2017 NFL DRAFT

Max Tuerk, C

School: Southern California  |  Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Trabuco Canyon, CA
Height/Weight: 6-5 / 298 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
8533

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
---22 ----
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.12--22 ----

Player Overview

In many ways, Tuerk is likely to remind scouts of Cameron Erving, the former Florida State defensive tackle-turned left tackle-turned center-turned first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns.

Like Erving, Tuerk is blessed with a combination of long arms, a trim waste and light feet that every offensive line coach hopes to find in a prospect. Like Erving, Tuerk has also proven quite versatile, spreading his 38 career starts between center (18 starts), left guard (14 starts), left tackle (five) and right tackle (one). Also like Erving, Tuerk has played his best inside at center, where in 2014 the junior was recognized as USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year and earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors.

Tuerk's track to a top 50 selection seemed secure until he suffered a torn ACL October 10 against Washington, abruptly ending his senior season. If NFL teams are convinced that he'll be ready in time for training camp next season, Tuerk could prove quite a bargain.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Though Tuerk looks more like a left tackle (or even a tight end) with his relatively svelte and athletic frame, he holds up incredibly well in the pit due to a combination of balance and leverage. He plays with excellent knee bend and flexibility, allowing him to absorb bull rushes by stouter defensive tackles.

His initial quickness and agility is rare among centers. Prior to the knee injury, Tuerk was frequently asked to pull and attack defenders at the second level. Tuerk has flexible joints to handle changing directions smoothly and attacks linebackers with a strong pop on contact.

WEAKNESSES: Suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 10 and must prove that he has overcome the injury. Has a relatively spindly frame and may struggled with the physicality in the close quarters of the NFL. Relies more on his agility and technique to turn and seal defenders, rather than simply drive opponents off the ball.

One area in which scouts may find pause with Tuerk is the peculiar way in which he snaps the ball, with the nose pointing down rather than up as most centers hold it. The method may not draw the ire of offensive line coaches too much if Tuerk shows improved accuracy during pre-draft workouts.

IN OUR VIEW: Tuerk's unique frame and experience makes a potential wildcard of this year's talented center class with some clubs projecting him back at guard or even tackle. He played his best at center and comes with experience in a pro-style offense, which should make his transition to the NFL a relatively seamless one, assuming he's fully recovered from the knee injury. Tuerk's athleticism fits best in a zone-blocking scheme.

Compares To: Max Unger, New Orleans Saints: Like the 6-5, 309-pound Unger, Tuerk has a relatively lean, athletic build which leaves him vulnerable to shorter, more powerful run-stuffers. He's smart, athletic and tough, however, projecting as a future starter.

--Rob Rang (2/4/16)

 
 
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