- Quotes from Alabama's Pro Day, Offensive Lineman William Vlachos...On today's workout: "Yes, it was [a hard workout], pretty fast-paced, just trying to show out. We've all been trained for this specific type stuff, we're not exactly in the Nick Saban fourth quarter workout here. It was a little bit tough." On how toady went: "It went well. I've put on some weight, I weighed in at 319 [pounds] today. My 40 time was, I heard, five-flat, 5.1, I heard 5.19 - there are about 40 manual clocks out there. I think under a 5.2 at 319 pounds is pretty good." - Alabama football
Full William Vlachos News Wire
When consensus All-American center Antoine Caldwell left the program for the riches of the NFL following the 2008 season, it was natural to assume that the team would struggle to replace him.
Instead, William Vlachos stepped up to start each of the past 27 games for the Tide at the pivot, proving during that time a worthy successor and an NFL prospect, in his own right.
Though shorter than scouts would prefer, Vlachos plays with the intelligence, toughness and technique scouts are looking for at the position. He uses his hands well to help with his natural leverage advantage and shows enough athleticism to block defenders at the second level.
Vlachos' lack of ideal measureables might result in a lower draft grade than befitting a three-year starter likely to earn significant post-season accolades this season. Unlike Caldwell (6-3, 309), whose size made him attractive to teams as a center and guard, Vlachos' will be limited to only center in the pros. Vlachos is, however, viewed by scouts as a legitimately draftable commodity and one who could join Caldwell (now the starting right guard for the Houston Texans) as steadying force in the middle for a pro club. He certainly won't wow you with his measureables or dominating blocks, but is a scrapper inside who could carve out a niche in the pros.
Pass blocking: Good initial quickness off the snap. Steps to the defender and gets a solid initial punch, showing some lateral agility to mirror. Lack of height and average athleticism, overall make him susceptible, however, to swim moves. Utilizes his natural leverage advantage, but has only an average anchor. Heady player who makes the line calls. Recognizes twists and blitzes and reacts accordingly. Physical and aggressive. Looks to help out his teammates.
Run blocking: Quick enough to turn and seal off defenders, creating a hole at the point of attack. Average strength for drive blocking, too often getting stood up. At his best blocking laterally, sliding left or right in tandem with his guards. Has only phone booth quickness, however, and is often left behind before leaving the tackle box. Keeps fighting, however, and will sometimes get his hands outside of the pads, which will draw holding penalties at the next level. Good quickness in getting to the second level. Understands his assignment and shows at least average mobility in stalking and securing second level blocks.
Pulling/trapping: Good lateral mobility to pull, though he isn't often asked to do so in this scheme. Slides easily, showing good balance laterally while working the block. Savvy trap blocker who seals effectively due to his quickness and good technique.
Initial Quickness: Good initial quickness on his snap and step. Relies on his start to turn and seal off defenders. Can surprise secondary blocking targets with how efficiently he gets to them.
Downfield: One of his better roles. Gets to the second level quickly and has the strength to lock on, as well as the lateral agility to slide and seal. Only possesses short area quickness, however, and really has to lumber if attempting to go further than just a few yards. A bit inconsistent with his effort. Doesn't always finish his blocks with the nastiness you'd like.
Intangibles: Won the Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Award following spring practices in 2009 and the Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award (over Seattle Seahawks' 2011 first-round pick, OT James Carpenter) following the 2011 season. Appeared in the season opener of his true freshman season (Western Carolina), but was ultimately redshirted. Missed the 2010 spring practices after having undergone foot surgery. Returned to play all 13 games, earning second team All-SEC honors.