NFL Draft Scouting Report: Pat Elflein

Ohio St
Center/Guard
RS Senior, 6’3” 300

Elflein is a clean and complete player who can play any interior spot at a high level.

Good:

– Good pass blocker with good feet
– Looks for work
– Athletic when getting to the second level
– Tries to bury people
– Athletic and powerful puller from center and guard
– Works well on double teams and twists
– Anchor versus bull rush

Bad:
– Doesn’t get a lot of movement in running game
– Will lean when trying to get movement in the run game
– Blocking laterally
– Will take bad angles getting to the second level at times

Notes:
– Even though he doesn’t get much movement in the run game he almost always makes his block at guard
– Decorated high school wrestler

Pat Elflein wasn’t one of the top recruits in the nation, but that hasn’t stopped him from developing into one of the top NFL draft prospects in this year’s class. After redshirting his freshman year due to a foot injury, Elflein appeared in 14 games as a backup in his redshirt freshman season. He took over as the starting guard his sophomore year and started year game there for the next two seasons. After transitioning to center this past spring, Elflein started every game while earning numerous awards. He was named First Team All-American, First Team All-Big Ten, and won the Rimington Award for the nation’s best center.

As a prospect, Elflein is a pretty clean player. He’s a good pass blocker for an interior lineman, has good feet/steps and shows the ability to anchor versus bull rushes against top end competition. He’s able to keep a good base, takes good steps and is athletic working to the second level. One of my favorite things that he does well is as a puller and he does it well from both the guard and center spot. When pulling, Elflein is athletic and powerful enough to move defenders off their spot. Elflein also works well on double teams and is also efficient with twists for the most part. Something that really stood out to me during the evaluation was how it seemed Elflein is always looking for work. He is always blocking someone or looking to block someone through the echo of the whistle. I love this trait as a player, but I also look at it a positive personality trait that shows work ethic, drive and focus. Something many if not most coaches will certainly take into account will be his experience as a wrestler. As far as attributes translating to football, wrestling helps with hand strength, leverage and body control. All of which are held in high regard for lineman.

The toughest thing for me when evaluating Elflein was how little movement he gets in the run game. A lot of run blocking on the interior is more about shielding and redirecting to create lanes for backs to run through, but it’s always nice to have a mauler when you need one, especially if you’re taking them in the first round. When he has tried to really get movement, he will over lean at times causing him to lose his balance. When he gets beat in the run game, it’s typically on zone plays where he is moving laterally. He is more than athletic enough, but his lack strength can be exploited when the defender is able to get to his edge. I also noticed during the playoff game versus Clemson that Elflein took a handful of bad angles when he was working to the second level. This should be easy enough to correct and needs to be. Linebackers in the NFL are going to be better and more athletic than Ben Boulware.

Round Value: 1
Games watched: Clemson 2016, Rutgers 2016, Bowling Green 2016, Michigan 2015, Notre Dame 2015, Indiana 2015

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