2012 NFL Draft Prospects: Looking At Riley Reiff For Arizona Cardinals

As we approach the 2012 NFL Draft, as fans we will want to know about the different draft candidates the Arizona Cardinal might have available when they pick. We will see all sorts of player names in mock drafts and projections, but unless we go out and seek specific profiles, we might know so much. So we will profile one or two draft prospects each week here on ROTB. Some will be high picks, some will be low picks.

Today we begin with one of the highest offensive line prospects in the draft.

Note in all scouting reports I will be using the grading system as set out here by Wes Bunting of the National Football Post.

Riley Reiff

Position: Offensive Tackle
Height: 6-6
Weight: 300
School: Iowa
Projection: Top 10

Background: Reiff arrived at Iowa in 2008 and sat out his first season with a redshirt while transitioning from his high school position of tight end to the offensive line. As a redshirt freshman he started 11 games at three positions across the offensive line (right and left tackle, as well as left guard) mostly inside at guard. After the departure of from Iowa left tackle and NFL first round draft selection Bryan Bulaga, Reiff stepped into the vacant left tackle slot and made it his own. Over his rSo and rJr seasons at Iowa he started all 26 games at left tackle before declaring himself eligible for the 2012 NFL draft.

Strengths: Reiff is tall, long and lean he possesses a great body to be a pass protector in the NFL. He is quick out of his stance and has very quick feet both when mirroring a pass rusher or when drive blocking in the running game. He bends at his knees giving him a strong base with which to work from against a power rush and possesses outstanding lateral agility enabling him to stay in front of a speed rush. Shows great balance to readjust and recover if beaten. Seems to enjoy the physical side of playing in the trenches and flashes the ability drive defenders away from the play.

Weaknesses: Does not have a great initial punch and can allow stronger defenders to get underneath his pads driving him backwards towards the QB. Could do with a bit more lower body muscle to help form a sturdy base against the bull rush. Is inconsistent with his technique and can be beaten easily when it gets sloppy.

Overall: There are not a huge number of things that Reiff struggles with at the collegiate level and he could prove to be the best overall tackle in this draft. He is tough to beat in the passing game and the kind of play a quarterback would love to have protecting his blindside. If he can become more consistent with his hands and not allow bigger guys to get underneath him he could become one of the top blindside protectors in the NFL. Whoever drafts Reiff will have a left tackle for the next decade plus.

Grade: 8.0 J

...

What do think about Reiff as a potential Arizona Cardinals lineman?

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