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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Zach Strief

Height: 6-8 | Weight: 330 | College: Northwestern
 
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Overview

The unquestioned leader of Northwestern's offensive line during his tenure, Strief started his last 40 games at right tackle. He combined tremendous size with consistent play and continued to work on his technique and strength. He was a solid mentor for NU's younger linemen, and in 2005 became the school's first offensive lineman to garner All-American honors in 22 years.

Strief was a Super Prep All-American and Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection as a senior at Milford High School. He added Cincinnati Enquirer first-team All-City honors and was named first-team All-Conference, All-City and All-Southwestern Ohio his final year.

The second-team Associated Press All-State choice was selected to play in the Big 33 Game and North-South All-Ohio Game.

Strief served as team captain and added All-Conference honors his sophomore and junior years. He allowed no sacks as a senior and only one as a junior, becoming the first player in school history to be named All-Conference three consecutive years. He posted 50 tackles, seven stops for losses and two sacks on defense his senior season. He finished his career earning three letters in football, two in basketball and two in track. Strief was also a member of the school's honor roll all four years.

Strief redshirted in 2001 at Northwestern. He played in twelve games in 2002, starting the final three contests at right tackle. He earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention as a sophomore and second-team accolades in 2004. As a senior, the Football Writers Association awarded Strief first-team All-American honors, becoming Northwestern's first offensive lineman to earn national recognition since Chris Hinton in 1982.

Analysis

Positives: Has a big, thick frame with long arms, huge bubble, wide waist and thick legs … Tough, competitive mauler with good field vision, doing a nice job of picking up stunts and blitzes … Uses his size to his advantage when sustaining blocks and has the lower body strength to anchor vs. the bull rush … Has the hand strength to shock, jolt and toss defenders aside … Has the functional foot movement to get in front on short pulls, doing a nice job of locating and neutralizing second level defenders … Holds off the defender and will generate a punishing hand punch coming off the snap … Takes proper angles leading the way on running plays and generates good leverage to stave off the edge rushers … Worked hard on conditioning, dropping more than 20 pounds during the 2005 season … Hard worker who has no problems digesting a complicated playbook.

Negatives: Has had weight issues in the past and even though he dropped more than 20 pounds, his frame is still pear-shaped and lacks muscle definition … Gets too high in his stance and narrows his base to be effective running long distances … Slow-twitched type who might be a better fit at guard due to his problems containing the quicker edge rushers (needs to lock on immediately or his opponent quickly slips off his blocks) … Has no explosion coming off the snap and lacks the agility to adjust on the move … Does not have the flexibility or lateral movement to slide back quickly in pass protection … Uses his long arms to make reach blocks, but his slow feet let the smaller defenders gain penetration on the wide rush.

Strief is a massive drive blocker, but lacks the foot speed or explosion off the snap to gain leverage. He might be a better fit at guard, as he does show surprising pull and trap ability in the short area, doing a nice job of neutralizing second level defenders.

He is a smart, aggressive player who takes advantage of his size to gain advantage, but when he gets too high in his stance and leans into the defender he is susceptible to being pulled and jerked to the ground because of his narrow base. He lacks knee bend to redirect quickly and gives up a lot of pressures due to his inability to slide his feet and seal off the edge.

Strief has a strong punch to shock and jolt, doing a nice job of using his long arms to make reach blocks. Strief is more of a mauler who does a fine job of anchoring vs. the bull rush. He is very combative with his hands and is effective at engulfing the defenders with his body.

He is a slow-moving blocker who prefers to catch defenders rather than punish, but still manages to stay in control when not asked to move around much along the line. Because of his excess weight, he plays mostly in a two-point stance, but it allows him to get a better anchor and compensate for his slow rise off the ball. His hand technique and placement are his best assets, but he must continue to maintain his weight at the 330-pound range. When he plays heavier, his feet all but die on the move and he also has stamina issues. With his size and power, he could see his name called early on the draft's second day.

Career Notes

In 2005, he became the team's first All-American offensive lineman since Chris Hinton in 1982 … Started his last 40 games at right offensive tackle.

2005 Season

Football Writers Association of America first-team All-American (NU's first first-team All-American offensive lineman in 22 years) … Consensus second-team All-Big Ten Conference selection … Tabbed The Sporting News' "Most Powerful Lineman" in the Big Ten and Lindy's "Best Pass Blocker" in the Big Ten … Key performer in the Wildcats' record-setting offensive season in which Northwestern became just the second Big Ten team in league history to average more than 500 yards (500.3) per game … That total offense average ranked fourth nationally … Led all NU offensive linemen with 75 knockdowns and eight touchdown-resulting blocks … Allowed one quarterback sack and nine pressures.

2005 Game Analysis

Ohio University … Took down defensive end Seth Ream to give QB Brett Basanez time to hit Shaun Herbert with an 11-yard scoring strike, as the offense generated 641 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Seth Ream-Three tackles (2 solos), forced fumble, pressure.

Northern Illinois … Cleared a path used by Tyrell Sutton for a 17-yard touchdown run that capped a 9-play, 78-yard drive in the second quarter, helping the team total 502 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Ken West-Seven tackles (3 solos), two pressures.

Arizona State … Made five knockdowns as the team amassed 416 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Mike Talbot-Two solo tackles.

Penn State … Suffered shoulder and rib contusions, but stood in the game … Did allow defensive end Tamba Hali to sack QB Brett Basanez for a 4-yard loss midway through the second quarter … Head to Head Competition -- DE Tamba Hali-Six tackles (2 solo), 4-yard sack, two stops for minus 5 yards, pressure.

Wisconsin … Blasted a huge hole used by Tyrell Sutton for a fourth quarter 62-yard scoring scamper, producing seven knockdowns as the team gained 674 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Joe Monty-Two assisted tackles, fumble recovery, pressure.

Purdue … Had six knockdowns, taking down rush end Ray Edwards on a 9-yard scoring burst by Brett Basanez that finished an 80-yard, 8-play drive in the second quarter … Head to Head Competition -- DE Anthony Spencer-One assisted tackle.

Michigan State … Registered seven knockdowns for an offense that produced 533 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Clifton Ryan-Two solo tackles.

Michigan … Did not allow a tackle or sack as the Wildcats piled up 415 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Alan Branch-No tackles, three pressures.

Iowa … Struggled vs. the edge rush and did not record any knockdowns, but assisted tailback Tyrell Sutton in tackling Matt Kroul in the fourth quarter after the defensive tackle intercepted a Brett Basanez pass … Head to Head Competition -- DE Kenny Iwebema-One solo tackle, pressure.

Ohio State … Posted eight knockdowns, stopping linebacker Anthony Schlegel on a 5-yard touchdown toss from Brett Basanez to Tyrell Sutton … Head to Head Competition -- DE Jay Richardson-No tackles, one pass deflection.

Illinois … Opened a hole used by Brett Basanez for a 5-yard scoring run in the first quarter, helping the team pick up 440 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE Scott Moss-Two solo tackles.

UCLA (Sun Bowl) … Introduced linebacker Justin London to the ground with a punishing hand punch on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brett Basanez to Shaun Herbert to cap a 16-play, 83-yard drive while the offense collected 584 yards … Head to Head Competition -- DE

Kyle Morgan-One assisted tackle.

2004 Season

Consensus second-team All-Big Ten Conference selection … Started every game at right offensive tackle and was part of a front wall that allowed only twelve quarterback sacks … Helped the team rank 29th nationally in total offense (409.5 ypg) … Managed 64 knockdowns and graded 81.1% for blocking consistency.

2004 Game Analysis

Texas Christian … Shoved defensive end Eric Wilson out of the way on a 6-yard scoring pass from Brett Basanez to Jonathan Fields that finished a 79-yard, 10-play drive in the second quarter as the offense generated 637 yards.

Ohio State … Had seven knockdowns, including one that stopped defensive tackle Marcus Green on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brett Basanez to Mark Philmore to cap a 10-play third quarter drive that netted 78 yards.

Indiana … Took down defensive tackle Jodie Clemons to spring tailback Noah Herron for a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and the team generated 483 yards.

Illinois … Simply ran over defensive end Mike O'Brien with Noah Herron following for a 1-yard scoring run that concluded a 78-yard, 11-play drive in the third quarter.

2003 Season

Earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention … Started all year at right tackle … Named NU's offensive player of the game vs. Minnesota … Played a huge role in the Wildcats' success on offense, especially its rushing offense, which ranked 14th nationally (212.2 yards per game).

2002 Season

Started the final three games of season (Indiana, Iowa and Illinois) at right tackle … Played better and better each week and earned first career start vs. Indiana.

2001 Season

Redshirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2004: Suffered a right ankle tibia and fibula sprain vs. Ohio State (10/02), but did not miss any game action.

2005: Suffered rib and shoulder contusions vs. Penn State (9/25), but continued to play with pain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 5.4 in the 40-yard dash … 450-pound bench press … 600-pound squat … 355-pound hang clean … Right-handed … 31/44 Wonderlic score.

Combine: 5.41 in the 40-yard dash … 3.1 20-yard dash … 1.85 10-yard dash … Bench presses 225 pounds 19 times … 21-inch vertical jump … 7'10" broad jump … 4.83 20-yard shuttle … 8.01 three-cone drill … 33 -inch arm length … 9 7/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Milford (Oh.) High School, playing football for head coach Bob Smith … Super Prep All-American and Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection as a senior … Added Cincinnati Enquirer first-team All-City honors and was named first-team All-Conference, All-City and All-Southwestern Ohio his final year … The second-team Associated Press All-State choice was selected to play in the Big 33 Game and North-South All-Ohio Game … Served as team captain and added All-Conference honors his sophomore and junior years … Allowed no sacks as a senior and only one as a junior, becoming the first player in school history to be named All-Conference three consecutive years … Posted 50 tackles, seven stops for losses and two sacks on defense his senior season … Finished his career earning three letters in football, two in basketball and two in track … Was also a member of the school's honor roll all four years.

Personal

Communication Studies major and Business Institutions minor … Son of Douglas and Cathy Strief … Born Zachary David Strief on 9/22/83 … Resides in Milford, Ohio.

 
 

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