Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Jon Ledyard
Name: Sean Welsh
Position: Offensive Guard
Date of Birth: 10/13/1994
High School: Springboro (OH)
Games Played: 39
Games Started: 35
High School: Consensus 3-star recruit. Offense-Defense All-America as a senior. Second team all-state as senior. Captain as senior. Chose Iowa over offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, West Virginia and others
College: Business/Marketing major. First team Freshman All-Big Ten by BTN.com. 2015 Honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches and media). 2016 Academic All-Big Ten. 2016 second team All-America by USA Today. Third team All-Big Ten (coaches and media).
Strengths: Powerful frame with long arms. Maximizes reach to keep defenders off his frame. Strong hand placement and punch timing, and displays a strong anchor when he does misplace his hands and rushers get inside of him. Clean steps as a zone blocker and savvy enough to cut on backside and run the backside shoulder down when he can’t complete the full reach block. Tenacious and will work hard to cover up defenders at all levels of the field. Good mental processing to pick up twists and find work when uncovered.
Weaknesses: Not a great athlete and will be challenged by more athletic interior pass rushers who can work to his edge in pass protection. Slow pulling into space and must take perfect angles to have a chance of hitting his target. Zone steps are clean, but may not move quickly enough to handle many of the twitchier defensive linemen in the NFL that will challenge him off the ball. Had some struggles with timing and angles releasing to the second level.
Summary: Welsh is a physical, technical offensive lineman very much in the mold of typical Iowa guards that often end up as mid-round picks. Where Welsh may have an advantage is in his smooth footwork at the line of scrimmage as a zone blocker that helps compensate for his lack of elite athleticism. He shows a terrific understanding of leverage and is savvy enough to cut defenders or run them down when he can’t get a clean reach.
Welsh is probably going to be challenged more in pass protection in the NFL than he was in college, but his strike timing and hand placement again stood out. He’s tough to work into due to the way he maximizes his reach, and even when defenders did get into his frame, Welsh showed impressive strength to anchor and re-set his hands inside. NFL pass sets will take some adjustments as Iowa ran a lot of slide protections and play-actions in their run-heavy offense. But Welsh is tough, experienced, technical and has enough physical and athletic traits to look like a solid day two guard prospect at this time.
Predicted Value Range: Day 2