Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 22, 2005.
Bills select...Raymond Preston
C | (6'5", 311, 5.37) | ILLINOIS
Strengths: Takes good angles to blocks, wastes very little motion and is fundamentally sound. Has adequate overall strength. Plays with excellent intensity and is physical at the point of attack. Uses hands well, plays with a wide base and works hard to sustain blocks. Gives great effort on every snap, rarely makes mistakes and is consistent. Possesses good size, does an adequate job of bending at the knees in pass protection and can hold his ground working against bull rushers. Keeps head up, shows good awareness and can adjust to line stunts as well as the blitz. Makes good line calls and is a leader on the field.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal range, will struggle if asked to regularly pull around the play-side corner and will have problems reaching some blocks at the second level. Doesn't have an explosive first step, won't knock many defenders back at the point of attack and will struggle to keep quicker one-gap defenders out of the backfield. Lacks ideal lateral mobility, has some problems adjusting to the moving target in the open field and is vulnerable to double moves in pass protection.
Overall: Preston red-shirted in 2000 and he appeared in two games of the 2001 season. He took over as a starter in 2002 and has been the fulltime starter the past three seasons. Preston is a blue-collar player that never stops working and rarely makes mistakes, but his potential is limited by his lack of natural ability. He doesn't run well enough to consistently reach his blocks at the second level and he isn't quick enough to prevent penetration in pass protection against elite one-gap DT's. That said; Preston's work ethic, size and sound technique are enough to give him a chance to compete for a roster spot as a reserve in the NFL. In our opinion, he's worth taking a chance on in the seventh round but not any earlier.
* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.
Duke Preston, OC, Illinois
Height: 6:05.1 Weight: 311
Overview: Nicknamed "Duke," Preston is a football legacy. His father, Raymond II, was a standout at Syracuse, where he earned All-American honors before embarking on a nine-year NFL career with San Diego. Raymond Preston is a classic technician who does not make assignment mistakes. In his last two seasons at Illinois, he allowed only one quarterback sack. Preston is a highly intelligent athlete who lettered four times in football and baseball at Mount Carmel High School, where he twice earned San Diego Tribune academic honors. He was named to the Prep Star All-West team and was twice selected first-team All-Palomar League. Preston added first-team All-County and All-North County honors as voted by the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was also named his team's Most Valuable Player in 1999. Preston was voted team lineman of the year for his junior and senior seasons. Preston redshirted in 2000 for the Illini and saw only two games of action as a reserve center in 2001. He took over for Luke Butkus, starting every game at center in 2002, recording 63 knockdowns while allowing a pair of sacks. In 2003, he was credited with 71 knockdowns and gave up only one sack. As a senior, he was one of the few bright spots on the team, showing much better dominance vs. top-level competition. He finished 2004 with 74 knockdowns while allowing no quarterback sacks, despite most of the offensive unit struggling all year.
Analysis: Positives...Has a thick upper and lower body with big thighs, wide waist, big bubble and room on his frame to add more bulk...Steady player whose experience compensates for athletic shortcomings...Durable athlete who never missed a game due to injuries...Has a quick initial step into his blocks, showing adequate explosion at the snap...Has the size and power to generate a good anchor to position, sustain and hold ground at the line of scrimmage...Works well with his guards on combo blocks...when working in concert with the guards, he demonstrates good pass protection skills...Gets good hand position and can deliver enough punch to jolt the defender...Has better playing strength than his weight room figures indicate...His lateral slide, change of direction and field awareness is evident by the way he quickly handles stunts and delay blitzes...While he lacks initial explosion, he somehow finds a way to gain movement vs. the shade and two-technique....Type of player that has to rely on his low pad level and proper blocking angles to get a surge, gain position and wall off, but he has good field instincts, doing a nice job of making all the blocking calls and knows each of his linemen's assignments...Rarely makes an assignment mistake and has the ability to set and punch in pass protection...Does have decent quickness in the short area, plays at a good pad level and stays low in his stance to establish leverage off the snap...Can reach a man over and follow up with his feet to sustain, but is not a road grader, getting movement with good angles and leg drive instead.
Negatives...Has good body mass, but could use some better muscle tone (fleshy mid-section)...Not the most dominating center you will find, lacking the timed speed to be even adequate blocking in space...Adequate picking up blitzes and stunts, but will struggle vs. the quicker defenders...Seems to be out of his element on the move and struggles to make the blocks in the second level, as he is not light on his feet...Likes to bang with his upper body, but needs to lock on and sustain more with his strength...Could also be more explosive through his lower frame and must dedicate more hours in the weight room, as his lack of weight room power could pose a problem at the next level...Aggressive and stays after the play, but isn't a "nasty to-the-whistle" type finisher....Uses his hands well, but will expose his pads and get knocked back some...Combos effectively, but lacks quickness working to the second level and tends to over-extend, which causes him to fall some in space.
Agility tests: CAMPUS: 5.42 in the 40-yard dash...380-pound bench press...Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times...470-pound squat...285-pound incline...300-pound power clean...28-inch vertical jump...7'10" broad jump...Right-handed...27/30 Wonderlic score. COMBINE: 5.42 in the 40-yard dash...3.12 20-yard dash...1.85 10-yard dash...4.45 20-yard shuttle... 7.57 three-cone drill...32-inch vertical jump...8'0" broad jump...Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times...33 7/8-inch arm length...10 3/8-inch hands...33 Wonderlic score.
High school: Attended Mt. Carmel (San Diego, Cal.) High School, playing football for coach Gary Jolk... Lettered four times in football and baseball...Twice earned San Diego Tribune academic honors...Named to the Prep Star All-West team and was twice selected first-team All-Palomar League...Added first-team All-County and All-North County honors as voted by the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune...Named his team's Most Valuable Player in 1999...Voted team lineman of the year for his junior and senior seasons.
Personal: Graduated in May 2004 with an undergraduate degree in speech communication...Son of Raymond and Susan Preston...Father played for nine years with the San Diego Chargers and was a Kodak All-American for Syracuse University...Raymond goes by the nickname of "Duke"...Born Raymond Newton Preston III on 6/12/82 in San Diego, California.
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