By PFC Draft Writer David Willemssen @DavidWillemssen
Cyrus Kouandjio LT Alabama
6’6 310 lbs Senior
#3 recruit in ESPNU’s 150 in 2011 and the #1 offensive line prospect the same year. Played in 8 games as a RS FR, suffered a season ending knee injury. In 2012 started all 13 games at the left tackle position for the soon to be National Champions. In those 13 starts only allowed 3.5 sacks.
Game Notes vs Georgia 2012 SEC Championship
Pass Protection Cyrus does a good job mirroring pass rushers of Jarvis Jones and Cornerlius Washington the whole games, both eventual draft picks. He uses his quick feet and a quick kick slide to prevent either edge rusher from getting the edge on him. Can be strong at the point of attack if he engages first.
Run Blocking Cyrus once again uses his strength to generate a strong punch at the line of scrimmage. He is beaten by strong bullrushes throughout the game from Washington. Displays an inability to cut block. Heading to the second level he does not engage on first contact and even whiffs a few, however, he did show good recovery speed on some plays.
Game Notes vs Notre Dame 2012 National Championship
Pass Protection once again Kouandjio has multiple plays where he mirrors the bigger Notre Dame edge rushers when they try to be over athletic against him. Kouandjio has no problem keeping up with them, his problem in this game was going against the more powerful players in Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix. Each player easily over matched Cyrus when they would bull rush. Kouandjio did not show an ability to reanchor against these bigger rushers.
Run Blocking Kouandjio and the whole Bama offensive line did a great job. He was seen as being a downhill blocker in the run game holding onto blocks and drive the larger players backwards. He still displayed an inability to reach the 2nd level with success. Cyrus routinely sealed the edge for both of his running backs to let them hit the edge.
Game Notes vs LSU 2012
Pass Protection Kouandjo plays well against eventual top 10 pick Barkevious Mingo and fellow 2013 NFL Draftee Sam Montgomery. Cyrus also receives a few DB blitzes come his way and his ability to mirror and use his own athleticism to shut them down. There are a handful of plays where Kouandjo does not keep attacking his already beaten man as McCarron keeps holding onto the ball. Cyrus will not be able to lay off defenders in the NFL no matter how badly he beats them early on.
Run Blocking his game falls into the same as the last two, does a good job sealing the edge to spring runners ahead. Once again does a poor job at the second level. In this game his hand placement got too low in the run game having him lose leverage, this will be something to keep an eye on through the 13/14 season.
What He Does Well
Kouandjo came in as a high high school recruit and that was due to his large frame and athleticism for a big man. His feet in the pass game are light and quick moving. He uses those quick feet to seal well and get his runners on the outside without problems in the run game.
Where He Needs to Improve
It is no secret in football every player will be beat, what separates good players from the best is the ability to recover. Offensive Line Men have to have the ability to reanchor which Kouandjo currently does not possess. He was pushed around by bull rushes often in these three games and never got to reset. For as athletic as Kouandjo is he does a poor job at attacking on the second level in the run game.
8/31 vs Virginia Tech
9/14 @ Texas A&M
11/9 vs LSU
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