Showcases a good burst off the football and can quickly get into linemen off his frame and seal on perimeter runs. But looks to lumber a bit anytime he’s exposed to space and will struggle to break down on contact. Uses his long arms to stick to linemen well on slide down blocks, but isn’t the type of athlete who can cleanly stay on to athletic defenders through the play.
Possesses a good first step off the snap in the pass game and uses his length well to keep linemen from initially getting into his frame and bullying him off the ball. Does a nice job instantly dropping his base and has the ability to anchor vs. even bigger defensive linemen. However, he isn’t overly fluid on contact, has a tendency to get overextended and upright in his lower half and will allow opposing linemen to disengage laterally from his initial punch.
However, he does have the ability to redirect and get his hands back on defenders once they gain a step inside, keeping them from cleanly making their way up the field. But he doesn’t strike me as a guy who can consistently slide his feet and stay on blocks through contact one-on-one at the next level. Also, he’s had a really tough time staying healthy during the course of his career and his medical report is something worth monitoring. He will play through pain, but there is a lot of tape of him out there where he just looks banged up.
Impression: I don’t think he’s the type of athlete or top-tier center prospect many are making him out to be. And I honestly can’t see him excelling in any area of the game at the next level. Looked more like a reserve type center to me."
But the theme of his college career became struggles with injury, which may have made more of an impression on NFL scouts than his play.
O'Dowd twice dislocated his right knee and underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum after the 2009 season. He possesses very good size for the position and despite a slew of injuries, remains athletic enough to handle pass protection. His lack of ideal strength and physicality in the running game means that his best fit in the NFL is most likely to be with a zone-blocking team.
Positives: Ideal size. Athletic enough to consider moving to guard in the NFL and has experience at the position. Quick into his set and maintains balance. Bends at the knees and plays on the balls of his feet. Good lateral movement to mirror defensive tackles. Long arms and strong hands to control his opponent. Good strength and balance to anchor against the bull rush. Plays with good leverage despite his frame. Good quickness to get to the second level, but has only adequate change-of-direction agility and balance when adjusting to moving targets. Quick enough to slide laterally and seal the defender in the running game. Quick first step to vacate his zone to block downfield. Gained the respect of the coaching staff and his teammates by playing through various injuries throughout his career, including only missing one game in 2009 after dislocating his kneecap in the spring.
Negatives: Has a quick first step, but struggles with balance once he gets into the open field and has to find his target. Is too often late getting to the spot, as a result. Relies on technique against power and can be knocked backward (see Oregon State). Has struggled with durability throughout his career and could be red-flagged by teams because of his multiple surgeries."
Positive: Hardworking college lineman with limited upside for the next level. Intense, keeps his head on a swivel and works well with teammates. Blocks with good leverage, quickly gets his hands into defenders, and shows terrific explosiveness. Stays square, effectively redirects to linebackers on the second level, and uses all his assets well.
Negative: Must improve his blocking balance. Not a lineman who gets much movement in the middle. Multiple surgeries have thrown up medical red flags.
Analysis: O'Dowd was a terrific college blocker when on the field but has been sapped of his strength and ability due to numerous injuries. Will be downgraded by a number of teams and must quickly produce this summer to get out of camp."
Negatives:Plays a little high at times, allows defender under his pads... Loses a lot of battles for leverage... Needs to get stronger and show a little more consistency at POA... Doesn't anchor well against bull rushers... Not a bigtime pile mover, doesn't get a lot of movement... Doesn't get much leverage drive blocking... Hands are quick but lack much pop, little violence to his game... Doesn't look very fluid in space, will overextend, reach and lunge... Struggles to hit moving targets... Not a great finisher... His durability (inability to stay healthy) will hurt his draft stock."
Weaknesses: Adequate strength at the POA, but he will struggle against stronger defenders, especially when lined up directly over him. Not going to shock defenders with his initial punch. His height doesn't allow for him to have great range in pass protection. Has battled injuries his entire college career, missing a large number of games in multiple seasons.
Projection: Third or fourth rounder if he clears medically. O'Dowd is one of the top centers in the nation and should be at least a solid backup because of his intelligence, technique, and effort. He'll battle for a starting spot in the right situation."
O'Dowd is smart and competitive and consistently maximized his talent. He has shown the flexibility to pass block with good leverage against straight-line rushers and can use his hands to lock up defenders. His great awareness and instinct for the position will impress any scout.
He spent his senior year improving his strength, but can still struggle to hold off against explosive, power rushers. O'Dowd is limited some athletically and can have trouble moving in traffic. O'Dowd had good intangibles and the athletic talent to warrant some consideration in the early part of Day 2. If he is able to show more strength, he could move up."
Kristofer O'Dowd displays excellent Launch Speed: His initial burst is excellent. However, he's not a natural Croucher, so his ability to Anchor and sustain is, frankly, dependent on his Adversary. He lacks Power to move opposing Grizzlies in the Run Game, and he lacks Strength to thwart them in the Pass Game. And his Lateral Agility is also limited, which, combined with his lack of a natural Crouch, compromises his Viscosity: He may or may not be able to stick to the Block. He also lacks the Flanking Speed to be an effective Puller or Trapper.
His Launch Speed is vital, but simply not enough to overcome his weaknesses, barring a dramatic improvement in his Game: His lack of Strength, Power, and Agility ~ to say nothing of health issues ~ is very likely to prove to be crippling to his career. And yet he is generally ranked as the 2nd Center in this Draft Class.
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