Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scouting the 2013 NFL Draft: Bears Pick Jordan Mills

Moving on in the series of checking out of each of the Chicago Bears picks, it is time for fifth round pick, Jordan Mills, an offensive tackle out of Louisiana Tech. This was definitely a pick for Mike Tice who feels he can turn coal into diamonds, because Mills is going to be a little raw playing at a smaller school, but he also has a lot of athletic potential. I'm pretty sure Tice still loves J'Marcus Webb, but the results haven't exactly matched the love. Hopefully this turns out better. I was not expecting to find tape on Mills, but sure enough, he has film against Texas A+M (I have to use a +, since the and symbol does not cooperate on blogger), which is a great chance to see how he performs against top competition.

He is a massive man who handled the right tackle responsibilities for Louisiana Tech. He knows how to use his size and power in the run game, as he completely clears out the Texas A+M defensive end.

When he can get his hands on the defender and just use his strength, he is going to be in good shape, but this guy is definitely raw as you will see on the play below. His guy does not get the sack here, but that's only because his teammate beat him to it. When you focus on this play, just look at Mills's right foot.

That is the tiniest kick step in the history of organized football. No offensive tackle can possibly have a defensive end lined up outside of them, use that as their first step and expect to have any chance at stopping the rusher. I've watched this play a dozen times, and it shocks me every time.

That is the most egregious example, but it is definitely not the only example of that tiny first step. Basically, he's wasting the fact that he knows the snap count by not putting himself in a good position. In college, he was so big that it did not cost him as badly as it will in the professional ranks.

The physical tools are there, but his footwork needs to improve by leaps and bounds for him to even become a passable pass blocker. That makes him a project, and considering it is a fifth round pick, it is not too concerning that the Bears went this route.

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