2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cesar Ruiz
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: After starting the past three years at Michigan, Ruiz decided to skip his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Ruiz was a reliable blocker in both phases over his time with the Wolverines and was a steady presence in the middle of their offensive line. There is a lot to like about Ruiz for the NFL, who could be a quick competitor who ends up being a plug-and-play starter.
Ruiz possesses a number of traits that allow him to be a good pass protector. He has very quick feet and is able to play the typewriter to mirror defenders and keep them from charging down the pocket. Ruiz plays with excellent leverage, bending at the knee, and uses his thick lower body to absorb bull rushes. He could stand to improve his awareness, ability to sustain blocks, and not let second efforts get free. Ruiz can be a little slow to react to speed rushes, but with coaching, he has the upside to improve.
As a run blocker, Ruiz uses his athleticism and quickness to fire to the second level or join guards on double teams. His speed to hit the bump block can take defensive tackles by surprise, and he is effective at manipulating them to push open holes. Ruiz has developed upper and lower body strength that combines with his leverage to manipulate defenders. Ruiz is not a true road-grader who overpowers tackles, but he has functional strength for the next level.
Unless Tristan Wirfs is drafted to play guard, Ruiz could be the first interior lineman selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Teams like Ruiz's versatility to play guard or center in the NFL. While he could play guard, center is his best position. There are some projections of him getting late first-round consideration, and while he may not go that high, Ruiz is safe to be a second-round or early third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Rodney Hudson. Ruiz's playing style reminds me of Hudson's, and I think Ruiz will be a solid pro, but not quite as good as Hudson. Hudson is more athletic and tougher. Hudson was a second-day pick in 2011, and Ruiz could go on Day 2 this year.
2020 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's
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