Nate Velichko (G, San Jose State) – 47

Velichko is an experienced and versatile lineman, who has started at both tackle and guard at San Jose State, on both sides of the line.  He is by no means an elite prospect but I do think that his skill-set, allied to this versatility, might make him a viable practice squad candidate for an NFL team in 2018.  His main strength is his alertness; he recognises his responsibilities and can often be seen shunting off his primary responsibility to one of his teammates in order to pick up a secondary threat.  He has quite a powerful punch and is reasonably athletic, with the ability to move quickly towards the second level.  When he keeps his feet chopping, he is a creditable run blocker and I enjoyed the amount of pancake blocks for which he was responsible – always, for me, a positive sign!  He is, however, a marginal prospect at best at the next level, due to the flaws in pass protection, where he tends to over-extend and lose his balance, forcing him to lunge and lose control of contact situations.  This is, I suspect, partly due to two things: 1) he plays too high – at 6-7, he struggles to gain leverage – and 2) he is a bit slow off the snap and, as a result, lacks the explosion you would really want to see.  A good offensive line coach will smooth out some of these difficulties and, although Velichko is a long-shot to make it in the NFL, I see enough on tape to suggest that a camp invite is feasible.

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