Scouting Report-No doubt Veldheer looks like an NFL left tackle. This dude is massive. Maybe too big? That remains to be seen. I had to wait to write this up, because believe it or not, Hillsdale games aren't on ESPN a lot. But now that I've had a chance to see him play a few times there are some things that really stand out to me. One is his footwork. For a guy that big, he really does well in pass protection. Quick first step slides well, and pins the defender. Smart kid and rarely looks out of position. Understands pass rush angles and his assignments. I was really impressed with just how mobile and how much range a guy his tall has. His biggest shortcoming is in run blocking. Although he's able to sustain his blocks well in pass protection, his height means he doesn't get great leverage and that really shows in run blocking. He's going to get punched in the mouth in the NFL in the run game by big 3-4 DEs and I'm not sure if he's got the sack to punch back. He'd better.
Draft Status-This offensive tackle class goes 6 deep, and then it's a huge crapshoot for guy 7-12. Veldheer is in that mix. His potential is the highest of any of that next group, and teams will see that. I'd say he's a good bet to end up being drafted in the 2nd round. Natural LT prospects are in high demand, and so a top 50 selection seems reasonable.
Final Analysis-Veldheer is a fascinating prospect. Once again he has to be looked at with a critical eye, because he's not facing NFL caliber defensive players, but the physical gifts he has are just outstanding. His size is imposing and his technical skills is that of a guy you would think is much smaller. He'll need to get that giant load a little lower, especially in run blocking and against the big DEs in the league. I don't think he's a day one starter but his upside is tremendous and you can't coach up the kind of size he has. He might be more of a RT at the start of his career, but his ability to pass protect means he's got to find his way to the left side at some point. In that second tier of tackles in this draft, I put Veldheer right at the top of the heap.
Reminds me of: Michael Roos, OT Tennessee Titans-Roos is another massive guy from a small school, probably in the second tier of tackles, but with plenty of potential to be a starting left tackle in the NFL.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy