3. Max Tuerk, USC (6'5, 297, 5.15, 3-4): Blew out his ACL in a game Oct. 8 and might not be ready this season. "I like him over (Ryan) Kelly but he really had a bad injury," said one scout. "He can pull and do all kinds of things. But he's really a slight built guy." One scout said Tuerk's weight dipped into the 260s in September. "He has pumped up to 296 or whatever but I don't know how much of that is real weight," another scout said. "When he goes to training camp does he end up being 280-pound center? I can't think of any 280-pound centers." Five-position versatility. Started 18 games at center, 14 at LG, 4 at LT, and 1 at RT. "Really a big-time athlete," said a third scout. "He's (Alex) Mack, the same type of guy. He is so quick and so athletic. Somebody told me he might be too tall for center and I said, "You've got to be kidding me?" From Trabucco Canyon, California. Biggest hands (10 3/4) among centers.
While a lot of this is fair, oh come on. There is no chance Tuerk was down in the 260's in September. Scouts had Tuerk as the consensus 3rd center, which is good to hear if you value an unbiased opinion.
The next excerpt is from Steve Palazzolo of PFF grading day two picks:
The best-moving center in the draft, watching Tuerk pull and locate targets in the run game is a thing of beauty. He missed most of 2015, but he was off to a monster start with a +9.4 overall grade on only 113 snaps. He has some trouble with shotgun snaps, but his length, athleticism, and production make him a viable option to get into camp to try at multiple positions.
That seems like a pretty high grade and just judging off the games, he was that good this year. Interesting to hear Steve mention his trouble with shotgun snaps, I never noticed that. Something to keep an eye out for as training camp progresses. PFF initially gave the Chargers a B+ for the pick.
Michael Felder from Bleacher Report gets out and does a bunch of live scouting for high school and college football and is a guy who knows his football. Here's what he had to say about Tuerk:
I'm a big fan, obviously the knee injury cut the season short but he's a technician at the center spot. He reminds me of a stretched out Bryan Stork. He's one of those guys that just gets it at the center position. Understands body control. Understands leverage. He plays fast. He works his hips. Understands how to combo(block.) He recognizes how to help out his guard and knows how to climb to the 2nd level. He's a phenomenal athlete. I have so many good things to say about this kid. He's not a mauler like you see with Ryan Kelly or Jack Allen from Michigan State but he's a technician and at 6'5 298 he's a great athlete. This grade is an A. Absolutely. As long as he's healthy he's going to come in and compete for a starting job at center. If he doesn't get hurt, we may be talking about him as the Rimington award(best center in college) winner.
I share the same excitement as Felder.
Athletic, but undersized center who gives tremendous pound-for-pound effort on every rep. Tuerk uses hand strength plus balance and body control to make up for a lack of power, but his knee injury and below average mass for the position will certainly scare teams away. Tuerk can handle himself in any scheme but is a fit for primarily zone scheme rushing attacks who don't face many 3-4 fronts within their division.
Welp. San Diego will see 3-4 front early and often. In pass protection, I'm not too worried about Tuerk facing a nose tackle. He's not going to get the kind of movement 1-on-1, sure, but I wouldn't call him a liability by any means. If Tuerk is covered up, that means 1 of the guards are uncovered and will be helping him chip/combo block. That has to be taken into account.
This is an excerpt from CBS Sports Dane Brugler's draft guide:
A four-year starter in USC's pro-style scheme, Tuerk lined up all over the offensive line the past 4 years, including at center the past 2 seasons. An agile blocker, he has the athleticism and body control to mirror speed and handle multiple responsibilities. While the movement skills are NFL quality, Tuerk needs to develop his body and functional power for the next level with questionable violence and finishing toughness. He offers starter potential if he develops physically.
It seems like the theme here is he needs to develop strength. I do not disagree there, but I do disagree that Tuerk isn't a finisher. That's just not true.
I thought it was a good idea to get outside perspectives on Tuerk before you read what I wrote, for balance. Do you agree with what scouts are saying?