N.C. State Senior
PROS: A scrappy get that shows good pop off the snap. Is able to get position. A nice downhill blocker that shows ability as a drive blocker. Has a nice hand punch, locks on, and shows good hand use. Has nice lateral quickness and works well in a zone blocking scheme.
CONS: Struggles when asked to block on an island. Needs to get stronger and add bulk. Needs to improve his base and can get bull-rushed in pass protection. Needs to improve his snapping ability.
OVERVIEW: A former defensive tackle that shows it in his hard-nosed scrappy style. Is a good run blocker, but struggles at times in pass protetion. Started 5 games at defensive tackle in his first two seasons at N.C. State before being moved to center as a junior.
NFL FORECAST: Larsen will fit well in a zone-blocking scheme that is geared towards running the football. He will struggle in pass protection, and I don't think he'll ever be great there when he's left on an island. But he has nice developmental potential as a run-blocking center. In that way, he reminds me a lot of Todd McClure during the Mora years. He's not a guy that will fit well in the AFC where he'll be facing a lot of 3-4 nose tackles. At the very least, he will make a nice backup center that might be too limited in pass protection to be trusted long-term with a starting job.
ATL FORECAST: Larsen fits well in Atlanta because he has the scrappiness that Boudreau likes in his blockers. And while he might be a bit better at pushing the pile as a run blocker than McClure, he's not going to be an upgrade over him in terms of his ability to block on an island against the bigger and better tackles in the league. But he's still learning his potential, so he's a guy that should sit and learn a few years. But if McClure was to finish out his contact, Larsen could be ready to take over the starting job by 2012. But not sure he can be trusted with a starting job before then.
VALUE: Larsen is a nice late round pick as a developmental center. The earliest he should go is probably the sixth round for a team wanting a run blocker.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.