We get a fun player to talk about today as we continue our day-by-day reviews of the 2016 Denver Broncos. If you missed any recent posts, catch up here. Let's discuss the future of the tackle position in Michael Schofield.
Name: Michael Schofield
Height: 6'6" Weight: 301
Age: 25 Experience: 3
Michael Schofield was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos as a hopeful future starter for the team.
Schofield was pushed into a starting role largely by the injury of Ryan Clady last year and arguably a hair too soon if the tape don't lie. His biggest claim to fame so far in his very short career is doing an admirable job of helping Khalil Mack get voted All-Pro in the 2015 season based off his performance in week 14 of the regular season.
Here are his stats from 2015 (H/T to PFF):
|Name||PFF||Pass Block||Run Block||QB Sk||QH||Hur|
The good: He's young. He's also gotten a lot of trial by fire under his belt. Also, don't say this very loudly in a group of Broncos fans, but he kinda played pretty darn well in the playoffs for us. As a matter of fact, according to my eyes, his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was phenomenal.
I do like a some of what I see him do in the run game. He still has enough plays where he doesn't set his edge that it really causes dead plays in the run game and his grading surely suffers for it. But the hope has to be that if he can level himself up this offseason and clean up some of those big mistakes, he can round out into a solid swing tackle or (heaven forbid) a starting tackle.
The bad: If you believe what the coaches tell you, then this cat is the future of our offensive line and a guy just gets a bad rap. You know me though, I'm here to call Bull on this line of thinking as we get a real look on what Schofield brings to the table.
His pass blocking is at times offensive to me as a fan of NFL football. Labels like "turnstile," "fence post," and "stick on skates" come to mind. His feet are downright slow as molasses at times against edge rushers. His first step is often not quick enough and he's prone to overcompensate his technique to make up for his lack of raw athletic ability.
The stats paint a pretty bleak picture here. Last year, he was by far the worst player on an offensive line that was below-average overall at best.
Roster status: I like to keep an open mind about the quality of the players we have on the team. I also like to give young players time to develop because it is hard to learn the craft of NFL football especially in today's climate with a lesser product being taught at the college level.
Honestly though, I'll be surprised to see him start at tackle for our team ever again barring injuries to starters in front of him based off of what we've seen overall from him so far in plenty of in-game action.
I still like him better as a guard that isn't asked to protect as wide of angles, but I'm sure the coaches at least like him as a swing tackle given how much experience he's had so far in his career.
When you add his time with the team, his draft position, his experience, and what the coaches say about him, you end up with a very high likelihood that Michael Schofield is on the active roster week 1, if not a starter.