Evaluations: Davidson & Lohn
The Midwestern Trenches
The second installment of our 2012 evaluations target two linemen
from the Midwest. One, Nick Davidson, is a Minnesota transplant from the south who made a recent
pre-Christmas verbal commitment to Stanford. The other is Nathaniel
Lohn, a strong and stout defensive end from Missouri who at this time
is still weighing his options. One
uses brute strength and straight-ahead speed to overwhelm opponents regardless
of their size, while the other erases opponents with his outstanding athleticism
and very polished technique.
Davidson, OT 6’6” 280 lbs (Eden Prairie High School, Eden Prairie,
Ratings – 4*, 5.8/6.1, #38 OT, No National Ranking, #2 Prospect in
Ratings – 4*, #28 OT
Ratings – 4*, 79/100, #41 OT, #29 Regional Prospect, #3 Prospect in
much publicly available video on Davidson, which is surprising for a prospect
who is rated as highly as he is.
From the small amount of video that I have seen, he looks like he
deserves his strong rating. Given that there were a few plays
in which he could’ve done a better job shuffling to regain position on a
defender, I would be able to understand a somewhat lower ranking but only if
many more of those types of plays were evident. Overall, Davidson’s ratings and rankings
look to be pretty consistent and accurate.
Nick Davidson has all of the desirable attributes of a "legacy"
player - technique, athleticism and discipline. First, he has good technique,
especially for a high school player.
The first steps out of his stance in pass protection always have him in
the right position with respect to pass rushers. He also shows very good athleticism
which allows him to gain leverage on smaller, stouter defenders and drive them
out of run plays. He has proper body
position when engaging his opponent on every single play in his video, which is
an example of his discipline. The
video does consist only of highlights, of course, but there is little reason to
believe that that part of Davidson’s technique changes much, even on his
non-highlight plays. That aspect of
his game is even more impressive when his height comes into consideration. With a height listed as tall as 6’7”, it
is extremely difficult to maintain the knee bend, strength and balance to
consistently have a lower pad level than shorter opponents. Davidson appears to handle that
challenge extremely well in his video.
foot work is very good in most areas, but may need a little work in one other
area of his current game. In pass
protection, after the initial contact, he also does a great job of re-setting
his feet to stop the pass rusher’s momentum. What he will need to work on is
keeping his weight low and balanced to be able to rebound and reset against
re-directing speedy rushers when he is not engaged. We know Nick Davidson has all of the
pure football aspects of the game. He can take his game to the next level by
using more basketball-like skills that will allow him to recover much easier
against smaller, speedier pass rushers.
the wake of his recent commitment, Davidson looks to be an offensive tackle at
Stanford. His style of play, body
type and skill set are much more of a fit on the outside than on the
inside. I would not be surprised to
see him get his feet wet on the interior in jumbo packages, however. Due to his father being a professional
football coach and former player, we can expect Davidson to see playing time in
his second year after he fills out. The learning curve will be much less
steep for Davidson than for most other four-star offensive linemen.
Nathaniel Lohn, DE 6’3”
265 lbs (Staley High School, Kansas City, MO)
Ratings – 3*, 5.6/6.1, #44 DE, No National Ranking, #10 Prospect in
Ratings – 3*, #73 DE
Ratings – 3*, 78/100, #53 DE, #96 Regional Prospect, #8 Prospect in
general Lohn’s ratings look pretty consistent and accurate, as he fits the mold
of a solid three-star prospect. The
Rivals numerical rating does look somewhat low – he looks like he could be in
the 5.7 range given his speed and strength – but that is just
a high-energy player – he has a terrific motor. He looks to be very stout and tough to
move. His compact size and strength
may make him a better fit as a 3-technique, even if his weight suggests
otherwise. He demonstrates his
strength when he fends off blockers or carries them to the ball carrier, but he
will need to learn how to disengage more quickly on the college level. The video doesn’t show much with
regard to pass-rush moves, but Lohn is very quick off of the ball – so
quick that many of his opponents are beat at the snap of the ball. Agility and flexibility will need to be
a point of emphasis for Lohn as they will be more tools with which to disengage
from blockers, aside from his strength.
Any type of shoulder-turn move such as technically sound "swim" move
combined with his strength would take Lohn’s game up a few notches.
ends up on The Farm, he will likely be a more run-defense-oriented defensive
end. He will not likely be able to
gain enough size to play the nose in our 3-4 defense, so he will end up on the
perimeter. Thus, in order to gain
consistent playing time at that position, he will need to develop his pass-rush
technique. Against the run, his
strength and body type will give offensive linemen fits when they try to move
him. Consequently, Lohn’s
earliest work on the defensive line will likely come in short-yardage
situations. It will probably take
him a couple of seasons to complete his game, so he may not be a complete
full-time player until his redshirt sophomore or redshirt junior year. That notwithstanding, he has the motor
and aggressiveness to be a terrific special teamer, and he may be able to use
any special teams exploits to gain regular playing time by the end of his
redshirt freshman year.
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