He earned multiple Freshman All-American notice for his play in 2009, as he started 11 of 13 games at left tackle, left guard, and right tackle as the Hawkeyes suffered injuries along the line. Reiff's experience put him in the coveted left tackle spot vacated by first-round pick Bryan Bulaga in 2010, and he responded by playing nearly every snap on the season and garnering second-team All-Big Ten honors.
Unlike Bulaga, however, there is little doubt that Reiff can play left tackle at the next level. He does have to improve his hand placement and lower-body strength to handle NFL-caliber defenders, but given his athleticism, tenacity in the run game, and relative youth, teams will have no problems projecting him as a solid first round prospect with considerable upside.
Pass Blocking: Looks like an athletic NFL left tackle. Most college defenders cannot get the edge against him due to his lateral agility and length. Locks up most ends if they try to bull rush. Has natural knee bend and reach to send shorter edge rushers around the pocket, or to the ground. Recovers nicely to cut off the inside rush lane. Effective cut blocker despite his height, attacks thighs of his man, makes it tough to recover. Tends to bend at the waist and overextend, must maintain upright posture and rely on his length and feet to find targets. Stronger ends can get into his pads to punch or drive him back due to late/inconsistent hand placement and average anchor. Also could play with a wider base more consistently. Inside blitzers run by him at times, as he locks onto one target.
Run Blocking: Athletic run blocker with quickness and lateral movement to effectively wall off opponents on the edge. Once in position, even elite players will not get around him. Reaches linebacker easily and gets the angle on them to prevent their reaching the play. Gets fairly low off the snap for his height in short-yardage situations (but could improve), able to combo from lineman to linebacker very quickly. Extends his arms at the end of strong blocks for emphasis. Must keep his feet moving and hands active on runs to his side or NFL defenders will comes off to make plays.
Pulling/Trapping: Does not trap or pull in team's zone blocking scheme, but has the feet and flexibility to get the job done on the move. Can get out in front of screens or off-tackle runs, effective open-field blocker who will negate would-be tacklers coming inside-out.
Initial Quickness: Note elite in this category but comes off the ball hard and strong on run plays and rarely gets beat off the snap in pass protection. Quick and long enough to reach-block most linemen on zone plays, though he will give up some penetration to stronger opponents.
DownField: Possesses good foot work to reach second-level defenders or safeties downfield on run plays. Hip flexibility, arm length, and feet allow him to hit multiple targets, adjust to oncoming defenders, and get the correct angle to wall off the play. Willing to add himself into the fray downfield to push for extra yards.
Intangibles: Plays with the nastiness offensive line coaches love. Willing to back up teammates on the field. Arrested for public intoxiation, avoiding arrest in July 2008 after leading Iowa City police on a 20-minute chase on foot."
Has the ability to sit into his stance, keep his anchor down off the ball and really generate a snap through the hips in the run game. Is a "plus" run blocker who showcases the ability to keep his pad level down into contact, consistently gets under the pad level of defenders, extends his arms well and runs his legs through contact.
Is quick footed and routinely is able to take the third step at the point of attack and dictate on contact. Showcases the natural power and leverage to create a push and seal off the edge. Is also nimble footed enough to get around quickly on reach blocks and stick through contact on slide down blocks.
Tends to allow his back to get a bit straight through contact, which will cause him to fall off defenders eventually.
However, exhibits the coordination to drop his pad level quickly and cut defenders down at the line of scrimmage, as well as pull and reach linemen off his frame. Showcases slightly above-average range in space, but at times will get overextended and whiff into contact, would like to see him break down a bit better.
Showcases the ability to pass protect from both a two and three point stance. Exhibits natural bend, a quick initial first step and sets quickly. Possesses natural foot quickness and athleticism toward the edge. Showcases the ability to reach speed to the corner and keep his hands loaded and elbows inside. However, doesn't uncoil a very sharp punch.
Doesn't look real long-armed either and has a tough time gaining leverage into contact at times. Will give up leverage and can be uncoiled through his lower half and knocked off balance. Showcases the footwork to quickly catch himself and recover at times. However, will get overextended with his footwork as well and fail to recover.
Gets a bit inconsistent on his kick slide at times. Can stay compact, keep his base down and stay balanced toward the edge. However, vs. speed, at times he will slide his feet and almost click his heels together, getting really overextended on his base when trying to anchor and will struggle to re-direct laterally.
Now, when he does stay balanced, he showcases natural change of direction skills and can stick and mirror through contact once he gets his hands on defenders. Exhibits the ability to mirror in space as well, keeping his pad level down.
However, would like to see him continue to fill out through his lower half. Lacks great base strength at this stage, but has enough natural width to add girth and not lose much athleticism.
Impression: Showcases the ability to bend with good foot quickness and range in pass protection. Also displays an explosive element to his game as a run blocker. Needs to be more consistent with his footwork and would like to see him develop a bit more as a puncher in order to keep himself clean. Nevertheless, has the athleticism, flexibility and pedigree to mature into a solid starting left tackle in the NFL."
Run Blocking: Reiff walls off defenders in the run lanes on a consistent basis. He uses his hands so well on runs and can engage and disengage defenders very quickly. He gets to the second level as well as any tackle in this draft class. He doesn’t drive block as well as you would like and sometimes gets caught watching the action downfield. I would like to see him taking defenders out of plays rather than being content with just getting the block.
Technique: Iowa is a factory for offensive lineman. Reiff shows solid technique in all facets of the position. Whoever drafts him will be getting an NFL ready tackle. His hand placement and footwork are flawless.
Athleticism/Strength: As I said, Reiff’s athleticism is second to none. He has solid flexibility in the ankles and hips. He’s a natural knee bender that shows a solid base. Reiff isn’t as strong as I would like to see from a top tackle. He has the frame to add a little weight without losing his signature athleticism which he should consider.
Bottom Line: Reiff is another franchise LT that should go in the top 10. He improved dramatically during his junior season as an athlete and overall tackle. His strongest asset is his understanding of the technicalities of the position. A typical Iowa lineman that should be ready to start day one.
Draft Projection: Top 15."
Is big-framed with a narrow waist and a long torso and looks to have good arm length — can extend and keep rushers at bay and is quick-handed with pop in his punch.
Very dependable mirroring wide rushers and riding them beyond the pocket, though he does not possess elite, blind-side athletic ability, suddenness and flexibility.
Needs to get functionally stronger and play with a stouter base and has a ways to go technically but should be able to contribute readily."
Overall, Reiff needs to make adjustments in order to be considered a top tackle prospect in the 2012 NFL draft. In my opinion, he would be a liability on the left side as speed rushers will easily create pressure. I also feel he will struggle at guard because he doesn't have a natural bend limiting his leverage.
Bold Statement: Reiff will play either right tackle or guard in the NFL.
Games Viewed: Arizona ('10), Michigan State ('10), Penn State ('10)
- Reiff is a hard-nosed nasty player that loves to finish blocks
- He has a strong power punch and rolls his hips into the defender
- Reiff has nice long arms that help him lock out defenders
- While, Reiff has long arms he doesn't do a good job extending and utilizing that length
- He isn't a fluid athlete and struggles to bend and sit into his stance
- His lack of bend impacts his balance and ability to anchor after contact
- He also plays with a high pad level hindering his leverage
- A lot of his issues begin with his lack of snap awareness
- Defenders routinely beat him off the football limiting his ability to reach the edge against speed rushers
- His lack of awareness also allows the defender to get inside and penetrate the pocket
- Reiff doesn't move his feet well and takes long unbalanced steps
- His lack of foot quicks lead to Reiff becoming unbalanced and trying to recover with his hands
- Reiff is just not a fluid athlete"
Not all that physical a run blocker, but has a quick first step, gets good arm extension and keeps pads low and is very effective sealing defenders off from the ball; can also get to the second level;
As a former three-time state wrestling champion with a career record of 121-1 knows how to get and maintain leverage; has the athletic feet to cut off the edge in pass protection; also gets good knee bend and can change direction; technically sound, but can look a little mechanical at times."
Very shifty pass blocker, can stick with defenders no matter where they go... Very quick on his feet, blocks on his toes, never seems be caught blocking a defender on his heels... Always moving forward and pushing the pass rusher... Even if he has to take the defender behind the pocket, he continues to push, instead of simply just getting in the way...
Has a very uncanny ability to move around the pocket for a left tackle... Constantly driving the defender forward, even in the passing game... Seems to be a very tenacious blocker, especially in the running game where he can drive his defender up-field... When he's on a block in the run game, he drives forward extremely well for a left tackle...
Very good down-blocker in the run game, cuts off the edge nicely... Very good motor for being such a big man, is always moving his feet.
Negatives -- Occasionally has a problem getting his helmet on the right side in the running game... If he's beaten in the run game, usually not because he was beat physically, but more so in the sense that he blocked his defender into the play... Seems to have an issue if he has to help chip on another defender...
Very good one-on-one blocker, but seems to have a problem chipping to the inside and helping the guard if needed... Very aggressive blocker, which is good in most cases, but there is reason to believe that veteran NFL defenders will use his aggression against him and get him off balance, has showed signs of being susceptible to that."
In his defense, he's still developing and has room to grow and add more muscle. Coaches will need to continue to develop his mechanics when moving in space, but he makes up for it with good use of hands.
He can get under a defender and really neutralize them instantly. He really does a good job of staying after guys and getting in their head because of his relentless style of play.
A big problem scouts may have is whether or not he can be a zone blocker. This is just one of those things where people need to see more tape before making a decision on that. A lot of teams use a lot of zone blocking on run plays, so struggling with that would be a big problem."