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2018 Prospect Preview: Is WSU G Cody O'Connell the best pass blocker in the nation?
By Elliott Rooney •
Aug 5, 2017
<> on September 17, 2016 in Pullman, Washington.
Washington State G Cody O’Connell returns for his senior season as one of the best guards for the 2017 season. His impressive displays last season, especially in pass protection has earned him a Day 2 PFF draft projection and a top five ranking in this year’s draft class among draft eligible guards.
O’Connell’s overall grade of 92.6 ranks second in the draft class while his pass blocking grade of 93.1 ranks No. 1 among guards. He dealt with the bull rush extremely well last year as he didn’t allow a single bull rush pressure in 648 pass blocking snaps.
His pass blocking efficiency (PBE) of 99.3 last year ranks No. 2 in the draft class, only allowing six total pressures on 648 pass block snaps with only one of them being a sack (PBE measures pressure allowed on a per snap basis with weighting towards sacks).
O’Connell will always have question marks about is run blocking ability coming from the pass-first Washington State offense. Although he did produce the third-highest percentage of positively-graded blocks in the run game, he gave up the 26th highest percentage of negatively-graded run blocks in the draft class too.