Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
Name: Eugene Monroe
Height: 6052 E
Weight: 309 V
40 Time: 5.23 E
Monroe is an excellent athlete with exceptional balance. He is very quick, especially out of his stance or when running a screen route. He moves his feet well, plays with great knee bend, and is overall the package you want from an OT.
Physical Talents: 6.5
Monroe is a very talented player who is above average in every category. He has great height and adequate weight, though many sources have commented on his soft midsection which is a problem (the only thing that lowers his grade). He has long arms and good strength in those arms, certainly enough to function as an OT. He has very good explosion, setting up quickly and beating his man off the ball with regularity.
Body Type: 6.5
Monroe is a pretty polished tackle. His scheme protected him mentally, as he just wasn’t very involved in blitz pickup, primarily taking on the RDE on most all plays. He occasionally does something I can’t figure out in pass protection, but seems to have a solid understanding overall. He uses very good hand technique and delivers a good punch in pass protection.
Understands Playbook: 6.5
Proper Technique: 7.0
Monroe grades out as average at best when it comes to his competitive drive, and honestly that’s an improvement over what I expected to give him coming into this. He CAN show nastiness and block through the whistle, but his grades all around the board are lowered because of his inconsistent effort. Let me make one thing clear – he’s close to perfect against the pass, I’m speaking only of the run – but against the run he’s really inconsistent with his effort.
Clutch Play: 6.0
Football Character: 5.5 – Sloppy build and lack of consistent effort makes me question how much he loves football.
Personal Character: 6.5 – Can’t find any flaws here, seems like a stand-up guy.
Durability: 6.5 – Has missed some games due to injury, but overall has been on the field more often than many.
Play Strength: 6.5 – Never really saw him get pushed around, could push DE around more though.
vs Speed Rush: 7.0 – Something like 1 pressure in 3 games from speed rush.
vs Bull Rush: 7.0 – I didn’t see any of the DEs (and he faced some pretty good ones) get anywhere on a bull-rush.
Footwork: 7.0 – Monroe can slid anywhere he wants to on the field. Very high marks.
Hand technique: 6.5 – Monroe has good technique vs the run and has a nice punch – needs to be more aggressive using the punch.
2nd level blocking: 5.5 – Almost gave this a 5.0. He doesn’t show desire to block more than one guy at a time on the games scouted.
Quickness off snap: 7.0 – Sets up off the snap very quickly. Can get under DEs in run blocking.
Proper Balance: 6.5 – Natural knee-bender who almost never over-extends.
Lateral Slide: 7.0 – Nobody sniffed QB going outside, very impressed here.
Errors: 6.0 – Compounding errors (got 2 false starts in a row one play), but generally error-free and mostly mentally sound ball.
Summary: The first day I scouted Monroe, I wanted to wring his neck (vs VT). Then I was pleasantly surprised by the effort he showed against Clemson, he has a bit of fire in him. Then against USC I sort of hit an epiphany. He will ride his man out of the play if he is able to, but he has no interest in blocking anyone other than his man on most plays. If a DE didn’t line up on him, he’d go and take out the linebacker with glee, but if he was asked to block a DE and for whatever reason stopped blocking the DE (end disengaged, knocked down, whatever), he rarely went after a 2nd man to block.
That puts a zone team like Seattle in a real conundrum. I haven’t scouted Jason Smith, but Monroe is miles better than Oher, who is significantly better than Andre Smith, as a pass protector. Basically all the natural gifts of Oher without the inconsistency. It’s run blocking where I have my qualms with Eugene. He’ll be asked to peel and block a linebacker on a large percentage of runs, and while he has the athleticism and strength to excel, at Virginia he didn’t seem to want to. He reminds me a little of Alex Barron, to be 100% honest, in that I question if he will work hard to improve his game. He’s a guy I’d have to work out and talk to before I’d take a risk on him, because he has a sizable bust quotient, but he could also be a perennial pro-bowler due to his natural gifts and technique. His play on the field in college warrants a 6.7. If he actually plays to the whistle, he’d be deserving of a 7.0 grade. If a team isn’t confident that he has the work ethic to succeed in the NFL, I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.
Note: I only have 3 UVA games, and honestly I need more because he was so inconsistent with his effort I can’t tell who the real Monroe is. Virginia’s inability to maintain TOP did not help, that offense could not string more than 5 plays at a time. I feel his best fit is in a man-on-man blocking scheme, but if a zone team feels they can keep Monroe motivated he could be an elite left tackle. I do not think he could play guard, very well, however.
Final Grade: 6.7
Note: It is possible that I will watch more UVA and revise my Monroe grade, so I hold the right to change this grade up til draft day.
Games Scouted: Clemson, VT, USC