WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT BRANDON SCHERFF?
Scherff arrived at Iowa as a lightly-recruited offensive line prospect; he leaves as one of the most dominant and most decorated offensive linemen in the history of the program. He was named to a litany of All-America teams this season and won the Outland Trophy (awarded to the most outstanding interior lineman in the nation). He was a joy to watch and his development at Iowa was nothing short of remarkable. He was unanimously hailed as a great teammate. He was incredibly tough -- maybe too tough for his own good. He left a game against Ball State with a knee injury, had surgery the next day... and was back playing the following Saturday. How do you even wrap your head around something like that? You can't ask for much more out of an offensive lineman in college than what Scherff gave Iowa fans over the last four years. We won't soon forget him at Iowa.
WHAT DID HE DO THAT WAS SO GREAT?
He mauled people. Seriously, he just flat-out mauled dudes in college. Offensive linemen are usually at their best when their play is invisible -- when they're doing their job really well, you don't even notice it. Your subconscious just appreciates the fact that their hard work enables the quarterback to find an open receiver 20 yards down field or opens up a hole for a running back to shoot through on his way to a 20-yard gain. If you do notice an offensive lineman, it's usually because something went wrong -- maybe he got beat by a pass rusher and the quarterback got killed on a sack or maybe the interior of the offensive line blew up and the running back got tackled two yards in the backfield. That's "usually," though. Occasionally you notice an offensive lineman because he does something really good, something like this:
Scherff did stuff like that on a regular basis. You blitzed in his direction at your peril (and you usually lost -- badly). He completely erased defenders from countless plays. Appreciating offensive line play isn't the easiest thing for casual fans to do -- but even people who weren't hardcore football junkies could watch Scherff play and see that he was something special. He made offensive line play fun to watch.
HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES?
Well... SCHERFF IS STRONGEST ONE THERE IS! Seriously, he is incredibly, absurdly strong:
If this professional football thing doesn't work out for him, Scherff should probably look into some World's Strongest Man competitions. (Although he might need to change his name to "Magnus" to really succeed there...)
While Scherff is crazy-strong, there's more to his game than just brute strength, too. He's a tremendous all-around athlete, as evidenced by the fact that he played quarterback in high school (yes, really; we'll return to this in a moment) and was talked up as one of the best punt returners on the Iowa team. He's huge and strong -- but he also has excellent hands and deceptive speed and agility for a man with his bulk. I mean, this stat relayed from Iowa beat writer Andy Hamilton is ridiculous:
One of the more ridiculous Brandon Scherff pre-draft facts: He ran the 3-cone shuttle in 7.07 seconds. Melvin Gordon's time was 7.04.— Andy Hamilton (@Andy_Hamilton) April 28, 2015
Scherff isn't just a strongman: he's a tremendous athlete, full stop.
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PRO DAY RESULTS
BONUS! Remember what we said about him playing quarterback in high school? It's true, and we have video evidence:
WHAT ABOUT THE BAD?
Well, he's a stud Iowa offensive lineman so the regulations state that he has to have short arms and, true to form, he has slightly shorter arms than you'd like to see on an elite prospect. He can absolutely plant defenders into the ground when finishing blocks, but doesn't always do that consistently. And the speed and quickness of edge rushers gave him difficulty at times in pass protection, which leads us to the next point...
WAS THIS A GOOD DRAFT PICK?
Yes -- as long as you understand what you're getting with this pick and what role you need him to fill. Scherff is an absolute force in run blocking, where he can use his freakish strength and mean disposition to plow holes in the defense. He's very good in pass protection, but not quite elite (yet) and has the above-mentioned issue with edge rushers. If you're drafting Scherff with the understanding that you're going to play him at guard, where he should be an immediate difference-maker, then I think you're going to be very happy with the pick. If you're drafting him with the understanding that you're going to play him at right tackle, I think you'll probably be satisfied with the pick, too. But if you're drafting him with the understanding that you're going to play him at left tackle... well, that could be a slightly more frustrating experience. Scherff doesn't project as a slam dunk left tackle prospect (and if he did, he probably would have been selected 4 or 5 draft slots higher), but if you drafted him to shore up the interior of your line, get ready to be very happy with your new brand new Scherff.
CAN I FOLLOW OUR NEW ADDITION ON TWITTER?
Yes, you can -- at @bscherff68.