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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Mason Cole, OL, Michigan

NFL Draft Scouting Report: Mason Cole, OL, Michigan

Mason Cole - Michigan

 

Position: OL

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 305

Year: Senior

Hometown: Tarpon Springs, FL

Experience: 4-Year Starter

 

Measurables:

40yd dash: 5.23s

Broad jump: 104 in.

Vertical: 23.5 in.

3-cone: 7.77s

20yd. Shuttle: DNP

Bench Press: 23 reps

 

Career Notes:

Cole was the first true freshman to start on the Wolverines offensive line for a season-opener in the school’s history in 2014. He started all twelve games in which he played. As a sophomore, Cole returned as a starter at tackle for all thirteen games of the 2015 season. Oddly enough, in his first two years as a starter moving around the Michigan line, he never played at center. That move was to happen in his junior year.

In 2016, Cole saw his first start at center where he would remain for the season. At center he flourished into a nationally recognized talent and he racked up All-Big Ten Second Team honors from coaches and the media.

His senior season in 2017 proved to be a difficult one as Cole switched to left tackle. His performance was solid, but the team around him struggled. Even though Michigan’s offensive line was in the bottom third of the NCAA for sacks allowed, he was awarded a spot on the All-Big Ten Second Team from the Associated Press. He finished his career with 51 consecutive starts and no missed games.

 

Injury Report:

Cole has not missed a game due to injury in his four years on the Michigan offensive line.

 

Career Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/mason-cole-1.html

 

Analysis:

Run Blocking 3.25/5.0: From the interior, Cole was a helpful blocker and sealed off inside zones consistently. His stocky frame gave him natural leverage and low pad level. As a tackle, he looked out of sorts at times, but over the course of a game he would find his natural rhythm. Against Ohio State’s star-studded defensive line, he was a formidable blocker and consistently stayed between runners and defenders. He did not often impose his will on the perimeter, but he was strong enough to stay on his feet.

 

Pass Protection 2.5/5.0: At center, Cole was a consistently patient pass-blocker and kept his head on a swivel. He let run defenders initiate contact and absorbed it well to maintain a clean pocket. His patience allowed him to handle twists consistently. He had light feet to assist the guards on either side of him. On a few plays, he was able to help both of his guards with pass rushers one-after-the-other. His move to tackle saw a precipitous drop in his ability to defend the pass. He was much less patient and much more vulnerable to bend at the hips. Longer pass-rushers could take advantage of his arm length which created brief pockets for a rotation of Wolverine quarterbacks. That said, Michigan’s quarterbacks were especially antsy in the pocket in 2017 and a good chunk of the sacks he allowed could have been just as easily pinned on the passers.

 

Agility 3.0/5.0: Where his technique lacked in 2017, Cole’s agility could compensate to a degree. He adjusted his feet pretty quickly, which became necessary as speed rushers tried to take advantage of a shorter stride on his kick-slide. Whenever he was beat by a pass rush move, he could quickly recover and give a second effort to nudge players and give his passers an extra tick to find a target or get rid of the ball. He didn’t play with otherworldly quickness, but his athleticism wasn’t a liability.

 

Summary: Had Cole remained at center in 2017, he likely would have garnered more recognition as a blocking talent. Considering he was playing out of position for a Wolverine team that needed a reliable left tackle, Cole put together an impressive senior season. On screen passes this year, he still flexed the mobility he showed on the interior of the line in 2016. His hand placement in the pass and in the run was consistent, no matter where he played on the offensive line. From the waist up, he was just as technically sound this season as he was last season. He blocked pretty well for Michigan as a senior, but never seemed to figure out how to comfortably set up his feet against a pass rush at tackle.

Overall Grade 2.9/5.0

 

If drafted by the Packers:

Cole could be a helpful hand similar to Justin McCray along a Packers offensive line which always seems to have someone hurt. Being able to handle a season at center and a season at left tackle will be a nice feather in Cole’s cap going into the draft. He would be a valuable fourth or fifth round pick if the Packers use the first three rounds to address receiver, pass rusher, and cornerback. As a Day 3 pick, he could grow into a starting guard or center. His mobility and awareness make him an asset on the interior of the line. In Mike McCarthy’s zone-dominant run offense, Cole’s stocky frame and agility would be well-suited to make an impact.

 

Video:

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (3) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

He sounds sort of like Mark Tauscher. He's the kind of player I'm hoping for at the end of the fourth round and possibly the fifth. The big question to me is, "What do the coaches think of the current guys on the roster: McCray/Pankey/Amichia/Patrick/Ulrich/Day?
If they think the guys available in the fourth round and later are no better than the ones listed above, it would be better to spend the choices on DBs, WRs, etc.

stockholder's picture

I'm all about getting starters in the draft. If this kid is there. Take him. His versatility is just what we need. Much rather have him in the 4th, than a first round mistake.

dobber's picture

"Cole could be a helpful hand similar to Justin McCray along a Packers offensive line which always seems to have someone hurt. "

If the Packers move one of their depth pieces--McCray, Murphy, Spriggs--into a starting role for 2018, they're going to need another depth piece to replace that player on the OL, and the more flexible that piece, the better. That's what Cole's ticket to get his foot in the door will be. Anyone who can play C and T can probably play G, too. The question is: where do you draft that piece?

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