB/WR/S Tanner McEvoy-Wisc 6’6 229
    QB/WR Braxton Miller- Ohio St.
    QB/RB Keenan Reynolds- Navy ( Belichick’s favorite school )
    WR/KR Jakeem Grant- Texas Tech 5’7 170 ( a quicker, faster Dion Lewis with a WR body.
    RB/FB Devon ” Rockhead” Johnson-Marshall 6’1 250
    RB James Connor-Pitt 6’2 250 ( ACC player of year )
    FB/ST Soma Vainuku- USC 6’0 255-265
    FB/TE/H-Back Dan “Superback” Vitale- Northwestern
    Look at some highlights of these guys, most will be appearing in Shrine and Senior Bowls.

    • steve earle says:

      Thanks for the list J H. I’ll start looking these guys up right now. Maybe fill the bottom of my mock out?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Did James Conner declare? I kind of lost track of him after he was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t play this year.

      • steve earle says:

        I seem to think he said he would be coming back to Pit after beating Hodgkins and playing again. Gave great praise to his coaches and team and the city so suspect we’ll have to wait til 2017 for him.

  23. steve earle says:

    Sense it’s near the end of Jan. I’m ready to try my first mock of the season. Here goes:

    2) Sterling Shepherd WR Okla. 5-10 195 (fast explosive impact player at Okla.)
    Alt. Josh Perry OLB Ohio St. 6-4 254 (highly productive def. leader, nice fit)

    3) Kyle Murphy OT Stan. 6-7 305 ( has all the tools at RT, time to plan for future)
    Alt. Paul Perkins RB UCLA 5-10 210 ( slashing cut back runner good speed & hands)

    3cp) Eric Murray CB Minn. 5-11 196 (skilled defender, low profile, good up, back or slot)
    Alt. LaRaven Clark OLT Tex Tech. 6-5 320 ( developmental, very high upside)

    4) James Bradberry DB Samford 6-1 213 ( man among boys div2, good upside)
    Alt. Tyler Johnstone OT Ore. 6-6 295 ( good skills & upside, bulk up)

    I’ll leave later rounds for later when we see the All Star, Sr. Bowl and the combine. my crystal ball is cloudy that far off.

  24. Russell says:

    Time for my up-dated Patriots Mock;
    2nd- LB Josh Perry, second choice; CB/S Sean Davis
    3d — CB/S Sean Davis, second choice; LB Antwione Williams
    3d– OL Max Turek, second choice OT Tyler Marz
    4th- LB Antwione Williams, second choice; DE Dean Lowry
    6th– RB Keith Marshall
    6th– WR Alex Erickson
    7th- WR Tevaun Smith
    7th- CB Vernon Harris

    • steve earle says:

      Nice draft Russell I could see this happening and it should make fans really happy. I was looking at it from a different angle so maybe it’s time for me to put out a mock of my own?

      • Russell says:

        Thanks Steve, …a real sleeper who “fits” the patriots is WR Alex Erickson 6′ 197 lbs 4.54 40yd. I will be moving him up my board, as this guy does it all, catches with his hands, good route tree, smart, a walk-on. To me he looks like the next Edelman, outstanding prospect!!!

        • steve earle says:

          Yes Russell, I have Erickson on my board too, on the 5th rd block. I read he is rising though. Still as far as Pat’s go can’t see him being an upgrade on Martin, LaFell or for that matter Gibson or Tyms, but someone will pick him up I’m sure. If yor eval of the next Edelman is right then I’m way off but thats the way I see him. I see Sterling Shepherd in that light but we would have to use out 2nd to get him. I’d like that and pass on Perry then look for Antwione Williams with one of our 3rds though I’ve mocked an OT and a CB in those two slots. Couldn’t go to far wrong either way that went.

  25. Russell says:

    Nice Job Mike!! Tuerk is high on my draft board. I think his lighter weight may be a good thing for his rehab. As a personal trainer working with College players weight is important in rehab from injury. Tuerk will need to add weight, but a few months should help. I think because of his injury, he will miss the Combine, and may miss training camp. (Todd Gurley) So he may not be ready for the season start, in the view of most teams, which I think drops him into the 3d round of the draft. Hard to know with out more info about the injury.
    I highly doubt Coach Belichick takes him with the second pick, but could be in play for one of the Patriots 3d round picks.

    • steve earle says:

      Tuerk is a Pats type player from Mikes description though not sure teams will want to go as high as a 3rd or even high 4th given the injury and size considerations. I could see Bill taking him with our 4th and putting him on PUP. There is no great pressure to get him on the field right away, in fact barring another rash of OL injuries he could sit out 2016, fully recover and bulk up some, couldn’t hurt.
      Thanks to Mike, always great reads you give us.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I completely agree with both you and Steve. He grades out for me as a mid 3rd rounder and with the injuries that will push him down, but his tape and his upside is very intriguing. The lighter weight for rehab is probably good, I just think the injury could have made him even lighter and already being so light could be an issue. He may struggle just to get back up to 285 before next fall. If he is to play, he has to be 300+ and it has to be good weight.

      • Russell says:

        Hopefully during his knee rehab he can do upper body weight room work to add weight/strength, bench, shoulder, arms etc.
        Coach Belichick likes seniors, quick feet, TE type , strong upper body types at OT.
        Turek is intelligent as well, but I doubt a 2nd round pick, but maybe.

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