Draft Positional Analysis Offensive Guards
February 6th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers will in all likelihood be looking for help along the offensive line this season. Whether that help comes from more depth or the search for a starter is still unclear, but is rather safe to assume that they will look for help in this area. This yearís group of offensive guards may provide the 49ers with some relief.
Top Five Offensive Guard Draft Prospects:
Andre Gurode is a nicely sized offensive guar that is quick enough to pull out and shift accordingly. Heís quick off the ball and will finish a defensive end off. Does need some work with his footwork, but is the most polished guard of any in this seasonís draft. Can play center if needed too. Has very good strength, and balance. Is good at recognizing and picking up the blitz and can open holes for the run game.
Toniu Fonti is a big guard that a huge upside. He finishes all of his blocks without a hitch and can open holes in the run game. Not the most polished prospect but makes up for it with his dominance at the position. Could improve his pass blocking technique and can be caught off balance when backpedaling. Heís very quick off the snap and will benefit from the coaching at the next level.
Kendall Simmons has great upper body strength and excels in pass blocking and blitz pickup. Simmons is not the biggest at his position and is a little light for someone that doesnít posses great speed. Has been very well coached and thus has great technique that has allowed him to excel at his position. He can play tackle too but has shown a weakness to stopping a quick move outside. Simmons controls his center of gravity well, and is willing to play through injury. A sold player at the guard position.
Terrance Metcalf is a good sized guard that excels at run blocking. Has played both the tackle and guard position and has the ability to be a dominant NFL player. Finishes his blocks very well and gets a good initial push downfield and thus can be a lead blocker in short yardage situations. Needs to improve his lateral footwork movement but is an overall very good player at his position.
Fred Weary is a smaller guard that excels at pass protection. He moves laterally extremely well. Can play center as well as guard - but is likely to be more effective at guard. Is a very good athlete that has some history of injuries. Finishes his blocks and uses his hands well, Weary can be a very effective pass blocker. Has been a little inconsistent and struggles or is lazy when pulling in the opposition direction of the play. A good guard with some versatility that will really benefit from a serious coaching regimen.
The offensive guard group this season is very well sized and for the most part well skilled. Although this position is not usually a teamís top selection, there are a few players here that could be very good NFL players. Expect teams to try and grab a few guards as the draft board ticks down a little and some of the bigger stars are taken by higher picks.