04/30/2012 - A closer look at the 49ers' picks: Round 4/117 -- Joe Looney, C/G, 6-3, 318, Wake Forest...Big nasty, interior player is just what they were looking for. COULD SURPRISE: Guard Joe Looney: he could end up as a starter. He will be thrown into the mix for right guard along with Daniel Kilgore, Mike Person and Alex Boone. - The Sports Xchange
Joe Looney was a celebrated offensive tackle in high school, ranking 21th nationally by scout.com, and averaging over 10 pancakes per game as a senior.
Looney has been a four year starter at OLG for the Demon Deacons, including starting as a true freshman by mid-season. Looney has missed a few games over the years with minor injuries, but finished strong, receiving second team ALL ACC in 2011.
As an NFL Draft prospect, Joe Looney offers very strong hands and light feet, and is very effective on the move. Definitely an OG, Looney has a powerful upper body with a somewhat longer and thinner lower body. As a result, Looney is high hipped, and doesn't bend his knees well. Looney has been able to get away with that flaw at the FBS level because his hands are dominant and he usually gets a first contact. When the defender is able to get below Looney's high pass protection set, trouble happens, including against top competition like Clemson's Brandon Thompson and Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox. Looney would appear to best fit in a pulling guard scheme like Washington, because he really does extremely well on the move, with attitude.
Strengths: Tremendous power, especially in hands - superior punch. Gets hands on defenders and jolts/moves/pancakes. Can fire off the snap and drive defenders off the LOS. Light on feet, agile, can get to second level and block moving targets. Durable, productive, smart, enthusiastic, experienced team leader - top intangibles.
Weaknesses: Top heavy, and as a result doesn't bend really well, and struggles changing directions and stopping double moves. High natural set in pass protection can be exploited by short, quick DTs. Was effective, even dominant, in college by relying on just his powerful hands a lot, and may not be able to get away with that in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Jon Asamoah, Kansas City