6′ 7″ 318 lbs.
Alex Boone has fallen (in the draft) and he can’t get up.
January 2007: There were two tackles that Miami was considering for the 1st overall choice. Senior Jake Long from Michigan was one and Junior Alex Boone at Ohio State was the other. Boone decided out of loyalty to the team to stay for his senior year. While the decision was a benefit to the team, it hurt him personally.
January 2008: Alex Boone is projected as low as a mid third round pick. The drop could cost Boone more than 40 million dollars over his first NFL contract. So which rating is correct? Probably neither. The truth is most likely somewhere in the middle.
After watching Boone in 2007, I was convinced that he was not worth a #1 overall pick but then I wasn’t sold on Long either. There is no question Boone played better in 07 than in 08. His 08 hurt his ranking. The question is which Boone will an NFL team that drafts him get? The 07 Boone is a 2nd round value. The 08 Boone will be a mid to late 3rd round value. However, whoever drafts him must realize he doesn’t have the feet to be an NFL left tackle. He would be much more effective as a right tackle and should become an anchor for the running game.
I must comment on the blocking scheme that OSU used most of 08 and for a lot of 07. Far too often, the free blitzer was allowed to come unmolested at the QB. When I wrote for an OSU site, I complained about that a number of times. Coach Tressel finally addressed the issue by saying that the free rusher was the responsibility of the QB. Not the best system. That system an some other unusual blocking schemes made Boone and other O linemen look worse than they really are. Boone will benefit from a more professional system and is smart enough to adapt to it quickly.
Boone is by all accounts a leader. He can inspire a team with his words. In 07 he also inspired the team with his performance but not in 08. While he will give you a good knee bend early in a game, as he tires he tends to bend at the waist. That reduces his leverage. He has excellent strength and a good to above average first punch but is inconsistent in using it. I believe that he was not totally healthy in 08 but played anyway and didn’t do a bad job but did not play up to the level of 07.
Boone has a very good attitude and seems to be very coachable. He’s smart. He gives good effort. Boone plays hurt and is tough. He is solid with a down block to seal the edge for a sweep. He has the speed to pull and is average to above average at getting the blocks on the edge. He shows good balance on down field blocks and can sometimes get multiple blocks on a long run.
In my opinion Boone does not have the quick feet to play left tackle at the NFL level. He was beaten consistently by fast DEs. In the Fiesta Bowl Brian Orakpo All American DE from Texas beat Boone outside then set him up with a fake outside an move inside. Other quick DEs also gave him trouble.
Boone is inconsistent in the application of his technique. While he will wow you with a outstanding block on occasion, he just doesn’t get noticed positively as much as you would expect. Typically an above average OT will score 15 to 18 scouting points per half, Boone consistently falls 5-8 points short of that. Part of that is inconsistency of technique.
Boone works better with a good line around him. Boone tends to get distracted by the assignments of the guard beside him if the guard struggles. Sometimes that causes him to miss delayed blitzes on his side. Boone tends to spend too much time on a run fighting the guy on him and is inconsistent at getting blocks on the second level.
He tends to talk a better game than he plays. After a particularly bad overall game by the O line, he called out the team. That works better if you played a good game then called out those that did not.
I think Boone will become an above average RT in the NFL. Like any rookie he will have growing pains and if he is forced to start day 1, the QB will likely pay the price for that. But he has a good attitude and can play at a higher level than he showed in 08. Take him the middle or end of the second round and you will be glad 2 or 3 years down the line.
When he gets pro coaching and a pro blocking system, he will develop and become a contributor. Just don’t give him a microphone.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.