E.J. Whitley Height:
F 5.3 OT
GM JR Scouting LLC Grading Scale/Key
SUMMARY Whitley was an interesting because he moved around so often and played left tackle, left guard and center. He has the size and natural strength to play any position on the offensive line, but his limited athleticism makes him best suited to succeed at center in the NFL. Has the foot quickness to get off the ball and set to block quickly, but he must use his hands more aggressively in pass protection. Needs to stay over his feet and under control on his run blocks. He is stiff and lacks the athleticism that is preferred in a starting offensive lineman, but he has the intelligence, instincts, competitiveness, size and natural strength to be a good backup lineman that can offer versatility. Someone with Whitley's versatility at all the positions along the line is tough to find. He will have a solid career as a backup lineman that does an adequate job when forced to spot start during his career, but it is without question he is much better suited to be a backup.
STRONG POINTS Whitley is a smart and alert lineman who consistently works well with other linemen to adjust to stunts and loops. Has good natural strength, and when he is aggressive with punch in pass protection, can lock up, hold ground and eliminate his man from the play. Can slide side to side well in a small area. He is a highly competitive run blocker that gets off the ball quickly and aggressively, and can seal the defensive lineman out of the play. His size, toughness and competitiveness helps him to eliminate his man on downside blocks. Has surprisingy quick feet to get through the line of scrimmage to seal block the linebackers on the second level.
WEAKNESSES Whitley is a versatile lineman who is limited by his lack of athleticism. He is a straight-line athlete that is stiff in the hips and lacks the agility to adjust and block well out in space. Because of his stiffness he tends to bend at the waist on in-line run blocks and it leads to him leaning, overextending and falling off his blocks. While he has good natural strength, Whitley's inability to block with leverage limits his strenth as a run blocker and he can't get movement on straight-ahead run blocks. When he does not get his hands on the defensive linemen first, they can get into his chest and jolt him backward into the pocket.