A Look At 2018 Draft Prospect Mason Cole As A Potential Selection By The Detroit Lions
What Does Mason Cole Have To Offer?
Mason Cole is an offensive lineman that will likely end up in a zone blocking scheme in the NFL. While he does have some pop when pull blocking, Cole does not possess a great amount of strength, which may keep teams with primarily power blocking schemes away. He relies more on his length, awareness, and athletic ability to win his battles in the trenches. His length and ability to block well in space would more likely succeed in a scheme similar to what the Detroit Lions have run under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
It is likely the Michigan product will end up being selected on day three of the 2018 NFL draft. Of the interior offensive lineman available on day three, Cole offers arguably the best ability to pull block. He targets very well in space and does a good job using his hips to turn the defender away from the hole. He is a solid run blocker that relies more on technical ability and positioning than he does power or strength.
Why Is Cole A Day Three Prospect?
As a pass blocker, Cole is really up and down. His feet are heavy and knees look stiff going through 45-degree sets. Granted, he will likely not have to do this set much as a center. But, it did expose a physical limitation that may lower his ceiling as a pass protector. He needs to get more consistent with his hand usage. It got really sloppy during the worst of his tape. Tries to grab and pull too often without having the heavy-handedness or strength to do so consistently.
He needs to clean up his footwork to get better power on his drive blocking. Cleaning up his footwork should be Cole’s first priority his rookie season. Power rushers were especially troublesome for him when crossing his face. Needs to work at widening his base while increasing speed of footwork.
Ultimately, Cole needs to go to a team that is looking for a longer interior lineman with athletic ability. Zone blocking schemes fit him better. However, his lack of strength is a genuine concern, regardless of the scheme he is in. He has the frame to add more weight and improving his footwork can help. But limitations in knee bend and foot quickness could limit Cole’s ceiling to an average starter. In a deep interior line class, he is likely to be a day three selection.