Eric Olsen – Notre Dame
Scout: David Syvertsen
Pro Potential: Eric Heitmann – San Francisco 49ers
Awareness/Reaction: High football IQ that is capable of diagnosing a pass rush scheme and delegating the line blocking responsibilities. Quick thinker that can adjust to a last second surprise from the defense.
Balance: Gets top heavy, does not change direction well. Falls forward and takes too long to re-gain his balance in space.
Initial Quickness: Does not fire off the snap. Is usually reacting to the defender rather than getting after it right away. Stands out of his stance, making him even slower off the ball.
Movement/Space: Is not a fluid mover downfield trying to throw the extra block. Stiff and awkward at the second level, does not look comfortable.
Pass Blocking: Delivers his punch too high on the blocker’s body. Does not maintain the control when he is on a pass rusher by himself. Does not bend at the knees, appears to almost be standing straight up when engaged. Feet get stuck in mud.
Pulling/Trapping: Has plenty of experience at guard. Does not fire out with power when moving laterally as a trap blocker. Does not adjust well to the last second defender when moving laterally.
Run Blocking: Can get himself in the right position, hands are usually inside. But he does not lock on and his assignment makes too many tackles throughout the course of a game. Does not get the push against a powerful interior defensive lineman, too stagnant.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Has above average size for a center. Carries too much loose weight, needs to spend time in an NFL weight training program.
Strength/Explosion/Pop: Does not fire after the snap, does not deliver a pop. More of an absorber/catcher rather than an attacker.
Technique: Plays way too high, especially for an interior blocker. Butt is too high off the ground. Minimal knee bend with hands that are too high on the blocker. Does a nice job of keeping them inside however.
Final Word: There is a lot of technique work that needs to be done with Olsen before he can be trusted along the interior of an NFL offensive line. He does not have enough power in his game to make up for the sub-par use of hand placement and leverage. He is a smart player that enjoys the game and he was also a team captain for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. While his ceiling is limited, Olsen could start down the road following a couple years of strength training and refinement to his technique.