Following in the footsteps of Jacob Bell and Brandon Brooks, Collin Buchanan is set to join the NFL ranks after a pretty stellar career for the Miami RedHawks.
Standing at nearly 6’5” and 316 lbs., Buchanan certainly has the size to play at the next level but there are some valid concerns that make him a Day Three pick.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Combine numbers aren’t as huge a deal for offensive linemen as they are for other positions, but Buchanan has some good ones, as he recorded a 3.03 20-yard shuttle, 23 reps on the bench, a 25” vertical jump, and a 8’2” broad jump.
Scouts love his versatility to play either tackle or guard, his sound footwork and his excellence in pass blocking. Buchanan has improved as a pass blocker in each of the last three seasons and had four games last season in which he didn’t allow a single QB pressure, per Pro Football Focus.
On Your Guard
Buchanan’s flaws bring him down in the eyes of scouts a bit, and not all of them are really fixable.
Scouts don’t think he’s athletic enough to be an NFL tackle, so they project him to be a guard in a gap-scheme offense. He also has trouble bending and keeping a consistent pad level on run plays, and doesn’t have a lot of discipline with his hand placement. Obviously, the level of competition will be a factor in the Draft too, as he struggled in some game against some less-than-elite level defenders.
Despite these problems, scouts feel that Buchanan can really be an asset to a team at guard, especially in pass protection, with NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein feeling that he could compete for a starting job in a couple of years. In an interview with NFL.com, an AFC offensive line coach stated “I kind of like (Buchanan). I like the way he punches because it's direct and his hands are pretty quick. When you move from tackle to guard you have to prove that you can speed up your hands and I think he has that already."
And with everyone outside of the Cowboys having needs along the offensive line, Buchanan should find himself in a good situation to be a contributor despite being drafted on the last day.