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Scouting Report: Louis Vasquez can play right tackle

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Heading into their matchup with the Colts last season, the Denver Broncos were shorthanded along the offensive line. with an injury to Orlando Franklin.

Elsa

Their course of action was to replace Franklin with Louis Vasquez and use Chris Kuper at RG. The experiment was only partially successful. Kuper had a rough game and showed that he would never be the same player after suffering two-serious injuries in a row. Vasquez however played very well and gave the 2014 Broncos a glimpse of what to expect.

Run Blocking

When I watch Vasquez run block, the word "relentless" comes to mind. He is going to give the very best effort until the whistle blows. His understanding of zone blocking concepts allows him to be an extremely effective player on both the 1st and 2nd levels.

He and Kuper block down on the 3-tech and Vasquez successfully gets to the 2nd level to seal off the Mike. They create a huge hole for Knowshon Moreno to scamper through.

Julius Thomas gets great leverage on the end while Vasquez once again reaches the 2nd level and engages a linebacker.

Louis blocks down the open side end. There was a nice cutback lane had Robert Mathis not broken down the play from the backside.

He looks smooth as a run blocker from the right tackle position, but how does Louis handle himself in pass protection?

Pass Blocking

The first thing to point out is what we DON"T want to see Louis Vasquez doing in the passing game. He loses the hand battle and tries to re-engage leaving his base off balance. "Reaching" will always submit leverage to the defender. Fortunately, this play was the exception, not the rule.

Vasquez quickly sweeps to the outside and neutralizes the speed rush by making the defender take a large loop. This is a very effective way to neutralize a speed rusher who's trying to get there from the outside.

Here, he engages and holds his ground against a 9-tech rusher. Knowshown Moreno completely misses the blitz pickup.

Playing on the inside has given Louis a lot of experience picking up stuns, which is precisely what the Colts attempt on this play:

How did he fare against Robert Mathis?

Mathis tries to get around the edge but Louis guides him to the ground a couple of yards deeper then where Peyton Manning is attempting his throw.

Something Louis might be susceptible to are double moves and quick rushers that are able to change direction extremely fast. Francois-Louis sets up the outside and breaks back to the inside leaving Louis with absolutely no leverage.

Screen blocking

This season it seems as if the loss of Zane Beadles has affected the screen game in a negative way. It takes athletic blockers to get downfield on a DB or linebacker. Louis shows once again he is up to the task.

He creates a nice lane about 15 yards downfield for Demaryius Thomas to run through.

Final Thoughts

I am confident that Louis Vasquez can play the right tackle position better than Paul Cornick and at least as well as Chris Clark. He automatically improves the running game to the outside. As far as the passing game, Vasquez seems to be a more than capable player. One underrated aspect of his game is the hand fighting and short area quickness that come from playing on the inside.

Time will tell whether or not this move will work out, but it implies a couple of things to me. One, the Broncos are trying to find the BEST offensive line combination going forward. Were they worried about just replacing an injured Paul Cornick, they could have went back to Chris Clark to start a game or two.

Moving an All-Pro guard to right tackle while replacing him with your starting center, and replacing your starting center with an experienced reserve center means the Broncos are desperately trying to find the best rotation of players to right the ship.