Passing the eye test is important for any player looking to make their mark at the NFL level. So is proving it with production.
Christian Darrisaw has done both at Virginia Tech. After Tuesday's move, has something changed?
Since entering college after having been an under-recruited prep player in the D.C. area, the 6-foot-5 offensive tackle has shown what his future role could for an NFL franchise. His overall build consistently keeps him winning battles while his footwork is top-notch.
In most classes, one could consider Darrisaw a potential No. 1 tackle prospect. His numbers, size and production back up the sentiment for the role. The only problem is, so does Oregon's Penei Sewell and Northwestern's Rashawn Slater.
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That might be good news for the Washington Football Team when selecting at No. 19.
If WFT truly is going to move forward with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter, they have to build around him. Coach Ron Rivera and staff have done a great job addressing positions of need. Names like Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries solidify the passing game.
Despite being a monumental bust for the New York Giants, trading back for Ereck Flowers, who revitalized his career while in Miami, addresses the need for interior offensive line.
But while that softens the "must-have'' ideas in the O-line, it doesn't change one need.
The biggest question now is what to do at left tackle?
What can one make of the situation on the blindside? Cornelius Lucas and Geron Christian equally have shown up and down moments in replacement of Trent Williams. Both are also entering contract years, meaning the process of finding a left tackle could start all over again in 2021.
However, it's that keyword: protection. Last season, WFT allowed 47 sacks, eight of which came from the left side. If that is the monumental move Rivera wants to correct, Darrisaw is a fitting pick should he be on the clock.
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In over 1,100 snaps at tackle, he's allowed just three total sacks. Pressures? Only 19.
Darrisaw has shown he's a fine combination of run blocker and pass-protector. According to PFF, he graded out with over a 90.0 in both frames, grading actually higher in setting up the run at 94.5.
WFT could be looking to run the ball more with Antonio Gibson after a breakout season in Year 1.
Since entering the college football realm, Darisaw has thrived at the left tackle position. In the best case scenario, he wins the job before Week 1 and stabilizes the role for for over the next decade.
Worst case? Christian or Lucas wins it for a season before they walk in free agency, allowing Darrisaw to learn how to play better in one-on-one pass-blocking sets.
Washington has the best option should they stay at No. 19. At that point, it's best player available approach. And while cover linebacker certainly is a priority, so is protecting the quarterback of the now and in the future.
Darrisaw is a consensus first-round option. For WFT, he checks every box as the long-term answer at protecting the game's most essential position.
Scouting measurables: 6-5, 314 pounds, 34.25-inch arms, 9.25-inch hands, 4.89 40-time, 124-inch broad jump, 30 bench-press reps.
2020 stats: 10 game played, six quarterback pressures, zero sacks allowed, zero quarterback hits allowed
Scout Says: "Working with left guard Lecitus Smith, Darrisaw exceled on combo blocks, routinely gaining leverage and working up to the second level. There is a nasty streak to him, putting a lot of opposing defenders on the ground. In pass protection, Darrisaw is an easy setter, getting to the top of the track without oversetting. He exhibits outstanding patience to stay balanced and firm in pass protection. Despite just average height for the position, Darrisaw has long arms that he is able to gain extension in both the run and pass game." - SI Draft Bible
Quote: “Taking my game to the next level, you just have to be confident at the end of the day. They’re going to draft you for a reason, and you have to have the ability to go out there to perform. You can’t worry about things. Every time you step on that practice field, just go out there with that mindset that you just want to be the best player you can be." - Christian Darrisaw on NFL mindset
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