Plays with good base and strength, and hard to bull rush off the corner. Shows ability to redirect speed rusher wide if he can get his hands on him. Hard to get around due to his size. Uses that size well to get position as a run blocker. Shows decent pop, that improves when he's going straight-ahead as a run blocker. Better athlete than most his size. Gets out to the second level fairly quickly and can dominate a linebacker out there. Shows good mean streak and will throw a defender to the ground.
Has slow feet and struggles to match up with speed on the outside. Opens up his stance too early. Gives up the quick inside move. Doesn't have a good punch and can let the defender go right by him. Gets poor hand placement as a run blocker and severely limits how much push he can get in the ground game. Not as physical a run blocker as his size merits. Whiffs on assignments when you ask to get a seal on the edge. Struggles when asked to block on the move. Spends too much time on the ground and needs to do a better job keeping his feet. Not natural and looks sloppy when asked to cut block or pull.
Gilbert was solid at Florida, but his skills don't quite translate as easily to the next level. He is a big guy that has the size you want in a run blocker, but isnt' as consistent there as you would like. His pass protection skills are iffy because of average footwork and technique. He is a guy that might be better off moving inside at the next level. His first two years, he started a combined 3 games at guard before being moved to right tackle to protect Tim Tebow's blindside as a junior. He started 14 games there. This past year, he was moved to the left side to protect the blindside of their right-handed quarterbacks. He finished the year with 11 starts at left tackle, and two at right tackle.
Gilbert might be able to handle playing right tackle in the pros. His size makes up for his slow feet because it takes a while to get around him. But with the speed he'll see at the next level, that's asking for trouble. In order for him to stay outside, he needs to become much better with his hands. And whether he can improve his hand use will make or break his NFL career. Moving him to guard should hide his flaws in pass protection and use his big body to stalemate defensive tackles more effectively. But there too, he's going to have to improve his hand use to match up there. What's really disappointing is how mediocre a run blocker he is. He can get better there, again if he improves his hands. The thing with Gilbert is most likely he'll add depth because of his potential to play both guard and tackle, but he's probably three years away from being at a point where you can expect him to compete for a more significant role. The best case scenario for him is probably something like Barry Richardson, who rode the pine for two years in Kansas City before emerging as a below average starting right tackle this past year. If he develops, he can be a decent journeyman guard like a Keydrick Vincent who is good enough to start, but not good enough to stick. But if he doesn't start making serious progress by the time his third year rolls around, he'll probably be out of the league shortly afterwards.
The Falcons would like Gilbert's mean streak and size potential as a guard. But Boudreau would have his work cut out for him trying to improve his hands to a level where he can start taking advantage of those tools to become a good run blocker. At this point, he could fill a similar niche as Garrett Reynolds, but he's a few years off before he can be expected to stick in Atlanta. He could make the practice squad in a similar manner as Jose Valdez and get two or so years of development, and then potentially stick as a reserve after that point. But it's unlikely he becomes a starter in Atlanta. The best you can hope for is a more physical, but far less athletic version of Quinn Ojinnaka here.
Unless a team has the ability to stick him on the bench and patience to develop him for two or three years, it's hard to see him being worth a draft pick. But he can get some looks in the latter half of the seventh round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Blocking: 2.0
Run Blocking: 2.5
Mean Streak: 3.5
Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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