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Scouting report: Broncos fifth-round pick Connor McGovern

Andre Simone Avatar
April 30, 2016

 

Connor McGovern, Missouri (6-foot-4, 306 pounds)

The Broncos made their fifth selection the draft, adding Missouri’s starting left tackle with the 144th pick. McGovern is a well thought of linemen in draft circles, he was my eighth-best interior offensive linemen in the class and the 115th-ranked player overall (that’s five for five in my top 115, really good value thus far with the entire class). He’s projected by myself and most other evaluators to kick inside and play guard as a pro, but his versatility and ability to play left tackle in the SEC is a major plus and could be a promising sign for him to develop on the outside as well.

McGovern is one of the strongest players in this class, he did 33 repetitions at the combine and famously holds many of Mizzou’s weight room records, including squatting 690 pounds. His strength doesn’t always show on tape, he can be off-balanced when chasing better athletes on the edge as a tackle. He also didn’t always get set or have great balance in run blocking. His technique is a work in progress, especially his feet that weren’t always aligned with his shoulder and created issues with his balance and ability to absorb contact.

Almost all the issues that were just mentioned are particularly highlighted because McGovern was playing left tackle in the SEC and had to handle elite speed (towards the end of the Georgia game started to really struggle with speed as GA let guys pin their ears back and go).  He’ll get rushed by better athletes which cause him to speed up and in turn his footwork and gets him off balance. Doesn’t have necessary athleticism or length (especially short arms) to play at left tackle, this is the main reason why he projects best to guard. When off balance he easily gets knocked back on the first punch, which is surprising given his elite upper-body strength.

That’s not an issue because we already talked about how McGovern is likely best-suited as a guard, given his surprising mobility (doesn’t just move well in pass pro and run blocking on the move but also ran an impressive 5.11 forty yard dash.) and impressive strength he has some definite starter upside at the position with promise for more.

McGovern is, simply put, a road grader, this is his the first thing that stands out when watching his film. He can create push in the run game and also gets to the second level quickly for a man his size. Plays with good leverage and with more technique consistency in his lower body mechanics this should allow him to create even more consistent push. McGovern is very exciting when he gets to the second level where he mauls and knocks smaller back-seven defenders straight back. He also flashed some great ability to be an effective cut blocker (see the beginning of Florida game) two huge qualities to have in the Bronco zone-blocking scheme.

In pass protection, McGovern has some tools that should especially translate well when protecting the quarterback from the guard. He’s shown good first step and initial quickness. In pass protection, was able to shadow SEC athletes on the edge effectively most of the time, has good feet and balance when playing with proper technique and not rushing. He shows good awareness, is active in helping to block inside and aware against blitzes and stunts.

All things considered, McGovern compares better than Chiefs second round pick in 2016 Mitch Morse who was also a tackle at Missouri. He has many of the skills that fit nicely into a zone-blocking scheme if used as a guard (though not as easily translatable on tape as others in the class). More versatile and NFL ready than former Broncos rookie Max Garcia (another SEC product), McGovern should immediately compete for a starting guard spot on the line and has all the tools to be groomed into a future long term starter.

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