04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Broncos' picks: Round 4/108 -- Philip Blake, C/G, 6-2, 312, Baylor...Blake started at right tackle in 2009 and center in 2010-11, replacing J.D. Walton, a Denver draft pick in 2010. But he projects to guard as a pro and will likely back up at all three interior spots as a rookie. - The Sports Xchange
Baylor supplied the National Football League with a first-round talent in Canadian native and junior college transfer Danny Watkins in April, as the Philadelphia Eagles selected the two-year starting left tackle with the 23rd overall selection. Although Blake may not hear his name picked in the first round in April 2012, his game is strong and his journey is quite similar to Watkins'.
Blake graduated from a secondary school Ontario in 2005, then played two years at Champlain Regional College before earning second-team all-conference honors at Tyler Junior College in 2008. Despite his lack of height, Baylor coaches started him at right tackle (making him Watkins' bookend) in 2009 before moving him to center, his natural NFL position as a junior. He was named honorable-mention All-Big 12 by league coaches and media after the 2010 season.
Since the then-26 year-old Watkins was selected in the first round, it's likely teams won't be worried about Blake's turning 26 during the 2011 season. Scouts will also like the fact he has six years of collegiate football experience before heading to the next level. If an NFL offensive line coach like's Blake's length, strength, and stocky build in the pivot, and feels he can work on Blake's hand placement and consistency sustaining his blocks, his team may select him in the top 100 overall selections.
Pass blocking: Former right tackle possesses the length and footwork to mirror any interior lineman. Plays with low center of gravity, natural bend and lateral quickness. Flashes a strong enough anchor to pancake overextended defenders, but can be pushed backwards when his hands aren't on his man's numbers. Also gets out-quicked when hand placement is off. Reliable, accurate shotgun snapper.
Run blocking: Strong run blocker capable of moving the nose tackle to his left or right with his upper body. Agile enough to seal to either side when uncovered. Inconsistent down-blocking and finding the mike linebacker on combo blocks in tight quarters, gets stuck at the line at times instead of moving to second level. Inconsistent intensity and hand placement to sustain after initial contact. Stops his feet too often, losing his balance or allowing his man comes off his block. Stays low, gets some movement in short-yardage situations but typically just holds the line.
Pulling/trapping: Does not move behind the line often. Flashes the quickness and agility to pull from either the center or guard spots, but seems best staying inside due to lack of height and inconsistency hitting targets.
Initial Quickness: Gets his hands onto his man quickly after shotgun snap. Flashes quickness out of his stance and the footwork to attack defensive tackles on stretch plays. Reaches instead of moving his feet after the snap at times, allows quicker tackles to penetrate into the A-gap.
Downfield: Possesses the foot quickness to get in front of screens and reach linebackers, and is difficult to get around with his wide body and length if in balance. Struggles to hit targets in the open field, however, and lacks agility to adjust to quicker linebackers in space. Uses length to knock a defender off his route to the ball but does not sustain for long enough.
Intangibles: Older than the typical prospect (26 in November 2011). Played in secondary school in Canada, Canadian college and junior college before attending Baylor. Plays with some attitude, gets on top of defenders on the ground, but needs to play through the whistle more consistently.