2014 NFL Draft: A Bull-'Dozier' For The Offensive Line

Let's add a 'Dozier' to this group - Rob Carr

Before the 2013 season kicked off BTB member and scout Long Ball clued me in to a FCS-level offensive lineman to keep my eyes on during the course of the season. Little did he know that his sleeper prospect would turn into my new pet cat for the draft.

In Greenville, South Carolina, there is a small private school of 2,700 students and on its 750-acre campus there is one mighty big man. The school is Furman University and the big man is the Paladins left offensive tackle, Dakota Dozier. You may or may not be familiar with the university, but chances are that in the not too distant future, you are going to become very familiar with their star lineman. His performance during his four seasons in Greenville is getting him noticed.

Although there is very little film available to the huddled masses, one look at the performance this guy is capable of will leave you asking why Dozier is not playing at a much bigger school. I was able to find some film of him on line from the Paladins 2012 contest with Clemson, and it was impressive the way he handled men from the bigger program.

During his time at Furman, Dakota was a four-year starter along the Paladins offensive front and each season he earned conference honors for his efforts. As a redshirt freshman he was named to the SoCon All- Freshman team and the following three seasons Dozier was named all conference, second team for his sophomore season and first team during his final two years. In addition he was named as an FCS All-American for those final two seasons. His efforts earned Dozier an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game last month in St. Petersburg, Florida where he continued to distinguish himself.

After his four seasons of starting at left tackle for Furman, the 6'4" 312 lb Dozier found himself being used inside at guard. his projected position at the next level, for the first time. It turned out to be an easy transition for the young man. He was able to accomplish every task that was set out for him and he was readily able to adjust to the stunts and blitzes thrown his way. With his natural athletic ability shining through, Dozier looked as if he had been playing guard for a few years instead of just a few days.

Dozier surfaced as the top offensive line prospect this week and is a darkhorse top-100 prospect. - Dane Brugler

In fact, at NFLdraftscout.com, he is currently ranked as their #5 offensive guard prospect and they are projecting him as a third-round selection. While some other sites do not have him ranked nearly as high, Dozier is elevating his stock in the eyes of those who cover the draft.

Strengths

Spending four years as a left tackle has helped Dozier develop excellent footwork skills. He is a natural knee bender and he plays with good pad level. Quick for his size, Dozier has demonstrated the speed necessary to get outside when pulling and he is effective at getting to the second level. He keeps his legs churning through his blocks and uses lower body strength to drive his man. Over his collegiate career, Dozier led the way for three consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons. In pass protection he sets well in his stance and and maintains solid form while stalemating the pass rush. He sets a solid base and possesses a strong anchor.

Weaknesses

Although he has faced periodic top-level competition, most of Dozier's experience comes against lower level talent. Although he acquitted himself well at the Shrine Game and during infrequent games against top notch programs, he has yet to face the consistent quality he will see at the next level. He is capable of delivering an outstanding punch at times, but he needs to work on being able to do so on an ongoing basis. Dozier does suffer from an occasional lapse in technique which he will not be able to get away with in the NFL. Several times during Shrine practices the coaching staff was forced to call him out for either lunging at his man or for trying to block one-handed.

Intangibles

As a senior Dozier demonstrated his leadership by serving as a team captain. That leadership was cited by the Furman coaches as being a significant factor in the team's late season surge. On the field he plays with a mean streak and plays right up to the whistle. As he demonstrated during his week in St. Petersburg, Dozier responds well to coaching and he has the "multiplicity" that the Cowboys like in their players.

One look at Dakota Dozier's picture on his profile at the Furman team site and you can see the intensity and mean streak in his face. In addition to his skills on the football field, Dozier is also a former high school wrestler which is something I like to see in an offensive lineman. Not only does wrestling teach self reliance, but it emphasizes the use of footwork, leverage, and technique in order for the athlete to be successful. In Dakota's case, he wrestled at a championship level.

While my fellow front page writer, KD Drummond, has become the conductor of the Jimmy Garoppolo train, Dakota Dozier is equally impressive as a small-school prospect. Although he did not earn the type of recognition that the Eastern Illinois passer did, he is the one who is more likely to become a contributor during his first season in the league. He is also the type of guy that you can expect to see manning the trenches for years to come.

With that being said, I am officially naming Furman OT/OG Dakota Dozier as my pet cat for the 2014 NFL Draft. While the offensive line may not be the biggest need in Dallas, with Ron Leary's knee and Mackenzy Bernadeau's history of injury I am not fully confident that the Cowboys have the depth to survive a potential loss in the interior. Drafting Dozier would, at the very least, provide that depth and potentially yield a starter early on in his career. Besides, how can you not want a Dozier on your O-line?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker