Sits into his stance well in pass protection, displays a good first step off the football and consistently is able to anchor on contact when lined up inside. Does a nice job dropping his pad level down, extending his long arms and displays good hand placement inside. Exhibits good lateral agility when engaged, works his feet well on contact and knows how to mirror through the play. However, isn't a real natural bender into contact on the outside. Doubles over at the waist, drops his head, doesn't see what he hits and needs some real work at the point as a offensive tackle.
Played offensive tackle last season — both on the right and left side — and although he needs to tighten up his initial kick-step and overall footwork, the guy displays really impressive range and athleticism off the edge. Possesses an explosive first step and can consistently reach speed off the corner, but doesn't consistently stay real balanced or compact with his footwork, causing him to get upright at times. Nevertheless, plays long-armed, consistently is able to get in and dictate to blocks on contact in the pass game and has a lot of versatility and upside at either guard or tackle.
Impression: He's long, athletic and can generate leverage for himself in the run game. Has experience playing on both sides of the offensive line at either tackle and guard — a strong side player — and if he's able to work solely at one spot in the NFL, there really is a lot of upside and potential to his game. Looks like a potential NFL starter and has the athleticism to play the left tackle position. Might need some time, but can certainly help out as an interior lineman as he learns the ropes before kicking outside to tackle."
After redshirting in 2007, Love became the starting right guard for head coach Houston Nutt in 2008. Nutt's run-heavy offense was an ideal fit for the brawler. Despite having played well it was a mild surprise when Petrino elected to move Love outside to left tackle. Love doesn't possess the elite foot speed or flexibility usually required at the position, especially considering that the Razorbacks featured a star quarterback in Ryan Mallett.
Love fared well, handling the tough transition to the outside and everything Arkansas' vast offense asks of the position. Petrino's scheme doesn't feature left and right tackles, but strong-side and weak-side tackles, requiring Love to alternate sides throughout games. Love earned first-team All-SEC honors as a senior.
Scouts can't help but love a four-year starter who has competed against SEC competition while playing left tackle, right tackle and right guard. With his size, physicality, durability and versatility, Love should wind up among the first 50 picks of the draft. Considering the need to protect star quarterbacks at the NFL level, he could land in the first round.
Pass Blocking: Good initial quickness off the snap, but possesses only moderate balance and agility in pass protection overall, making him likely to play right tackle or guard in the NFL. Doesn't gain enough depth with his kick-slide or possess the foot speed to handle NFL-level explosive speed off the edge. Possesses long arms and very strong hands, using them well to stun and control his opponent. When he gets his hands on the defender, he can usually ride them out of the play. Doesn't have elite balance or quickness, making him susceptible to counter moves to the inside. Good power and use of leverage. Keeps his butt down, providing the anchor to stop the bull rush. Has been a very productive pass blocker, but is protected by this scheme.
Run Blocking: Good size and strength as a drive blocker. Strong hands and good placement to lock on to the defender. Plays with good leverage and has the leg drive to push the defender off the ball. Keeps his legs driving and has good awareness of when to abandon double-team and release to the second level. Only marginal balance to re-direct in space.
Pulling/Trapping: Good initial quickness off the snap for the pull, but loses momentum quickly and struggles if he has to change direction. Generally a reliable trap blocker but struggles against quicker defensive tackles.
Initial Quickness: Lacks the initial quickness to remain at left tackle. Can be beaten around the corner with pure speed and is forced to compensate, leaning outside and leaving himself vulnerable to the counter. Quick enough to consider keeping him outside at right tackle.
Downfield: Shows some burst in his initial get-off and can surprise defenders getting to the second level. Struggles re-directing, however, looking like the proverbial bull in a china shop. Loses his balance too easily and is forced to lunge after the back-seven defender, resulting in some devastating blocks but also misses the target at times. Good effort. Flashes a nasty, no-prisoners demeanor. When he gets a hand on linebackers, isn't afraid to grab hold and pound him into the turf for an emphatic pancake.
Intangibles: A two-time team captain. Started 37 games for the Razorbacks in four seasons. Redshirted in 2006. Hasn't sustained a serious injury in his career and had already earned his degree (kinesiology) by the end of 2010.
Movement: When Love gets off the ball and into his stance quickly he maintains good balanced steps. However, when a speed rusher threatens the edge he becomes unbalanced. In the running game, he is willing to climb to the second level but lacks the overall speed to effectively get out in front and block. The key to Love's success is getting a good jump off the ball and beating defenders to a spot.
Pass Blocking: Love does a nice job getting quickly set into his stance. He avoids wasted hand motion which allows him to punch and recoil quickly. He possesses a power punch that when landed can knocked the pass rusher off balance. Love has a strong anchor and sits into to his stance giving him the ability to remain balanced after initial contact. He has shown that he is an effective Velcro player and it tough to disengage once he gets his hands on a defender. However, Love plays short armed which limited his ability to control the rusher. The biggest concern about Love's pass protection is his foot speed and ability to play in space.
Quickness: Getting out of his stance and into his set is the quickest part of Love's game. He struggles to move his feet fast enough to change direction and set the edge.
Run Blocking: Leverage and strength is how Love effectively moves defenders off the football. He does a good job getting under the defender with inside hands. That leverage allows him to use his strength and leg drive to create space and open holes. Love also has the strength to remain engaged through contact while taking balanced steps to move the defender off the football. He has the hustle and willingness to climb to the second level but his lack of quickness limit his potential in this area. Overall, Love is a good run blocker that has a nasty streak to finish off plays.
Strength: There are several different areas of Love's game where his strenght is apparent. He is able to move defenders off the football with his leg drive and upper body strength. His heavy hands allow him to remain engaged through contact. His good base gives him the ability to anchor through contact and remain balanced.
Technique: Love does a good job firing off the football and keeping his pad level low. That low pad level allows him to remain balanced in both the run and passing game. He routinely gets inside had placement giving him the ability to control the defender. In pass protection, he keeps his hands out in front of his body with no wasted motion enhancing his ability to punch and recoil quickly.
Final Word: There is a lot to like about Love's game but his limited quickness might limit him to a future at guard. His run blocking skills, balance, and strength make him a good fit for the guard position. I am not sure how most NFL teams see him but what I saw has lead me to believe that he could be an excellent NFL guard. Making the move would hide his deficiencies when playing in space and allow him to work to this strengths in the running game."
Love should find his name called on the second day.
Love started as a left guard for his sophomore and junior seasons, before making the switch to left tackle to protect Ryan Mallett’s blind side as a senior when Arkansas would have one of their best seasons of the last 15 years.
One of the big reasons Love ended up protecting the blind side was because of his athleticism. Love gets a good initial punch on his defender, and has strong arms to keep the defender from getting in on his body. He has an excellent drop stop in pass protection, and shows a nice ability to mirror his defender. He has quick feet when facing quick up field edge rushers, and can punch them away from his body. In the run game he gets to the second level quickly, and can throw defenders down with his strong arms.
While he has quick feet, his technique is poor in pass protection, and will struggle with quick rushers that have an excellent inside move. He tends to lack good hand placement, sometimes getting on to the outside and putting himself into a position for a holding penalty. He doesn’t have the football IQ to play the left side and be a cerebral left tackle at the next level, so a switch to right tackle or guard may be best for Love.
Love’s quickness and agility will cause him to improve his draft stock to the late second-early third round. Look for Buffalo, Arizona, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans all to take a heavy look at Love to play right tackle at the very least.
NFL Comparison: Willie Colon "
Positive: Adequate college lineman whose next level ability is overrated in many circles. Strong at the point, stays square, and works to finish blocks. Adequately adjusts to defenders, keeps his feet moving, and flashes ability in motion. Fights with his hands, controls opponents at the point of attack, and keeps his head on a swivel.
Negative: Gets tall as the play proceeds. Must improve his blocking balance. Does not get much movement run blocking. Lacks top footwork off the edge.
Analysis: Coming into the season, Love was rated as one of the better tackle prospects in the senior class, but his play last season was unspectacular and his performance during the Senior Bowl was poor. He lacks the fundamentals and balance to stay at the tackle position and must improve his overall game to ever break into a starting line-up in the NFL."
Negatives: Frustratingly inconsistent... Narrow base... Bends at the waist... Looks top heavy... Will occasionally lunge into his blocks on the move and lose his balance... Not an especially good finisher... Rolls off too many blocks... Doesn't dominate at POA... Initial kick step can be bouncy... Inconsistent kick slide, either overextends or steps are to narrow... Either way, he loses his balance trying to reach the edge... Leans into the defender, too much of a catcher... Gets to upright in pass protection... Inconsistent footwork and technique and lack of balance will necessitate a move to Guard... Kind of a boom or bust type prospect."
Weaknesses: Too upright against the pass rush - needs to bend at knees (not waist) and improve footwork to keep elite pass rushers at bay. Ended-up lunging at rushers and usually missing. Athleticism is below average and foot quickness appears adequate to play LT but probably a better fit at RT. While solid against one defender, struggles to quickly locate and acquire targets at the second level. Can be a step late coming off of the combo to get to the linebackers.
Projection: 4th round - draft stock suffered with sub-par performance at Senior Bowl."
Love is one of the most experienced players in all of college football. He redshirted in 2006, played in eight games and started three as a freshman in 2007, started eight games as a sophomore, and has been a full-time starter ever since. The offensive tackle has great size at 6'5'' and 315 pounds and he has experience at both the right and left tackle positions. For now he is slightly better at run-blocking than pass-blocking, which points to him being a right tackle at least for a while in the NFL. Love could be off the board as early as the second round in the 2011 draft."
DeMarcus Love has an excellent Crouch, decent Power to Drive in the Run Game, very good Strength to Anchor against the Pass Rush, superior Lateral Agility, and pretty good Range.
He's a very good prospect, and at his size could play either O Guard or either O Tackle position effectively.
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