Nate Potter, OT/OG, Boise State

Scouting Reports of the center, guards, and offensive tackles in the 2012 Draft.
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Nate Potter, OT/OG, Boise State

Postby Pudge » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:09 pm

Boise State Senior
40: 5.29


Is an effective position blocker that does a nice job using his hands. Has decent footwork when blocking laterally on the stretch play or other zone blocks. Initiates contact and is able to get leverage at the point of attack. Able to wall-off or redirect end on the kick-out block. Does a nice job sealing the edge, allowing the back to bounce the play outside. Will get his hands inside and lock onto linebacker to drive him downfield. Is comfortable moving in space and can get the seal block against the linebacker downfield. Has polished technique and footwork, setting up well in pass protection. Consistently plays with his hands high and tight and ready to deliver a punch on the edge. Can adjust to the inside move Shows good mean streak and will finish his blocks consistently.


Lacks pop as a run blocker and needs to add more bulk and strength to improve there. Will take a false step off the snap and will come out a bit high there. Struggles to get that initial push as a straight-ahead run blocker and lacks short-area power to really drive a defender off the ball. Needs to do a better job getting his hands inside and has to gear up to deliver a punch, allowing the defender to get leverage against him at the point of attack. Struggles to lock onto linebackers and moving targets on the second level. Not the smoothest athlete when blocking in space. Will whiff too often on his punch on the edge. Struggles to match up with speed, and too easily beat around the corner because of his lacking punch. Will get jolted back by the power rusher and gives up too much ground.


Potter was an effective left tackle for Boise State in their zone-blocking scheme. He is a polished player with his footwork and technique, but he's just not very physical, strong, or athletic enough to fully take advantage of that polish. He was a bit miscast as a left tackle, struggling at times when he faced speed rushers. But he was really Boise State's best option available, despite a couple of times where they tried to move him to the right side or inside to guard. He projects best as a right tackle in a zone-blocking scheme or as a guard as well.


(9/3) at Georgia: 1 missed block; 1 penalty (false start)
(9/16) at Toledo: 2 missed blocks, 1 pressure; Downfield: 0/1, Cut: 0/1
(11/12) vs. TCU: 1 key block, 0.5 sacks, 1 pressure, 2 QB hits; Downfield: 1/2, Cut: 1/2
(11/19) at San Diego St: 1 key block, 1 pressure, 1 missed block; Downfield: 1/1, Cut: 1/1


2011: 13 GP/13 GS, left tackle
2010: 13/13, left tackle
2009: 13/9, left tackle
2008: 12/8, left tackle
2007: redshirted

- missed 1 game in 2009 due to injury
- missed 1 game in 2008 due to injury


Potter is probably polished enough that he could contribute in a pinch right away in the pros. But he'd be overmatched and probably would not be good. But if a zone-blocking team is looking for a rookie that can push for a starting spot right away at guard or tackle, he could do it. He has a frame to get bigger, having played much of his career in the 295-300 pound range. Adding some muscle should help him become a better run blocker. He'll never be a guy that will really push the pile, but he can be a guy that can win by getting position. His ideal role is probably as a swing tackle for a zone-blocking team. I think he could be a decent stopgap at left tackle with a few more years to further polish his technique, but he's not going to be a guy you want starting for more than a handful of games there. If he's going to develop into a starter it will come as a right tackle where he can be an Erik Pears type of player, or as a guard where his athletic limitations won't be as apparent. The problem with him playing guard is that he's not as good in a phone booth as he should be, and would definitely need to bulk up and get stronger there to hold up. He has the potential to be a solid complementary starter, that won't wow you but can be capable of getting the job done. Or he'll be a player that can be a good depth option for teams because with some training I think you can trust to him to play every position except center at the next level.


Potter can add depth here in Atlanta and potentially challenge a guy like Svitek for the role as swing tackle. But because he's not as physical a run blocker as Svitek is, nor a great athlete, he's probably not going to be an upgrade over him even if he does earn the job. Instead, Potter is probably better suited to playing immediately at guard for the Falcons with the hope that they can develop him on the practice squad for a couple of seasons similar to how they did with Jose Valdez. Eventually he might turn into a decent utility backup, with some potential to be a starting guard if the Falcons incorporate a lot more zone-blocking into their blocking schemes.


For a zone-blocking team, he can potentially add depth at multiple positions and therefore is worth a fifth round pick. He wouldn't be too much of a reach late in the fourth round for a team that is looking for someone that can potentially contribute sooner rather than later.

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

Strength: 5.0
Pass Blocking: 5.0
Run Blocking: 5.5
Footwork: 6.0
Technique: 7.0
Mobility: 5.5
Mean Streak: 6.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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