Eric Fisher Scouting Report

OT Eric Fisher dominated at Central Michigan. How will he stack up against NFL competition?

Many mock drafts have Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher landing in Philadelphia, and for good reason. Once a small-school sleeper that few fans had heard of, Fisher put together an excellent senior season as the Chippewas left tackle and followed that up with fantastic performances at the Senior Bowl and Combine. Fisher’s draft stock soared, and he is now a probably top 5 pick.

Should Chip Kelly use his first ever NFL draft pick on Fisher? Decide for yourself.

Pass protection

Fisher was almost never beaten in pass protection in 2012. He stays square to the line of scrimmage and takes short, choppy steps instead of a longer, smoother kick slide. It doesn’t look pretty, but it helps him stay on balance and gets the job done. Fisher generally plays with good leverage and a wide base, but thicker defenders can sometimes get under his pads and bull rush him effectively. He has a great feel for stunts, always picking up the right defender and knowing when to pass them off to the guard. Never assumes the play is over and does not surrender hustle or coverage sacks. Does not lunge and shows more strength than his lean frame would suggest.

Run blocking

When Fisher locks on, he dominates. He’s at his best when he locks his arms and can take the defender wherever he wants. He’s athletic enough to pull in either direction and does so often. He can locate defenders at the second level and light them up. Blocks to the whistle. Shows a nasty streak and tries to physically dominate his opponent. Passion for the game and love of contact are evident on tape. At times, he will absorb contact rather than seeking it out, usually on seal blocks. He’s always in proper position, but his mean attitude could be more consistent. Plays with great leverage and power on down blocks and double teams.

Athleticism

A converted tight end, Fisher has more than enough height, strength, and athleticism to be a top flight NFL left tackle. He’s 6’7″, 306, and recorded a 5.05 second 40-yard-dash. He does not have a sloppy body and does not appear to wear down during games, showing a good fitness level. Nimble enough to execute trap blocks and fast enough to pave the way down field. Doesn’t have overpowering strength or size, but otherwise, he’s the complete package from an athleticism standpoint.

Other (durability, character, etc.)

Fisher has no current health concerns and started all 13 games in 2012. He has started 28 career games at left tackle, but also four at right tackle and two at right guard. Versatile and experienced. Level of competition is a concern, but a great showing at the Senior Bowl should erase some of those questions. By most accounts, Fisher is a great teammate and more of a quiet person than outspoken leader. Appears to genuinely love the game on tape.

Fit in Eagles system

Fisher wouldn’t be the day one starter at left tackle due to the presence of Jason Peters, but he has the versatility to start at right tackle. In doing so, he would allow Todd Herremans to slide into the right guard spot and solidify a very good front five. There’s a perception that left tackles are much more valuable than right tackles, but that’s simply not true, especially in Philadelphia. Not only is Michael Vick left-handed (making the right side his blind side), but the division’s top pass rusher – Jason Pierre-Paul – usually lines up on the left side (across from the right tackle). The Eagles’ right tackle also has to square off against Anthony Spencer and Ryan Kerrigan twice a year, neither of whom are slouches. From a schematic perspective, Chip Kelly loves tall, athletic linemen who can block in space. In that sense, Fisher is a perfect fit for the Eagles.

Verdict

Eric Fisher would be my pick at fourth overall. The Eagles will have to run the ball well for Chip Kelly to succeed, and the ability to do so starts up front. Fisher would give the offensive line a much-needed fifth starter and young stud. Players of Fisher’s caliber simply won’t be available later on in the draft, which is another aspect to consider. The Eagles will be able to find value along the defensive line and at quarterback in the second round, but all the good tackles will be hot commodities in this year’s draft and should be long gone by the mid-first round, let alone the second. Fisher not only has All-Pro potential, but he already has a very polished game that should allow him to contribute immediately in Eagle green.

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