A former walk-on, it's apparent that Datko has the drive and competitive spirit necessary to succeed at the next level; he certainly has the size. A big man who can get overpowered at times, strength training should be a postseason necessity for him.
He makes up for his average athletic ability by being technically sound and understanding how to use his hands and feet to keep defenders occupied. He works hard to keep defenders moving in the run game and, despite his weaknesses, is a "get the job done" player at the end of plays and games.
He does fit on blocks OK, but it is often a struggle getting there. He is a catcher as a blocker, but it has served him well up to this point."
Despite being overlooked by many of the nation's prep evaluators, Datko proved to be an immediate standout for the Seminoles, starting the final 12 games of his true freshman season. Since he's only missed three games over his career, entering his senior campaign with 36 career starts.
Datko was often overshadowed by the play of left guard Rodney Hudson over the past three seasons. The Kansas City Chiefs' second round pick was a two-time Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient and an All-American. Scouts want to see how well Datko reacts to playing without Hudson protecting his right side, as he's been quite impressive with him. Datko, in fact, has only surrendered three sacks over the past two seasons.
Big and surprisingly fluid, Datko's ability to mirror pass rushers and block at the second level will be sure to intrigue teams needing a blindside protector. He doesn't play with the physicality and nastiness that some teams are looking for and is best suited to a zone-blocking scheme that takes advantage of his mobility and use of leverage, rather than power, to be effective.
Pass Blocking: Finesse pass blocker who shuffles back off the snap and patiently waits for the pass rusher to come to him. Good lateral agility to remain square to the pass rusher. Uses his long arms to "catch" his opponent and is able to contain stronger opponents due to his use of leverage, as well as good balance and mobility. Lacks the sand in his pants scouts prefer, but can anchor effectively due to his leverage and good core flexibility. Bends at the knees and waist, which some offensive line coaches will not like. A bit inconsistent with his hand placement due playing so low. Can get his hands too low on the defender, leaving himself vulnerable to a good swim move. Alert pass blocker who recognizes and reacts well to stunts.
Run Blocking: Relies on positioning and mobility to gain movement in the running game. Good initial quickness off the snap and can seal off the defender. Good quickness to the second level and surprising body control and balance to adjust to linebackers and block at the second level effectively. Effective cut blocker. Good combo blocker capable of supplying an initial hit on the defensive lineman before releasing to his secondary target. Isn't a powerful drive blocker capable of consistently pushing the defender off the line.
Pulling/Trapping: Among his better traits. Good speed and body control when blocking on the move. Keeps his feet well despite the mass of humanity around him and can adjust to the moving target. Effective trap blocker who understands angles and can seal off his opponent.
Initial Quickness: Good, not great initial quickness out of the snap. Does a nice job of turning and sealing defenders off at the primary level in the running game. Very good quickness to the second level. Too often has to recover in pass protection when pass rushers cross his face, however. Is typically able to do so, however, due to his lateral mobility and long reach.
DownField: Possesses the quickness out of his stance and footwork to be effective in front of the variety of screens used in Fisher's offense. Willing to get out in front of ballcarriers to take out defensive backs and linebackers. Good effort. Works to finish his blocks and will look for another defender to hit if he finishes (or misses) his first target.
Intangibles: Only a "three star" recruit out of one of the elite high school programs in the country. Characterized by the Florida State coaching staff as a "tireless" worker. Has gained nearly 40 pounds since signing with the Seminoles."
Looks very coordinated on his kick-slide, remains compact toward the edge, possesses good range toward the corner vs. speed and possesses the athleticism to handle NFL caliber speed rushers.
However, into contact he has a tendency to get bent over at the waist and will get bent over a bit on his kick slide as well, as he needs to do a better job keeping his back straight.
Will get caught lunging a bit when trying to anchor vs. power and can be susceptible to the bull rush and get walked into the backfield on an outside club because he doesn't have ideal balance.
However, for the most part does a good job extending his long arms, displays good hand placement on his punch and sticks well through contact. Is a very good mirror player with the recovery speed to reach defenders even if he loses a step. He slides his feet well through contact and is tough to disengage from.
Doesn't waste much motion off the ball in the run game. He snaps at the hips, extends his arms and is quickly able to get into the body of blockers. Gets a bit high off the ball and isn't a dominate in-line guy, but he works his hands well through contact, gains inside leverage, works his legs and can create a push off the ball.
Nevertheless, he's very quick off the snap, exhibits the coordination/athleticism to get around on reach blocks and will seal on the perimeter. Is an excellent move player who has the range to consistently get out to the second level, break down and hit his target.
Also, he does great job on slide down blocks, where he engages quickly, gains proper hand placement and his combo of strength/athleticism allows him to stay on his man and finish.
Missed three games in 2010 due to a shoulder injury suffered vs. Oklahoma.
Impression: Is a solid athlete who can bend, re-direct and block in space. However, has had some struggles with power and staying engaged through the play this year and is currently out for the season following shoulder surgery. Looks like a potential NFL caliber tackle, but might need a year to adjust and get stronger."
However, he understands angles, positioning and hand placement, shows outstanding scheme recognition and blocking awareness and seldom makes mental mistakes.
Has lined up on the left side in college but physical traits appear best suited for the right side in the NFL.
Is very tough, smart, disciplined and hardworking and could become a functional starter in the pros if he can stay healthy, a big "if" at this stage of his career."
Andrew Datko is getting some attention as a mid round tackle prospect. He is a decent athlete with the ability to move in space and shuffle his feet. He does a good job keeping low and holding leverage against his opponents. Datko's biggest strength is his ability engage and control. His heavy hands make it tough for the defender to disengage and pursue the football.
While Datko has a good bend, he struggles to anchor and hold his ground after contact. He is often pushed back into the backfield leading me to question his lower body strength. Datko also struggles to create a push off the line of scrimmage limiting which limits his scheme versatility.
Overall, Datko looks like a mid level prospect with limited upside. He has the ability to start in the NFL but will be nothing more than a temporary player. Don't expect him to be a long term starter for any one team but to bounce around from team to team as a starter.
Bold Statement: Datko will slide past the 4th round of the 2012 draft
Games Viewed: Miami ('10), Clemson ('10), North Carolina ('10)
- Datko is listed at 6-6 311lbs but appears shorter and lighter than that listed weight
- He is a decent athlete that quickly goes from stance to set
- His quick feet allow him to reach and protect the edge
- Datko possesses a good natural bend helping him gain leverage
- He has good upper body strength and heavy hands allowing him to velcro
- His high football IQ allows him to identify the immediate threat
- Datko loves to lock on and control the defender and is good at it
- The biggest question mark is his lower body strength
- Struggles to create a push off the line
- He has a quick first step but cannot be described as explosive"
Rangy player with long arms; also a weight-room warrior with very good functional strength; gets good arm extension and can bend his knees, but has to work hard to keep defenders from getting under his pads;
Has the quick feet and agility to cut-off the edge; has a good slide step and can change direction; also an enthusiastic drive blocker who works to the whistle,
But still more of a seal-off blocker who struggles at times to stay low and maintain leverage; missed three games in 2010 with a shoulder injury; outstanding student who translates that intelligence on to the field."
Simply put, almost nothing has gone right for the highly-touted Seminoles this season.
When healthy, Datko is a force to be reckoned with. He stands at 6'6'' and has done well to add bulk to his big frame (he now registers at 321 pounds). However, more impressive than his size is his brute strength.
Datko uses that strength very well up front and is sound in both run and pass protection. Scouts will also love his work ethic and the fact that he comes with no off-the-field concerns.
If Datko can solve his injury problems, a first-round selection in 2012 is not out of the question."