By Kip Earlywine
40 time: 5.29
- Ideal size for a Gibbs mold interior lineman
- Fast off the snap
- Good run blocker, notably so in goal line situations
- Seems to have good pass pro awareness
- All-time combine record tying 45 bench press repetitions
- Plays faster than his 40 time would indicate
- Above average athleticism
- Effective at the 2nd level
- Student of the game
- Not a high pedigree prospect, a former walk-on TE
- Missed 2008 season due to an academics related mishap
- Not as strong on the field as he is in the weight room
- Only settled on guard after first attempting TE and FB
- Mixes good snaps with bad ones
- Still a little raw and not as experienced as a typical senior would be
Sorry, no video this time. As I preview later and later round prospects, especially at unsexy positions, video highlights could prove impossible to come by.
I did get to watch a little of Petrus through clips of Arkansas games last year. Again, these POTD's are never real scouting reports, but I feel confident I've been able to see enough to form an initial impression.
Physically, Petrus looks the part. He's the shortest guard among the top guard prospects (officially 6'33/8"), and the only one of which which meets Alex Gibbs' height preference. That he benched 225 lbs. 45 times- more than double Anthony Davis' or Charles Brown's totals- is amazing and shocked everyone in attendance including Petrus himself. A great bench press is not an indicator of future success, and Petrus is nowhere near that strong on the football field, but hey, it's something. At the very least, its inflated Petrus' draft stock, which is kind of silly I think.
Petrus plays right guard and has been part of a couple very good run blocking offensive lines, including the 2007 version which featured Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. He's fast off the snap and maintains excellent leverage in run blocking, making him an asset in short yardage and goal line situations. I wasn't watching highlights- just random plays. And twice I saw Petrus flat out pancake a defender which directly resulted in a touchdown. Does this mean he's always that good? No. And from the scouting reports I've read, he looks terrible from time to time. But it does prove that he's got very good run blocking potential if he can find consistency.
I didn't see anything that indicated that Petrus struggles with pass protection. He seemed adequate to good in this regard. Of course, it could be that I just saw a couple of his good games.
Petrus changed majors in 2008 and because of a screw up, ended up being a few credits short of reaching his academic requirements. As punishment, he had to miss (redshirt) his 2008 season. Petrus continued to practice with the team and invested that time with coach Bobby Petrino and gained a better understanding of the zone system.
Because Mitch Petrus is still a bit raw, he'd be a good prospect to acquire, but probably would struggle as an NFL rookie. He may need a year before he's adequately prepared to be an NFL guard. While the Seahawks have a pressing need for a quality guard, Gibbs has stated that he prefers to not start rookie interior linemen, so that drawback would not likely faze the Seahawks from considering Petrus.
Petrus is considered a top 5 overall guard by most draft sites, and is expected to be selected in rounds 3 or 4.