Thursday, 24 September 2009

Ciron Black - Cajun for "Stay Away"

At first blush, Ciron Black looks like a typical Ruskell draft pick. He is entering his 4th year starting at LT for Louisiana State University. He is an outstanding character guy who you want to root for, and I'll be pulling for him to succeed in the NFL after reading a story like this.

Unfortunately, after watching several games in 2008, I just can't like him on the football field. It's very important to note that I haven't watched him in 2009, and I won't be finishing my report until more games have been played. That said, I can't even advocate sticking him at RT in the NFL, except maybe for a team with a good block-first TE to help in pass protection.

Let's start with praise: He's big at 6'5 330, with pretty good strength. His upper-body strength is very good, he latches onto defenders very well. He's a team leader. He's durable and experienced. LSU Head Coach Les Miles praises his understanding of the offense. He looks ugly doing it, but he generally manages to at least get his hands on the DE. He's smart with blitz pickups.

Unfortunately, the flaws are a lot bigger: He's not very athletic and is unlikely to fit Seattle's blocking system. He also has a lot of trouble adjusting to linebackers at the second level, and is only okay at getting there. He has an inexplicable desire to cut-block LBs who he should be able to overpower - and he's not very good at it. He can (and will be) beaten around the edge by DEs. He is very slow off the snap, often the last guy on the line to snap up with the ball. Not very good with his hands as a pass blocker. His QBs took quite a bit of heat from his man.

At the end of the day, Ciron Black is one of the most frustrating players I've scouted. I want to like him (I almost attended LSU and like the school, plus he seems like a great person), but his play on the field is so ugly I'm amazed he's even being considered as a top tackle prospect. What's frustrating is that I'm convinced he has some athleticism there, and he might work out well, but his footwork is so bad it doesn't show up on the field. It amazes me he is being considered a top tackle prospect in this draft. Just to be certain I wasn't completely missing the boat, I talked to a former NFL Scout about Black and he confirmed my opinion. I wouldn't recommend any NFL team take him before the end of the 3rd round, but Seattle is probably best off not taking him at all.


Mark said...

From a numbers perspective, Bryan Bulaga seems a better zone blocking fit. He's all over the place in early rankings and I haven't been able to see an Iowa game this year. I'd be interested in your opinion if you get a chance to check him out.

Kyle Rota said...

Bulaga is a guy I'll definitely be looking at later in the year. I didn't want to use last year's footage on him unless I have to because he was a sophomore last year and ideally I will keep it to Jr and Sr film - though I'll break that if I have to.

I've heard varying reports. Some guys said he's Robert Gallery - freakish moving forward, but can't move laterally at all. I hope that's not the case because Bulaga could be Seattle's best chance at getting a quality OT that fits the system. OT is a position where guys typically don't declare early at high rates, so I don't want to invest a lot of time until I know he's draftable.