Name: Nico Siragusa
School: San Diego State
Position fit: Guard
Stats to know: San Diego State gained 8.2 yards per carry on 92 rushes through gaps adjacent to Siragusa in 2016.
What he does best:
- Siragusa can dominate defenders, particularly in gap scheme runs on the playside of power; earned a positive grade on 22 percent of plays on the playside of power, working very well on double-team blocks taking defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage.
- Had a third-highest pass-blocking efficiency among FBS guards; excelled in particular against bullrushes from defensive tackles.
- Consistently found his targets and neutralized them at the second level and on pull blocks, especially kicking out defenders when pulling on power; Siragusa earned a positive grade on 23 percent of his pull blocks on power.
- One of the most efficient run-blockers in college football in 2016, Siragusa was downgraded on only 7 percent of his run blocks last season.
- Struggled at times with cutoff blocks on the backside of outside zone.
- The level of competition he faced leaves questions for how he will cope with the step up to the NFL level. His worst grade of the season by far (51.6 overall) came in the bowl game against Houston.
- Siragusa lost his opportunity to allay some of these fears at the Senior Bowl after suffering an injury on the first day of practice.
Bottom line: Siragusa was one of PFF’s most productive guards in 2016. At his best in a gap scheme Siragusa is powerful at the point of attack and can drive defenders off of the line of scrimmage to disrupt linebackers at the second level just as well as he can drive them out of the play as the pull blocker on power. The biggest question mark in assessing Siragusa is the depth of competition he faced and whether he can prove that his performance against Houston, and in particular freshman sensation Ed Oliver, was a one-off and that he can in fact raise his game against superior opposition to replicate his physical performances against the Mountain West.