A position that the Bills’ scouts are heavily scrutinizing right now is the offensive tackle position. The unknown status of starter Seantrel Henderson and Cordy Glenn will have them looking for talent at the position in every round.
A player that caught my eye during the Senior Bowl was Indiana’s offensive tackle Jason Spriggs. Spriggs immediately stood out during that week because of his size. He is 6’7″, 301 pounds, and is working with a 34 1/8 reach and 9 1/2 inch hands according to NFL.com. The first play I caught was the one on one with defensive end Jihad Ward.
Immediately you could see his great base, smooth kick-slide and solid hand punch and placement.
Spriggs played on a veteran offensive line at Indiana. In 2015, he only allowed 4.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries, and 8 QB knockdowns according to Real Football Network (RFN). Check out his numbers versus ranked opponents.
Once you put on film you can see why he was solid in pass protection.
Spriggs has a very smooth kick-slide and set. He keeps his body square, never crosses over and uses his long arms to ride the player wide.
Textbook pass posture. Slide, set-punch, slide, set-punch.
His long arms and ability to mirror defenders allow him to keep inexperienced pass rushers outside.
According to RFN, Spriggs was beaten to his left side 4 different times in 2015. On this play his feet stall, Spriggs then leans and the rusher is able to turn the corner.
Speed exposed the Senior tackle at times. Although Bosa doesn’t make an impact on the play, look at how quickly he gets up-field on Spriggs.
Spriggs is an aggressive pass blocker, he doesn’t wait on the rusher to come to him. When he met up with a formidable pass rusher like Joey Bosa, he was exposed.
On this play the pass rusher gets up-field but then cuts back inside. Spriggs has trouble mirroring the defender and it leads to pressure on the QB.
Ohio state really exposed some of the weaknesses that Spriggs has when rushers stab outside then cut back inside. The weak lateral quickness versus the pass is surprising to see from the former tight end.
The average lateral speed can also be seen in the run game. That average speed, allowed defenders to cause 25 run disruptions in 2015 (RFN).
Spriggs skip pulls wide, but his average foot speed is noticeable. To his credit once out wide he does a great job of targeting and locking onto the defender.
His film provided very few plays where he wowed me with his run blocking. Most of the runs by Indiana were zone concepts, so there weren’t many drive/power blocks like you see in Greg Roman’s offense. What was so disappointing with his run blocking was that he often did a great job of scoop blocking or getting to the second level but then had trouble engaging the defender.
On this play he moves to the second level quickly but then is totally off balance. He struggled to block in space.
Spriggs takes a bad angle on the QB wrap play. For a zone run blocker I saw this far too often on film.
This was one of his most aggressive run blocks on film. He does a great job of locking on and driving the defensive end down the line and into the ground.
There is no doubt that Spriggs can develop into a solid all around blocker, he shows flashes. But those flashes are usually against inferior talent.
On this play he uses great hand placement, gets up under the defender and drives him wide.
But when matched up versus premier talent he is overpowered and outmatched on too many occasions.
Jason Spriggs in my opinion is not ready to start at the NFL level. Although he has shown the ability to pass block, rushers in the NFL will expose him. NFL defenders will be too quick for him this early in his career. He will struggle versus strong, balanced pass rushers if he doesn’t put more weight and strength on his frame. Could he play right tackle? That is hard to project because he has never played the position. In my opinion he will need a year to adjust to the speed and strength of the NFL. He projects as a zone run blocker, but even that may be a stretch with his trouble engaging and staying with defenders. He will be reached for in the draft just based on the value of pass blockers. I expect him to be taken by a team that utilizes zone runs and west coast offense principles in order to maximize his abilities.