With two prospects drafted last year (DT D'Anthony Smith and TE Dennis Morris), Louisiana Tech sent as many players to the NFL in 2010 as they had in the previous five years combined.
Smith, the Jacksonville Jaguars 3rd round pick, who went 74th overall, was the highest a Bulldog lineman had been drafted since the New Orleans Saints found 11-time Pro Bowler Willie Roaf with the 8th overall pick in 1993.
In two-time all-WAC left tackle Rob McGill the Bulldogs boast one of the better offensive line prospects they've had since Roaf dominated in the early 90s.
McGill and the Bulldogs had their hands full last week in a nationally televised game at Boise State. The outcome was as expected, with the No. 3 rated Broncos winning easily 49-20.
Early on, however, the game was more competitive than many expected. The Bulldogs may have exposed a chink in the Boise State armor, in fact, by rushing for 172 yards and winning the time of possession battle.
McGill, a four year starter, was a large part of the Bulldogs' success.
The 6-6, 304 pounder generates good depth on his kick slide and has the long arms and good upper body strength to catch defenders as they attempt to cross his face when in pass protection. McGill has the legitimate foot quickness scouts are looking for. Even when beat initially, McGill, at times, was able to recover due to his agility. During running plays, McGill's quickness off the snap and good positioning, allowed him to seal off his opponent from the action and set the edge when needed.
McGill's reliance on his quick feet, however, got him in trouble on a few occasions. He was beaten for a sack in the mid 3rd quarter when he dropped back too far and allowed DE Shea McClellin to jab-step outside and rush back inside to get the sack.
As impressive as McGill's foot quickness is, he has some technical flaws that will worry scouts. A classic waist-bender, McGill too often allowed Boise's undersized pass rushers to get their hands into his chest and bull rush him deep in the pocket. By bending at the waist, rather than at the knees, McGill is naturally off-balance and thus was driven back by smaller, weaker defenders. This lack of preferred balance was also on display when McGill was asked to cut block. He simply doesn't have the flexibility or balance to handle this assignment, resulting in some ugly missed blocks when attempting cuts.
McGill is far from a Roaf clone (as some have suggested), but does have enough of the physical tools to warrant a late round selection. He could see time as a developmental left tackle or be moved back inside to left guard, as he played for the Bulldogs as a freshman.