Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Xavier Su

Seahawks Draft Profiles, Offensive Guards: Xavier Su’a-Filo vs. Gabe Jackson


The 2014 NFL Draft is a little over a week away and Seahawks fans are really starting to itch for some excitement. The draft gives analysts and fans alike the chance to finally look at a potential final roster for their teams come September.

An offensive guard may not be quite as attractive as a franchise tackle, but it is a position of need for the Hawks. With Paul McQuistan gone and both James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy  showing growing pains, a tough, reliable guard could be exactly what Russell Wilson needs to develop even further.

Xavier Su’a-Filo:

Measurables- 

Height- 6’4’’

Weight- 307 lbs

Arm Length- 33 3/8’’

Hands- 9 3/8’’

 

Combine Stats-

5.04 sec

25

25 in

102 in

7.60 sec

4.44 sec

40 Yd Dash

Bench Press

Vert Jump

Broad Jump

3 Cone Drill

20 Yd Shuttle

 

Overview- Seahawks fans have seen Su’a-Filo’s name all over draft boards leading up to May 8. A left tackle his first year at UCLA (where he started all 13 games as a true freshman), he finished his college career at guard and won the Morris trophy, awarded to the PAC-12’s best offensive lineman. What fans might not know is that second and third years were spent on an LDS mission in Alabama and Florida, taking him away from football completely.

What the experts are saying at NFL.com…

Strengths- Quick out of his stance. Effective pass blocker — can bend his knees, extend and mirror in short area. Generates movement in the run game. Can work his hips and maneuver to gain positioning. Good foot athlete. Can pull, trap, combo block and step to the second level. Durable three-year starter. Has played guard and tackle.

Weaknesses- Lacks ideal length. Missed two years of strength training while serving a LDS mission and has a bad body. Could stand to play with better pop and power in his hands. Bends at the waist, gets overextended and falls off blocks. Heavy-legged — slow to shift his weight and adjust to stunts and quick inside moves. Gets beat across his face. Needs to play with better awareness — gets short-circuited by complicated defensive movement. Struggled mightily at left tackle.

Bottom Line- Does not look the part and was miscast when forced to play left tackle for the Bruins, but Su’a-Filo is more effective than he is pretty. Projects best at left guard, where he has starter-caliber ability in a power scheme, though he is athletic enough to appeal to zone teams, too.

Gabe Jackson:

Measurables-

Height- 6’3’’

Weight- 336 lbs

Arm Length- 33 ¾’’

Hands- 10’’

 

Combine Stats-

5.51 sec

30

29 in

108 in

8.25 sec

4.78 sec

40 Yd Dash

Bench Press

Vert Jump

Broad Jump

3 Cone Drill

20 Yd Shuttle

Overview- Not quite as well-known as Su’a-Filo but every bit, if not more talented, the Mississippi State standout started 52 games at left guard. In his final two seasons he did not allow a sack and was a team captain. An All-SEC player in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Jackson brings a strong, reliable playing style to the table.  With the Seahawks need for a consistent, steady lineman, Jackson could be a perfect fit.

What the experts are saying at NFL.com…

Strengths- Exceptional girth with long arms and a thick lower body. Fundamentally sound with advanced technique. Quick out of his stance. Good anchor. Strong, efficient punch (can pop and recoil). Keeps his hands inside and controls defenders. Mirrors in pass protection. Walls off running lanes. Understands positioning and angles. Athletic enough to short pull effectively — nice balance and body control for a big man. Good eyes, awareness and reactions. Smart and tough. Durable four-year starter. Professional makeup.

Weaknesses- Lacks explosive power to shock defenders. Does not blow defenders off the ball in the run game. Average overall athletic ability and lateral agility. Is unsudden and lacks elite recovery quickness. Occasionally fails to dig his heels in and gives ground vs. strong bull rushes. Stressed to cut off fast-flowing linebackers. Recorded the slowest 20-yard split (3.28 seconds) and tied for the slowest 40 time (5.63 seconds) of any player at the combine. Could require some patience with complex playbooks.

Bottom Line- Big, thickly built, relatively nuanced blocker who brings a steadying presence to the interior offensive line. Dependability and effectiveness blocking for pass and run combined with sterling intangibles, including football intelligence, make him capable of starting as a rookie and holding down a position for years to come.

 

Who the Seahawks Take

Xavier Su-a-Filo seems to be the bigger name, but two years away from football may cause some inconsistencies in his play that the Seahawks are not willing to deal with. He is a talented player with great athleticism, but Pete Carroll will be too eager to use Jackson’s great intangibles that he won’t let him pass the No. 32 pick. If we know anything about the way the Hawks have drafted in the past few years, it’s that they love big, physical players.

Pick- Gabe Jackson

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Tags: Gabe Jackson Seattle Seahawks Xavier Su'a-Filo

  • Raymond

    Gabe Jackson round 1? I was thinking Seattle could potentially land both. Jackson is very likely still there round 2