Name: Fred Zerblis
School: Colorado State
Position fit: Guard
Stats to know: Zerblis allowed just five pressures in each of the last two seasons.
What he does best:
- Zerblis displays good upper-body strength and uses that to sustain and finish blocks in both run and pass games.
- Displays a good understanding of, and a lot of faith in, the angles he needs to take to defenders in space on pulls and at the second level.
- Uses these angles to efficiently close space on defenders without risking over-running blocks and allowing defenders to run under his blocks to the ball carrier.
- Absorbs contact well in pass protection locking down defenders before they can generate any movement to compress the pocket.
- Zerblis is very good at picking up stunts and slants; part of a Colorado State O-Line that allowed pressure on just 26 percent of pass plays where the defense stunted, 14th in the nation.
- Zerblis plays with good depth and awareness to pick up loopers while meeting slants with the necessary physicality to deny the penetration needed to setup the stunt.
- Showed good versatility in both zone and gap schemes at the college level, not just limited to being effective in one or the other.
- Strength of competition in the Mountain West raises questions of his performance against top level competition; though isolated games against Colorado and Minnesota show his ability to step up.
- Doesn’t possess the top-end athletic ability of others at the position, though his efficiency and consistency overcomes this on a consistent basis.
- Doesn’t go and get players in space at the second level and on pulls, putting a lot of faith in the correct angles taken to blocks but on disrupted runs this can leave him unable to close down his defender.
Bottom line: Zerblis graded exceptionally well in 2016 and earned a place on our All-American second-team for his fine season as both a run-blocker and pass protector. Zerblis’ best fit may be in a gap-blocking scheme to make best use of his consistent play to linebackers in space on pulls but he showed an ability to contribute in any scheme and his work in run and pass games mark him out as a player with a chance to forge a career in the NFL.