CFF Player Profile: Andrus Peat, OT
Leonard Williams, Hau’oli Kikaha, Nate Orchard and DeForest Buckner. Just some of the names that Andrus Peat tangled with in 2014, facing as tricky a run of opponents as any tackle.
That obviously provided a good test of abilities and offered a good chance to evaluate just how NFL-ready a player he is. Did he stand up to the task? Or was he overmatched by a talented group of defensive linemen? The truth, as is often the case, is somewhere in between.
Where Peat was at his best in the run game was at the line of scrimmage. Once he has a block locked in the play is all over and that goes someway to explaining why despite the difficult level of opposition (including some tricky 5-techs) only 5.7% of his plays resulted in a negative grade (10th-best in the class). He’s an exceptional watch for the most part at the line of scrimmage who shows his ability in a power scheme by being able to nail down block after down block after down block. He wasn’t just beating up on nobodies either, have a look at the USC game and how he handled Williams with 1.53 to go in Q1.
Why he doesn’t grade better is chiefly his work in space and most notably at the second level. I said Brandon Scherff was like a homing missile, and Peat is something far more linear. He locates the target as well, but a lack of control and ability to change directions leave him flapping in thin air way too much. Still, few tackles are perfect and in a world where you often have to take the rough with the smooth, you have to accept Peat has the quick feet at the line to execute small reaches and lock his block in.
This is where Peat becomes frustrating. On the surface of it he has all the tools to be a proficient pass protector, but too often he lets himself down. He has a good kick slide and anchors well against the bull rush. In pass protection he has a natural feel for picking up and passing off stunts and when he looks the part, he really looks the part.
But he’s a lunger. He lacks the patience and doesn’t have his timing down with his hands which can see him thrown off balance, and counter moves make him look a little lazy. When you see him struggle as he did at times with Nate Orchard, you think to yourself he should be doing better than he is. In that game he allowed two sacks and two hurries (his worst output of the year) and looked like a guy that could do with some coaching up.
There’s a lot to like with Peat who, despite a tough raft of opponents, finished the year with our third-highest production grade of draft-eligible tackles. He’s got the tools a team could mold and offers immediate upside in a power-based running scheme that has him working more along the line of scrimmage, and as an upgrade on an underperforming tackle.
But he’s got areas of his game that prevent him being a can’t-miss prospect. Can he fix those and become a top-tier tackle? That is the question more than one NFL team will answer “yes” to and for whom the challenge will begin.
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