I'm so jazzed right now with all of the coverage of the NFL combine that I thought I would squeeze out another player profile before I start working on my next mock draft. As with my previous player profile on Ras-I Dowling, I thought I would keep the focus on players the Steelers might target in the second round. This time my focus is on TCU offensive guard Marcus Cannon.
40 time: 5.20 sec.
Bench: 33 reps
Pros: Marcus Cannon's biggest attribute is his size. Surprisingly for a man who is 358lbs. you would expect him to be grossly out of shape but at the combine he looked fit and carried his weight extremely well. As you could probably guess his size make him a nightmare for opposing defensive linemen in the run game. It takes him very little effort to drive defenders off of the line of scrimmage.
Cons: While Cannon may be athletic for his size that doesn't necessarily mean he's athletic in general. The biggest reason why he's not being considered as an offensive tackle is because he doesn't have the agility on the outside edge to defend against speed-rushers. Another important issue is his lack of initial quickness. He is routinely the last lineman to come off of the snap and will often times be slow to get his hands up, resulting in the defender getting into his body. Those are important things any offensive line coach will need to work on him with if he's going to make it in the NFL.
Draft Stock: Right now Cannon's draft stock couldn't be higher. After an impressive combine performance he managed to quell most questions about his athletic ability and now has cemented himself into the second round. He'll likely be the 2nd highest rated Offensive Guard prospect behind Mike Pouncey to many teams. Some teams may even view him as a Right Tackle prospect which would only bring more suitors into the discussion. While he could sneak into the bottom half of the first round it's most likely that he won't last past the Cowboys at 40. Jerry Jones just loves him some big-bodied Offensive lineman and Cannon could replace Marc Colombo at RT. The Bills could take him at 34, Arizona at 38, the Titans at 39, the Falcons currently have two Pro-Bowl caliber Guards that are free agents, and so many other teams that could use Cannons services.
NFL Player Comparison: Dallas Cowboys OG Leonard Davis
Both players have a very massive frame which makes them excel in run-blocking but lack the athletic ability to defend against edge rushers in space.
Final Word: While Marcus Cannon does not possess the necessary agility to play Offensive Tackle he can fill in if needed, and could perhaps play Right Tackle at some point. However he would be very effective at RG, especially in the run game. While he impressed at the combine it's somewhat disappointing in that there is absolutely no chance he'll be available at pick 63. I would be perfectly fine with the Steelers trading up into the middle of the second round for him as long as the price was right. If it only costs the team a 4th, or hopefully only a 5th, to move into the middle of the second round that would be ideal.