If you watched the very first Total Access on NFL Network that we aired live from last month’s combine, you would have seen me pronounce Derek Sherrod as the best value pick all of the offensive tackle prospects.
Sherrod was a three year starter at Mississippi State and served as team captain. During those 35 career college games, he showed that he plays with a lot more finesse than he does power. He plays with good overall balance and slides his feet well while engaged in a block. He is a positional run blocker that seals his man more often than he does drive him off the ball, but where Sherrod will make his money is in pass protection. He has great quickness in his pass set and rarely is beaten by a speed rush off the edge. HIs uses his lower body well to keep a firm base and a heavy inside leg. Often times, the NFL speed rushers are so fast, that a left tackle will set so quickly that they turn their shoulders and give up a secondary inside rush. You see this with Dwight Freeney of the Indianapolis Colts all the time. He influences the tackle to turn, and then uses his patented spin move to beat him inside.
Because the NFL is becoming such a pass oriented league, Sherrod’s finesse play and superior pass protection will be a valuable commodity. I see him as late first round to early second round selection that will be a great fit for a pass first offensive system.