Jeff Linkenbach, OT, Cincinnati

Scouting reports of offensive tackles, guards, and centers in the 2010 draft.
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Jeff Linkenbach, OT, Cincinnati

Postby Mr. Offseason » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:20 pm

Pros: Has good size, arm length and strength for a tackle. He does not get bull-rushed into the QB often and is an effective drive blocker. Plays with pretty good pad level to take advantage of his strength, and once he gets his hands on the player he does a pretty good job of taking them out of the play.

Cons: Struggles mightily with good speed rushers. He does not have good lateral agility and struggles to mirror speed rushes from more athletic defensive ends. He needs to make sure he sustains blocks and keeps his feet moving to keep him from being rendered ineffective once he gets his hands on the defender.

Overall: Linkenbach isn’t a bad tackle prospect, but his ceiling is probably a backup RT in the NFL. He simply doesn’t have the lateral agility or the quickness out of his stance to mirror speed rushers, and I’m not sure he even has the athletic ability necessary to ascend to a starting spot at RT in the NFL. He is an effective drive blocker and has the size necessary to neutralize bull-rushes and to help take his man out of the play, but he just doesn’t have it in him from a pass blocking standpoint to warrant a high selection on draft day. He will probably get drafted very late or be a priority free agent, and he could catch on somewhere as a developmental RT who could eventually become a decent backup.

Projection: 6th-7th round: He doesn’t have a very high ceiling, but as a developmental back-up RT he has some potential value. I don’t think he will end up being a UDFA because he isn’t a bad back-up RT prospect, but his ceiling is low enough that he doesn’t warrant much more than a 6th-7th rounder.

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Re: Jeff Linkenbach, OT, Cincinnati

Postby Pudge » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:24 am

Cincinnati Senior
40: 5.10 (Campus)

PROS: Can get position vs. the run and can seal off linebacker on the backside pursuit. Does a nice job blocking on the move, able to pull and block downfield, hitting his assignments fairly consistently. Has potential as a cut blocker. Has decent technique, able to get his hands up into his set. Shows some ability to adjust to the inside counter move. Shows mean streak.
CONS: Has inconsistent pop off the snap as a run blocker and won't get much push. Needs to take better angles. Has slow feet and struggles matching up with speed off the corner. Needs to learn how to use his outside hand to deliver punch and ride defender wide of passer. Opens up his stance too early and doesn't always show ability to adjust in space. Plays with poor base and fairly easily bull-rushed. Needs to add bulk and get stronger.
OVERVIEW: Linkenbach is overmatched on the left side, but he faced some pretty good pass rushers this year, and held his own at times. There is enough ability that with some adjustments he could play on the left side at the next level, but he needs extensive work there. He started 3 years at left tackle for a total of 40 games. Played right tackle as a sophomore, but was limited to 3 starts in 11 games due to a leg injury.
NFL FORECAST: If Linkenbach bulks up, it should help him a lot, particularly in improving his ability to defend the bull rush. I believe the base line technique is there that with more size and some polish, he can play left tackle in the NFL. Not to a high level, but competently enough that he can get by as a backup that could be a decent short-term stopgap for a few games. But he probably projects better as a right tackle, and the added bulk should help him there as well. He should put on another 10-15 pounds. He could play inside, particularly for a team that likes to pull a lot because he does that well, but I think he's definitely too tall and thin at this point and would need to bulk up a lot more in order to get by inside. I think he can stick on the next level as a reserve tackle, but he's going to need work. He'll never be a top run blocker which is why he won't even be a starter at right tackle. But his athletic limitations will be less exposed because he'll face less speed. But he could easily face more power there, which he also struggled with. And he's a player that is going to have to sit on the bench for the better part of two or so years before you can expect him to contribute, and even then it's probably as a swing tackle on par with someone like Kirk Chambers.
ATL FORECAST: Linkenbach I would compare with Garrett Reynolds, and while he might be a bit of a better interior prospect than Reynolds, I don't see them as being a lot different. Both are tall blockers that need to fill out their frame, and their lack of ideal footwork and athleticism limits them to backup roles on the outside. I think Reynolds is probably more physical. So Linkenbach could push for a practice squad spot, but there's probably only room for one of them on the roster, and I suspect Reynolds will have the advantage in earning that.
VALUE: For a team looking for a developmental backup tackle, he would make a decent sixth or seventh round pick.
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