Will Hernandez Draft Profile

Will Hernandez Draft

Get to know Will: After redshirting in 2013, he has started all 37 games that UTEP has played to the left of the center. Hernandez brings power and relatively light feet for his size, which earned him Freshman All-Conference USA honors in 2014, honorable mention all-conference recognition from league coaches in 2015, and first team All-C-USA accolades the following year. He was also a second-team Associated Press All-American in 2016 and could have left to become an NFL starter after the season.

Strengths:

  • Strong
  • Athletic for size
  • Durable
  • Solid base
  • Strong hands
  • Nimble feet
  • Stop-and-drop anchor
  • Work ethic
  • Football IQ
  • Elite pull-blocker

Analysis: Will Hernandez was a four-year starter at UTEP, playing both guard and center during his time at the school. He has a broad waist with a thick trunk. Hernandez possesses impressive natural movement for his size. Flexible and agile. Knee bender able to unlock his hips and explode into opponents at point of attack. Base is wide and steady. Has the feet and the force to keep run blocks sustained and centered. Contact balance and body control are excellent. Plays with an aggressive, finishing demeanor on every snap. He shows off his impressive upper body strength on tape consistently. If he gets his hands on a defender, they are not getting away. A trait scouts will notice right away is his pulling ability–He is a quality pull blocker and has feet to mirror most pass rushes. Plus lateral movement. Keeps head back and back flat in pass pro. Able to ride opponents beyond the quarterback when they get to his edge. Has an instant stop-and-drop anchor. Loves the game of football–gym and film room junkie.

Weaknesses:

  • Shorter than desired
  • Short arms
  • Comes out of stance too amped up at times
  • Pad level
  • Inside post foot gets stuck in neutral in pass protection

Analysis: Scouts do not question Hernandez’ playing ability but rather his short stature. He has short arms and small hands. Players with good arm length are able to get into his chest. Excitable after snap. Comes out of his stance with lateral hop that can cause him to lose some positioning at times. Strong desire to come out fast and land a heavy blow causes hands to miss their mark and ride up high occasionally. Too willing to initiate contact without gathering feet under him. He needs to play with better pad level in space and on down blocks. In pass pro, inside post foot will get stuck in neutral when counter rushers attack him back inside.

Final Thoughts: Will Hernandez was a four-year starter at left guard and the most highly-decorated offensive linemen in UTEP history. He possesses a rare combination of power, balance, and athletic ability. Will is a plus run blocker with the anchor and footwork to handle himself in pass protection as well. Though he lacks height and length teams would like, it shouldn’t hurt his stock much.

Size: 6’2 348lbs

Draft Rank: No.3 OL

NFL Comparison: Josh Sitton

Draft Projection: Round 1

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