Christian Darrisaw has been a three-year starter at left tackle for Virginia Tech. Now, he is entering the NFL draft as a potential first-round pick. While some mock drafts think that he will not be on the board, Daniel Jeremiah had him ranked as his 28th overall prospect.
With the Chicago Bears picking 20th, should they be the floor for a prospect like Darrisaw, or are there reasons some are lower than others on his projection?
Strengths to Christain Darrisaw playing style
The best aspect of Darrisaw comes with his experience and body movement. He plays under control with his hands and feet in concert and clearly has the repetitions and motion down. The combination of his technique and his size is what shoots him into the first round.
Darrisaw is a power player and when he punches and connects, defenders feel it. When he gets his hands on you, you are typically heading for a ride in the run game.
In fact, his run game work is more impressive than his pass pro. He is a powerhouse who has a long list of clips that you can find of him riding defenders 10 to 15 yards down the field.
The best aspect of the play below is that he starts it off by down blocking the defensive lineman into his guard. He passes that man off, and starts to work to the linebacker. There, you can see the finish as he takes his man off-screen.
His best aspect in the run game is his ability to get out in space and pick up linebackers and safeties.
Watch Darrisaw climb to the second level below. He gets his hands on his man and gets two shoves that put him on the ground. This opens a huge cutback for his running back and boom, he is off for a huge run.
For a team that runs a zone-blocking scheme, he would be perfect to get out ahead as a lead blocker, and as someone who can turn his hips and seal off backside blocks.
Weaknesses for Christian Darrisaw to work on in the NFL
In a run-first offense, he has more run-blocking experience and has not faced a heavy arsenal of pass rushers. His biggest issue is speed and players who are undersized but are able to get a step on him around the edge. He is technically sound but struggles to recover when he loses that first step. Speed rushers will take advantage.
NFL Comparison for Christian Darrisaw
PFF compared Darrisaw to Ereck Flowers which makes sense in some rights, but not in others. To start, Flowers was a top ten pick. Also, after he moved to guard in the NFL, he really excelled as a run blocker. His issue came in that he was too raw as a pass protector, and may have needed a change of scenery. Darrisaw is a bit more sound coming out, but the idea of an unproven pass pro tackle turning into a run-blocking guard is noted.
The Draft Network compared him to Jake Matthews, another former first-round pick, and one who has had a quiet, but consistent career with the Atlanta Falcons. However, the Ringer had the same comparison that came to mind when I watched Darrisaw.
Maybe it is the Virginia Tech helmet, but Darrisaw did have shades of Duane Brown coming out in 2008 from the same school. Brown went 26th overall to the Texans and has had a strong career with the Texans and Seahawks. It is not only the school, but the power run blocking. Brown can lose every once and a while by the speedier rushers, but almost every team would sign up for the powerful Duane Brown.
Would Christian Darrisaw fit with the Chicago Bears?
If the Chicago Bears are going to take Christian Darrisaw, they are going to pray that he falls to the 20th overall pick. Then, is he worth it? To it bluntly, yes.
Darrisaw is a major upgrade to the run game. The Bears have been trying to run an outside zone scheme, but do not have a tackle with the combination of power and speed that could turn any old run into an explosive. That is what Darrisaw brings.
He will take time, and will have his losses in pass protection. However, his combination of size and strength is too much to work with to pass on at pick 20. The upside of Darrisaw becoming a ten year starter is legitimate and the Chicago Bears would have to take the chance.