Seahawks Draft Target: Zach Banner, OT/OG, USC
By Keith Myers
If the Seattle Seahawks draft Tacoma Native Zach Banner out of USC, they’ll be getting a massive run blocker who will struggle in pass protection.
It is always a popular move when the Seattle Seahawks draft a local kid. If they choose to select Tacoma native Zach Banner, they’ll also get a massive blocker who can absolutely dominate in the running game.
At 6 ft. 9 inches and 360 pounds, Banner is perhaps the largest human I’ve ever scouted. He has long limbs to match and the strength you’d expect from someone of his size.
When the effort is there, Banner is a bulldozer of a run blocker. There was no opponent from his tape that was able to adequately anchor and stop Banner from pushing them completely out of the play.
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When asked to pull or otherwise block on the move, Banner didn’t miss a beat. In fact, giving him a running start at a defender is almost unfair. Most defenders wanted no part of Banner running at them.
While Banner moves better than you’d expect for a guy his size, pass blocking is never going to be a strength. His enormous size limits his quickness. Speed rushers are going to be able to dip around him on the outside.
To try and counter this weakness, Banner employs a large and powerful kick-slide. This leaves him open to counter moves back to the inside. In either case, his enormous length and size mitigate some of the damage.
One of the knocks on Banner in scouting circles is a lack of effort at times. It shows up in his tape, but not as often as you might expect given his reputation. The times I noticed it were on long drives at the end of games, which make me wonder about Banner’s conditioning.
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There is also some corned about whether or not he can keep his weight down. Banner’s body type is one where we often see guys gain 20-30 pounds after entering the NFL. Banner already lacks quickness at 360. At 380, there’s a good chance he won’t be a functional player at all.
Some teams will project him inside as a guard, but I believe he is best suited to stay at tackle. While moving him inside might reduce some of his weakness, it also negates some of his strengths.