Kyle Long OT Oregon #74
Size/Athleticism: Elite athleticism for an interior lineman, where he played at Oregon. Has the size and athleticism to play left tackle in the pros, but lacks the experience to play there immediately.
Pass Protection: Awareness is a concern, but it likely stems from his limited experience and should be fixable down the road. Gets lost in the zone blocking scheme when he isn’t immediately engaged and gets caught out of position at times. He is extremely athletic as an interior lineman does very well blocking in space. He demonstrates the quick footwork to recover when beat off the snap by more athletic interior pass rushers. He’s tall for a guard and tends to play too upright. Stronger defensive linemen who are able to stay low and use leverage to stand him up and knock him on his heels.
Run Blocking: Impressive athleticism makes him an asset when blocking on the move. He will be an asset in the read option due to his ability to move and get down the field. Rarely used in traditional man-blocking situations in Oregon’s offense. Frequently used to pull at Oregon when playing guard. Not a powerful blocker in short yardage situations. He struggles to move interior defensive linemen off their spot and simply lacks the strength to win one-on-one battles with nose tackles inside.
Intangibles: Former baseball player with relatively little football experience. Drafted by the White Sox in 2008 but went to play baseball at Florida State. Failed out of school after one year and was arrested on a DUI charge in 2009. Played in junior college but played just one year at Oregon. Younger brother of Chris Long and son of Howie Long.
Durability: Slowed by an ankle injury in 2012.
Comments: Long’s athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect, but he isn’t ready for a starting job. His long-term value is definitely as a left tackle, but he may see the field more quickly as a guard. He should definitely be viewed as a developmental prospect, but given his unique athleticism for the position he could come off the board on the second day of the draft.