A lot of the talk is about Garett Bolles of Utah but I prefer Antonio Garcia at a later draft position. Garcia plays with the same nasty and physical mentality Bolles plays with and they both have similar questions about their game. The only difference is that Garcia is younger, Garcia will be a 23 year old rookie while Bolles will be 25. Garcia will have plenty of time to polish up his game and can make an impact from both the left and right side.
Antonio Garcia has a long and slender build and there are some questions about whether or not Garcia will be able to hold weight due to his extremely thin waist. If that is the biggest concern we can find, then I’m all in. Garcia plays with above average athleticism and great spatial awareness. He has the foot quickness to really transition into his kick slide and can impact the left side of an offensive line in pass protection. The length, toughness and athleticism are what really make Garcia one of the more intriguing offensive line prospects in the entire 2017 NFL draft.
Name: Antonio Garcia
Size: 6’6”/302 lbs
Comparison: Ricky Wagner (Detroit Lions)
Draft Grade: 2nd Round
Pass Protection (Foot Quickness): Smooth feet for a man of his size, allowing him to quickly transition into the kick slide technique. He can sometimes be to quick and over set, allowing EDGE rushers to get inside and bull rush him back into the quarterback. Has the foot quickness and athleticism of a NFL offensive tackle.
Run Blocking (Power): Not a mauler in the run game and blocks with inconsistent technique. He really relies on his athleticism and effort to mirror opposing defensive lineman. He can get to the 2nd level due to his athleticism but can fall off balance due to his technique. He will need to work on hand placement and other run blocking nuances in order to be successful at the next level.
Athleticism: Smooth, above average athlete. Has enough athleticism to really make an impact on the left side of an offensive line. Possesses initial burst off the line of scrimmage and can get to the second level as quick as anyone in the entire draft class.
Toughness/Effort: The nastiest and toughest offensive lineman in the entire class. Yes, that includes Garrett Bolles. Take it’s personally when he gets beaten and will make you pay on the next step. He’s not a mauler in the run game but he will grab defenders and violently shuck them to the ground. If a defender hits the deck in Garcia’s vicinity, he won’t let you back.
Flexibility/Balance: Tries to beat EDGE rushers with quick and choppy steps, sometimes over setting which allows bigger EDGE rushers to get in on his chest and drive him backwards. He has above average bend and bend’s at the knee’s not at the waist. Plays with excellent balance in the pass game but can lunge and lose balance in the run game, especially in the second level.
Football IQ: You can find him communicating before each and every snap and doesn’t seem to miss any assignments. Great awareness when reaching the second level despite some of the technical flaws.
Strengths: Antonio Garcia is an above average athlete with a nasty attitude, something I really prioritize in offensive lineman. He’s a finisher in both the pass and run game and is always on the hunt for extra work. Smooth athlete who can handle speed rushers around the edge and mirror defensive lineman and edge rushers in the run game. Garcia possesses the athleticism to start on the left side in the NFL.
Weaknesses: He played his entire career at a much lower weight than what he weighed in at the combine. Garcia has an extremely slender frame and could have difficulty keeping weight on his body. Extremely raw, specifically in the run game. Relies on athleticism when getting to second level rather than using his length and hand technique. Raw offensive tackle who will need to polish certain aspects of his game. Garcia will need to continue to get stronger in order to handle an NFL speed to power move.