2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Eric Fisher
What I like: Fisher is a tremendous technician as a left tackle. He’s got great feet, does an impressive job with his drop and slide and is impressive in his ability to mirror defenders. As good as his feet are, his upper-body work is just as impressive. He extends quickly at the snap, shows a tremendous punch and once he’s locked in, it’s pretty much over for the defensive player. Fisher also does a very good job in his adjustments. He’s quick enough when a player starts up-field and the tries to come back across his face he can adjust and muscle them back under control.
As a run blocker Fisher is solid. He does a good job getting set with a strong base, and very good hand placement. He is not a power player by any means, and instead uses excellent technique to seal the edge and complete his assignment. The key to Fisher’s ability to maintain his edge in the run game is he uses leverage. He keeps his feet wide and creates an advantage based on his positioning rather than raw strength.
Fisher is a very good athlete and he’s able to get off the snap in a hurry and this makes his second level blocking very good as well. Everything Fisher does well centers on his athletic ability and technique. He just does everything correct.
What I don’t like: Fisher gets by on his quickness and refined technique, but lacks the strength that I like to see. This is a common trend among top tackles. In an NFL where defensive lineman are getting bigger and stronger, I worry about a player like Fisher getting overpowered with a bull rush or in the run game if he allows larger players to get into his chest. I want to see him get stronger and if that means a little heavier so be it.
I also see some problems with his game based on his height. Fisher has done a great job accounting for the fact he is so tall, but in watching him play you see times when he gets too high off the snap and defenders get him off balance. His wide base normally gives him an out on it, but if he gets his pads to high against a big 5-technique end he could get overwhelmed, especially in pass protection.
What it all means: Fisher is firmly planted between Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson. Fisher is less athletic than Johnson, but much more polished and stronger. And he’s more athletic than Joeckel, while not as consistent or physical, and lacks the resume’.
If there is such a thing as a safe pick, Fisher might be it. He’s not going to take much coaching to get into the starting lineup, should be able to start on the left or right immediately, and his skill set favors multiple blocking schemes. In the pass game he’s NFL ready, and his ability to finish blocks means he’ll make more plus plays in the run game.
With this draft class I expect Fisher to end up somewhere in the top five. His overall game is just too good, and quality left tackles are too much of a premium for him to slide much further than that. Some have him actually ahead of Joeckel, and while I can see the logic in that to a degree, Fisher is still my no. 2 tackle for the 2013 NFL draft.
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