Isaac Seumalo was not the guy Philadelphia Eagles fans were expecting to be the pick in the third round. It was almost deja vu from last year when the Eagles took Jordan Hicks in the third round. Both guys were combine invites who tested well, but not big names among draft circles.
That doesn’t make him a bad pick at all, and actually based on how Hicks performed last season, this bodes really well for Seumalo. The more I learn about this kid, the more I like him.
Here is a quick-ish scouting report on Oregon State center/guard Isaac Seumalo:
First and foremost, he is incredibly versatile. He played all five offensive line positions in college, but probably projects better on the interior as a guard or center. He measured in at 6’4, 303 pounds with 33 inch arms and 9 7/8 inch hands. He lacks the length to stay at tackle, but he can fill at at right tackle in a pinch if necessary. His best fits will be at left guard and center. Ideally he wins the left guard spot in camp or at least becomes Jason Kelce’s insurance policy. Both are great values in the third round.
Athletically he tested really well, especially with his quickness and agility, both of which are crucial for guards in this scheme. In Kansas City the left guard was required to pull and be a lead blocker in the run game. That fits right in with what Seumalo is built for. He ran a 1.77 10 yard split, which is about average for his size and position. He also ran 7.40 3-cone drill which is outstanding and had a 4.52 short shuttle. To put those numbers in perspective, Trae Waynes, a 190 pound corner who went in the first round last year, ran a 4.39 short shuttle while Landon Collins, a 210 pound safety who went in the second round last year, ran a 7.38 3-cone.
If you can combine all three times for Seumalo you get a combined time of 13.69 seconds, which is faster than any other offensive linemen at the combine who ran in all 3 events except for Cody Whitehair, a second round pick who ran a 13.63 in all three combined.
In Doug Pederson’s offensive scheme in Kansas City they used the right guard as a power blocker and the left guard as the movement guard who would pull and set up as the lead blocker on a lot of run plays. This is where scheme fit is so important in the draft. Seumalo is perfect as a left guard in this scheme.
What Seumalo does best on tape is either pull or get upfield and take on multiple blockers. He always keeps his feet moving which is critical, and his hand usage is outstanding. He’s stronger than you would expect at 303 pounds and he’s quick enough to get to his spot and take out his man without disrupting the timing of the play.
The term “competitor” in scouting is often used for prospects aren’t out physically gifted, but give a ton of effort on each play. For Seumalo he is a really gifted athlete who finishes his blocks consistently and plays through the whistle. This is vital for offensive line prospects. I ranked Ronnie Stanley, the 6th overall pick in the draft, as a third round prospect because he doesn’t consistently compete and finish his blocks.
Playing in the trenches at the NFL level is a nasty business and you have to enjoy finishing your blocks and playing through the whistle on each and every snap. Seumalo does that more than any other prospect outside of maybe Jack Conklin and Laremy Tunsil.
The concerns in his game are in pass protection, but are purely technical issues. He’s plenty strong and athletic enough to handle anyone, but his leverage and footwork need a ton of work. He loses leverage and allows for his man to get to the outside of him far too often. He benefited from playing in a quick strike offense that prevented him from pass protecting for more than a second or two on most plays.
He has to get better there before he can start at the NFL level. Right now he would be a major liability in pass protection, but this is something that can be fixed with coaching. We should have a good idea of where he is at by the first preseason game. If the same issues are still plaguing him in the pass game, we’re probably looking at a 1-2 year project. If he is already progressing there then I would be surprised if he isn’t the Week 1 starter.