• Pete Barlow

Christian Darrisaw 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Updated: Feb 24

Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw has been quickly rising up 2021 NFL Draft boards and continues to see his stock rise. Here we look at why Darrisaw is so highly coveted, but also highlight areas for improvement, and assess where he projects to be taken as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches.

By Pete Barlow from the NFL Draft Punk Podcast.

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Christian Darrisaw NFL Draft Profile


Christian Darrisaw - OT, Virginia Tech

Height – 6’5”

Weight – 314lbs

Class – Senior

Hometown – Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Biography


Darrisaw took the scenic route to get to college football after being a lowly regarded two-star prospect coming out of High School. Receiving only three offers (all from FCS schools – Morgan State, North Carolina Central & Central Connecticut State) before Virginia Tech made their interest known, Darrisaw could have easily slipped through the net and not be receiving the national recognition he is now.


After committing to the Hokies and attending Fork Union Military Academy for a semester for academic purposes, the laid-back tackle prospect has flourished and developed into one of the top offensive line prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. Darrisaw has improved year-on-year and this culminated with recognition in the All-ACC First Team for the 2020 season.


Strengths


In Virginia Tech’s run-heavy offense, Darrisaw’s development as a three-year starter has made him an asset in the ground game. His ability to make reach blocks is elite. Using a quick first step and flexible hips he routinely positions himself to seal running lanes. Impressively strong hands consistently find the target and unbalance defenders allowing Darrisaw to take his defender for a walk. His grip strength and lateral movement is sufficient to allow him to usually sustain blocks so the defender is taken out of the play. Teams running a zone blocking scheme will fall in the love with the ability to locate and engage targets at the second level. There are many examples of Darrisaw leading the way downfield using his speed and heavy hands to clear the way for explosive plays.


In pass protection, the previously mentioned heavy hands are now put to good use to redirect pass rushers and allow Darrisaw to reset for the second effort by the defender. His anchor, once engaged, is adequate so bull rushers enjoy little success. He shows good lateral mobility to cut off inside counters.


Weaknesses


The Hokies’ offensive scheme has not necessarily allowed Darrisaw to develop in pass pro on the same level as his run blocking. Darrisaw would routinely down-block defensive tackles whilst responsibility for edge defenders would fall on tight ends or pulling guards.


The 2020 season did show improvement when left one-on-one with edge rushers as 2019 would often show poor technique. Modest kick-slide depth and tentative hands would get Darrisaw in trouble – the Miami Hurricanes pass rushing duo Jonathan Garvin & Trevon Hill was a prime example as they caused problems all game.


There were still some issues in 2020 as on deeper pass sets Darrisaw can overly rely on his strong punch and stop moving his feet near the top of his arc. Thankfully for Darrisaw’s draft stock, these examples are few and far between and the tools are there so the development can continue.


Another area I would like to see improved upon would be awareness when he is uncovered, he needs to be able to recognise when help is needed elsewhere on the line. B-Gap pressures have been surrendered by Virginia Tech as Darrisaw was not ready to support his left guard as he was unaware assistance was needed until it was too late. Contrast this with Alijah Vera-Tucker whose head is on a swivel looking for threats and it is a noticeable weakness.


Overview


The ACC had plenty of draftable pass rush prospects in the 2020 season and I would have liked to see Darrisaw tested more to give us a better idea of the progress in his pass blocking technique. Darrisaw was injured early during the Pitt game, depriving the opportunity to see him head-to-head with Patrick Jones II & Rashad Weaver.


During the Wake Forest game, Carlos Basham lined up more over the right tackle though Darrisaw did have some good reps against him which was pleasing to see. There is enough evidence to suggest that the traits he has shown - good lateral mobility, strong hands, sufficient anchor - along with the major leap from 2019 to 2020 that he should be able to hold up at the next level.


At the moment though, I would be wary of leaving Darrisaw on an island in pass protection in the NFL. Ultimately a team running a zone blocking scheme should show patience and plan to assist in pass protection for the short term to be able to reap the benefits that his run blocking will inevitably bring.


Projection


1st Round Pick

Film Room


2020

Virginia Tech vs Duke - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L16KyDBw3o

Virginia Tech vs Wake Forest - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7Cx5ksqUFI

Virginia Tech vs Boston College - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f8hhKfzs88

Virginia Tech vs North Carolina - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ3ggXxrZJI


2019

Virginia Tech vs Miami - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oscaklx4GFs&t=1843s

Virginia Tech vs Virginia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQF7vNm-Rsg&t=1272s

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