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 Post subject: Blake DeChristopher, OG, Virginia Tech
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26070
Location: North Carolina
BLAKE DeCHRISTOPHER
6-4.5/304
Virginia Tech Senior
40: 5.52

PROS:

Plays with good mean streak and it can often make up for his less than stellar hand use and technique. When he can gear up, he can at times deliver a power punch to jolt a defensive end off the ball. Is effective getting position on the edge and does a nice job when asked to block laterally on the move. Flashes some leg drive at times when he can get locked on in space. An effective puller either inside or outside, able to deliver blow to linebacker in the hole. Can locate moving targets on the second level or in space. Effective chipping linebackers and helping to spring the running back on the second level. Can be an effective cut-blocker at times.

CONS:

Struggles to use his hands, and has difficulty locking onto targets which limits his ability to maintain his blocks even when he has good position. Struggles to make the seal blocks on the edge for that reason. Tends to try and deliver a blow when pulling rather than using his hands to get position and lock on. Is not fluid when moving in space. Mostly lines up in a two-point stance on the edge, and has limited pop when he does put his hand in the dirt in a three-point stance. Can get blown off the ball in short-yardage situations. Stands up out of his stance and blocks too high, making it hard for him to get any push or even make the kick-out block. Doesn't bend his knees well and gets overextended as a run blocker. Takes a false step as a run blocker, limiting his push further. Does not match up well against speed on the edge in pass protection. Will slide his feet to try and mirror speed, causing him to lose base. Very susceptible to the bull rush on the edge, able to get worked back into the quarterback. Doesn't do a good job delivering a punch on the edge, ducking his head and whiffing. Has to gear up to deliver a punch and it's rarely effective.

OVERVIEW:

DeChristopher is an effective collegiate tackle that lacks the athleticism, size, and strength to think he can stay there in the pros. He's an effective position blocker that plays with a lot of mean streak and has decent athleticism. He has very short arms, doesn't really have a power element to his game and is a guy that almost certainly will have to play inside in a zone-blocking scheme to have a chance at the next level. But he could potentially become the classic case of a player that isn't as physically or athletically blessed as his peers, but more than makes up for it with work ethic and mean streak at the next level.

2011 GAMES WATCHED:

(10/1) vs. Clemson: 1 key block, 1 missed block, 1 QB hit; Pull: 2/2; Cut: 0/1
(11/10) at Georgia Tech: Pull: 1/1; Cut: 0/1
(11/17) vs. North Carolina: 2 key blocks; 2 pressures; Downfield: 1/1; Pull: 1/2; Cut: 2/4
(11/26) at Virginia: 1 pressure; Downfield: 1/1; Pull: 0/1; Screen: 0/1
(1/3) vs. Michigan: 1 missed block, 1 penalty (false start); Downfield: 0/2; Pull: 0/1; Cut: 1/2

CAREER STATS:

2011: 14 GP/14 GS, right tackle
2010: 14/14, right tackle
2009: 12/12, right tackle
2008: 12/11, right tackle
2007: redshirted

- missed 1 game in 2009 with an ankle injury
- missed 2 games in 2008 with a thigh bruise and bruised kidney

NFL FORECAST:

While I think DeChristopher will have a steep hill to climb to be an NFL player, it would not totally surprise me if he does make it similar to other players like Harvey Dahl or Mike Brisiel. I think Brisiel is the player I would compare him the most too because I think he'll likely have to play in a zone-blocking scheme like the Texans use to stand his best chance of making it. DeChristopher is not a powerful player, struggles to get push and the key for him is learning how to use his hands better. If he can improve his technique, polish up his footwork, and just learn how to combine his mean streak with good hands, he can be an effective NFL player. In a zone-blocking scheme where it's mainly about getting position than it is about pushing a defender off the ball, I think he can work. But he's a long-term developmental option. Brisiel has logged a bunch of starts over the years in Houston, and has been adequate for most of them, but was never considered a key piece to their blocking success thus why he was in and out of the lineup and rotating with Antoine Caldwell. If DeChristopher makes it, I suspect the same will be said of him. He'll be considered a capable stopgap piece at best. Where DeChristopher might have an advantage over other similarly overmatched prospects is that he has a very good mean streak. That could endear him to a coaching staff, and thus give him an opportunity on a practice squad or at the bottom of a depth chart early on that others won't get. That would give him some time and ability to develop some and then by his third or fourth season if an injury occurs, he might be plugged in and become an effective starter. Again, I doubt he's a long-term solution for any team, but could become a solid journeyman reserve that teams know they can plug into the starting lineup in a pinch and be effective.

NFL COMPARISON:

Mike Brisiel, Raiders.

ATL FORECAST:

While the Falcons are probably going to use a lot more zone-blocking looks under Dirk Koetter, it probably won't be enough to really give DeChristopher a chance to make it hear. If the team likes his mean streak, they might keep him as a reserve on the practice squad and hope he develops into a poor man's Harvey Dahl down the road. But he's a long-shot just because he's not as physically blessed as the other guards on the roster and probably will never be a great fit in their scheme.

VALUE:

DeChristopher is not worth a draft pick but could become one of those undrafted free agents that goes on to have a nice NFL career as a backup for some zone-blocking team.

SKILLS:
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite

Strength: 5.5
Pass Blocking: 5.0
Run Blocking: 5.0
Footwork: 4.5
Technique: 5.0
Mobility: 6.0
Mean Streak: 8.0

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


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