Gets movement in the ground game
Can handle heavy nose tackles and undersized speed-rushers
Flashes heavy hands
Athletic interior lineman
Ability to sustain blocks
Can display a mean streak
Good technique with hand placement
Reliable in short yardage
Quick to the second level
Scheme flexibility, ability to work in a man or zone scheme
Ability to stay on his feet
Improved pass-protector in college
Anchors well against bull-rushers
Had some pass protection issues early in his career
Strong, but physically overwhelming
Has some stiffness
The Alabama offensive line has been led by a Kouandjio the past few years. A year ago, left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio was a second-round pick of the Bills, while in the 2015 NFL Draft, brother Arie Kouandjio should go off the board on Friday night as well. The Crimson Tide had a lot of success running behind Arie Kouandjio in 2014, plus he showed improvement in pass protection.
Arie Kouandjio had some mixed outings in 2013, including the season opener against Virginia Tech. He got better on a weekly basis. Arie Kouandjio had a good game against LSU, but didn't fare as well against Auburn or Oklahoma. The junior was burned for a lot of pass pressures and some sacks against the Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.
As a senior, Arie Kouandjio was a tough run-blocker and improved his pass protection. Alabama ran behind him all year successfully, and he did a nice job of protecting quarterback Blake Sims. At the Senior Bowl, Kouandjio had an impressive week. He was one of the few offensive linemen who could hold his own against Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton. Kouandjio also displayed a mean streak as he came close to a fights after playing through the whistle, especially when going against Auburn's Gabe Wright.
Kouandjio is a physical run-blocker who gets movement at the point of attack. He is quick to hit blocks on the second level and can move heavy defensive tackles at the point of attack. Kouandjio has very good athleticism to move on zone-blocking plays, and Alabama did a lot of zone blocking during Arie Kouandjio's years.
In pass protection, Kouandjio was much improved in his final season. He has the quickness and athleticism to handle interior speed rushers. Kouandjio is a little stiff, which is why he's a guard and not a candidate to move to tackle. He is strong and able to anchor against bull rushers. Kouandjio will need to continue to improve his pass blocking for the NFL, but he should become a reliable and well-balanced blocker as a pro.
For the NFL, Kouandjio looks ready to step in and compete from his first day. He looks like a potential 10-year starter at left guard who could function well in a zone- or man-blocking scheme. WalterFootball.com has heard from sources that Florida State's Josue Matias and Kouandjio are grading as the top guards (not including LSU left tackle La'el Collins). Both Matias and Kouandjio have received second-round grades.
Player Comparison: Davin Joseph.
Kouandjio has a similar style of play to Joseph (6-3, 318). Both are strong run-blockers who can pave the way for their backs and are good to run behind in short-yardage situations. Joseph was the 23rd overall-pick in 2006 NFL Draft. While Arie Kouandjio won't get selected that high, but he could turn into a player who is comparable to Joseph. Joseph has been to the Pro Bowl and was a reliable blocker for Tampa Bay before starting to show signs of decline at 30. Kouandjio could have a similar career.
Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Cleveland, San Francisco, Kansas City, San Diego
There are a lot of teams that could consider guard help in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Bucs need a starter to pair with Logan Mankins, and Kouandjio could start for Tampa Bay immediately. Taking Kouandjio with pick No. 34 might be a reach though as there could be a player with a first-round grade available.
The Jaguars could make sense for Kouandjio. Their offensive line was dreadful in 2014, so he could be an improvement at guard. Zane Beadles and Brandon Linder were disappointments.
The Giants are looking to improve their offensive line, and Kouandjio could be a fit for New York in Round 2. He could be an upgrade over John Jerry and J.D. Walton. Taking Kouandjio would allow New York to move Weston Richburg to his natural position of center.
Cleveland could use more talent at right guard. Kouandjio could form a nice duo with Joel Bitonio for the Browns. The 49ers are probably losing Mike Iupati in free agency, and if they don't like their in-house options like Brandon Thomas, they could consider Kouandjio.
The Chiefs and Chargers also need a lot of help on their offensive lines. Both organizations are in the position of needing interior help. Kouandjio probably won't fall past one of these AFC West teams.
2015 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's
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