2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Christian Darrisaw

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Christian Darrisaw

by February 14, 2021 8 comments

Big riser alert! Christian Darrisaw came out of nowhere this year, posting an amazing 95.6 PFF grade to finish off his true junior year. Playing since he was a true freshman, Darrisaw has plenty of experience playing the most valuable position on the line. His motor along with his technique and power combine with his youth to provide one of the highest upside players in the draft. Some may say that certain reps raise cause for concern. Does he live up to the hype? 

Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Christian Darrisaw

Jersey: #77

Position: Offensive Tackle

School: Virginia Tech

Class: Junior 

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 314 lbs

Run Blocking (8.75/10) 

Darrisaw is an animal in the run game. When he engages in a block, there is almost no way of getting out of it. He does tend to hold a little bit, but it is very inconspicuous (in other words, it will not draw flags too often). His problem may stem from the scheme/play, but there are a noticeable number of snaps where he looks lost and does not find a player to block. In short, his pure run blocking skills when engaged is a 9.5 (Quenton Nelson is 10). Darrisaw’s lack of awareness (which will be discussed further later) brings it down a little bit. His athleticism makes him best suited for a zone run scheme.

Pass Blocking (6.5/10) 

Darrisaw is a bit raw here. Most reps he wins fairly well; however, he tends to stand very upright. This leads to him appearing on the verge of falling backwards. It seems like he knows this because on some snaps he leans more forward (not the right adjustment: he should be more anchored and less top-heavy). This causes him to be easily dealt with, which puts him back to being too tall. As long as he learns to sit a little bit more into his anchor, he will be perfectly fine. It is just worrisome that some NFL bull rushers might be able to topple him. However, Darrisaw did have trouble in pass protection against little-known defensive lineman Daniel Joseph and he should not have been a problem for Darrisaw, but he noticeably was.

Length (8.0/10) 

Darrisaw rarely looks like he loses the length battle. He does not have the greatest length in the class, but his length is beyond adequate to keep pass rushers from bullying him.  

Footwork (7.5/10) 

Darrisaw is fluid in his movement. He rarely looks like his feet are not where they are supposed to be. This said Darrisaw does have a problem against speed rushers: he tends to either under-compensate for their speed, leading to a weak outside edge. This may be in fear of getting spin-moved, but it did cause a few pressures during his snaps. 

Hands (8.25/10) 

Darrisaw’s hand placement is either perfect or worrisome, depending on the rep. During the run, he is a hand technician. Every snap, regardless of if Darrisaw is on the move or stationary, has perfect hand placement. In pass protection, however, there are some reps that show him being beaten in hand fighting. This may be a small red flag because NFL pass rushers tend to be better at hand fighting. This did not show up too often, but it is something to note.  

IQ (6.0/10) 

Usually, Darrisaw knows what is going on and what to do. This said, there are a noticeable number of reps where he does not block anyone (both pass and run). This may be due in part to the playscheme or the protection call by the quarterback (or coordinator). For this instance, Darrisaw will bear the blame. Apart from those snaps, he truly is able to understand what is going on in each play to a high level.  

Athleticism (7.75/10) 

Darrisaw has some juice. He can move his hips both quickly and fluidly, not to mention having solid speed. His burst gets challenged at points by some speedier players, but that may be Darrisaw being conservative (trying not to allow a spin move to the inside). If there is one way to explain how solid of an athlete he is, look at his run tape. His perfect fit is a zone run scheme which requires a lot of movement.

Power at the Point of Attack (8.5/10) 

Darrisaw is not Nelson. He is still very powerful, however. Defenders look jolted when he gets his hands on them, and he is consistently using power in his reps. There are a few pancake blocks on tape, but they are not commonplace. This said he does have a noticeable effect on every play which seems to have defensive coordinators scheming packages to the other side of the line. When combined with his movement skills, Darrisaw can be a real danger to any defender in his way.

Positional Versatility (5.0/10) 

Playing exclusively left tackle, Darrisaw has never gotten the chance to test out other positions. This said, it does not mean he cannot play other spots, but given his length and level of play at left tackle, he should not need to worry. The score is just there to show that it is unknown how well he can transition. This should not be a concern, because he will be drafted high enough to slot into the left tackle spot of a needy team. His scheme is set in a zone run scheme due to his strength as a mobile run blocker, so he is hindered on scheme flexibility, too.

Competitive Toughness (4.75/5) 

On most plays, Darrisaw puts in more effort than the rest of the team. He always is looking for a block on every level. There are some reps where he should try a bit harder, but it looks as if Darrisaw is just trying to maintain the pocket. Not giving him a grade of five is just a nitpick on some reps, but he definitely has a great motor.   

Injury (5/5)

The injury slate appears clean for Darrisaw.

Player Summary 

After looking at almost every snap from this season, the conclusion is clear: the talent is real. Darrisaw’s power, athleticism, form, combined with his age truly make up a seriously intriguing prospect for this year’s draft. He is not ready to play Week 1 for a win-now team, and he needs to go to a zone run scheme to maximize his potential. This said, his youth, combined with the fact that he has progressed every year demonstrates that he is not done developing into a superstar. He is not the top offensive tackle in this class, but he sure could turn out to contend with the likes of Penei Sewell in time. 

Final Grade (76/100): Top 15 

 Player Comp: D.J. Humphries

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