In search of finding new prospects for the Denver Broncos Offensive Line, our quest leads us to a declaring Junior out of Syracuse University. Today’s profile is Justin Pugh, a 6’5", 301 Guard. Justin is ranked 4th out of 224 Guards nationwide and 92nd overall for the 2013 NFL Draft. He is listed as having a pre-Combine 40 Time of 5.12 seconds. Pugh played in the Senior Bowl and received an invitation to the National Scouting Combine. He is projected as a 3rd round pick in April.
#67 Justin Pugh
Arm Length - 31 1/2"
Hand Length - 10"
Justin opted to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. A 2011 and 2012 All-BIG EAST First Team selection, Pugh started every game he played at Syracuse. The team co-captain was also honored as a 2012 ECAC Division I Football All-Star and 2012 ESPN.com All-BIG EAST Team selection.
After missing the first four games of the 2012 season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, he started the team’s remaining nine games. Pugh returned to the Syracuse lineup to anchor an offensive line that as has paved the way for 1,000-yard rusher Jerome Smith. In addition, the Orange averaged 187.0 yards per game on the ground, the program's most effective ground attack since 2004. Pugh and the rest of the SU front five allowed just 16 sacks this season.
Justin lettered once at Syracuse and did not play in any games as a freshman (2009).
In 2010 (Sophomore): Starting all 13 games. Blocked for 1,000-yard rusher Delone Carter and was part of an Offensive Line that helped the Orange convert on 34-of-40 (.850) chances in the red zone, which tied for 2nd in the BIG EAST.
As a Junior (2011): All-BIG EAST First Team selection. Started all 12 games and helped pave the way for 1,000-yard rusher Antwon Bailey.
Born Justin David Pugh in August 1990, this member of the Orangemen got his degree in finance in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and is a member of the National Honor Society.
After making his official declaration for the 2013 NFL Draft, Pugh reflected:
"It’s been my dream since I was a little kid playing with my buddies," Pugh said. "I had a great four years at Syracuse. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to play my college ball. Coach (Doug) Marrone and Coach (Greg) Adkins were great in helping me develop to where I am now. My teammates, coaches, the staff and the fans have been great. I will always be active in the Orange football program and the Syracuse community."
NFL.COM GRADE - 73.0
STRENGTHS: Pugh has very good range and mobility and moves his feet well. An experienced player who started every game he played over three seasons, Justin plays with good body control and balance. He has a good combination of speed and athleticism that enables him to reach the second level as fast as any offensive lineman in this class.
WEAKNESSES: Justin has very short arms (31.5")and will move to Guard after playing offensive tackle in college.He doesn't have a lot of core strength and struggles to properly use his hands to control rushers at the point of attack. Pugh is suspect to bull rushes and can be pushed back. He will need to spend more time in the weight room.
NFL COMPARISON: Sam Baker
BOTTOM LINE Pugh’s best fit at the next level will likely be as an Offensive Guard in a Zone-Blocking scheme. He has the mobility and body control to protect the edge, but he has suspect core strength and struggles to properly use his hands to control rushers at the point of attack.--Dane Brugler
Justin Pugh vs Pittsburgh 2011
It is easy to see what the Denver Broncos are looking at when evaluating Justin Pugh. He has the athleticism and intelligence to play in their scheme. He will get to the second level for downfield blocks. If Denver selects Pugh, he will be at the mercy of Strength and Conditioning coach Luke Richesson to fully regain any lost strength after that left shoulder surgery and work on that quick twitch first step. Should be a top 100 pick.
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