A Look At 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Jemil Demby As A Potential Selection By The Detroit Lions
What Will Jemil Demby Need To Develop In The NFL?
Coming from a smaller program and playing poor competition at Maine puts Jemil Demby at a disadvantage heading into the 2018 NFL Draft. His size is NFL-caliber at 6’5″, 335 lbs, and has the type of size and arm length combination that is coveted by Lions general manager Bob Quinn. However, much of his technical ability is still quite raw and will need a year or two to refine his technique before being trusted with a starter role.
Demby’s hand usage and pad level to this point have been wildly inconsistent. Granted, it was not necessary for his success in college, but it will be paramount to his development in the pros. Hand placement is so crucial to winning the leverage battle early on in the trenches. Working on his hand usage and widening his base will go a long way into turning around his technical skill. When he narrows his base his ability to drive block is minimized. Which leads to blocks being shed earlier than the play is designed for, which led to blown up runs on occasion.
Why Demby Is Worth The Development
As previously mentioned, while his school is small, his size can be quite imposing. When he had his initial hand positioning right, he absolutely dominated defenders in college. His motor will never be questioned as he plays through the whistle on nearly every down. Has a strong mean streak. Demby’s end goal of each play genuinely seems to be to put the defender into the ground.
His hands are absolutely violent. He has a more natural feel in zone blocking or stretch zone runs than he does straight man blocking. Lateral quickness is better than you would expect for someone of this size. Has an ability to clear defenders completely from the play if he is able to engage second level defenders in the screen game or as a pull blocker.
Moving inside from tackle at a pass-happy school, Demby is much more developed in pass protection than he is as a run blocker. This is a reason I could actually see the Lions targeting him if they have yet to address their interior offensive line in rounds 1-3. His length, versatility, and pass blocking ability all fit what Quinn has typically sought in his offensive lineman. While he may not be called to be a starter in the 2018 season, he has one of the highest ceilings of any offensive line prospect that will be available on day three.