Todd Herremans is finally moving out to OT. It has been a move that many speculated would be made and had been talked about for a while amongst fans. But now that its actually happened we have to look at how this might work out. Adam Caplan seems to be optimistic about the move but he, like Dave Spadaro, seems to have a very optimistic view on anything Eagles related.
Todd Herremans certainly has the build of an OT. He is 6’6″, 300 pounds and has 33″ arms. Some people have said he has short arms but his arm length in comparison to others places him with players like Jason Peters, Chad Clifton, Sam Baker, Matt Light, Jordan Gross, Joe Thomas, David Diehl, Eric Winson and Michael Oher. Clearly his arm length will not be a hinderance for Herremans.
Todd Herremans has played LT in 5 games on his career, he played 4 of them in 2005 when he stepped in for an injured Tra Thomas. He started one at LT against San Diego in 2009. In those games he allowed 2 sacks. Based on some of the scouting reports I’ve read on Todd Herremans coming out of Saginaw Valley State the knocks on Todd were concerns about his foot speed, waist bending and his hand usage. You can read the entire scouting report here.
I believe that as he has improve in the NFL he has completely quelled those concerns. Todd has lost weight and now weighs around 300 pounds (per Adam Caplan), thus I have reason to believe his agility has improved. And considering that Todd has been starting now for five years and I’ve watched him I do think that he has learned how to bend at the knees and get his hands up faster.
When I try and picture how Todd Herremans is going to perform I keep drawing parallels to big ‘ole Jon Runyan. Much like Runyan, Todd has a mean streak, just ask Chris Canty. Just like Jon Runyan, Todd Herremans isn’t the most fleet of foot but is savvy and smart. Todd Herremans is a good blocker in space and he can move people in the run game just like Jon Runyan did. I expect Todd Herremans to be a rock on the right side of this line just like he was at left guard. I’m not expecting any all pro efforts but I’m expecting an upgrade over Winston Bustice and Queen Dunlap. Justice is a big man but he gets knocked around because he has a weak base and he really isn’t a good run blocker. King Dunlap is a GIANT man who can move people in the run game but he is a sieve in pass protection if Andy Reid isn’t helping him with running backs and tight ends.
This move doesn’t come without its effects on the rest of the offensive line. Evan Mathis is going to step up in the LG spot, he is a criminally underrated player who wasn’t used in Cincinnati because the organization is completely inept. According to ProFootballFocus, Evan Mathis has played 724 snaps the past two years and has not allowed a sack. He has performed well in the run game as well, in the 7 games that Evan Mathis has started over the past two seasons, Cedric Benson put up 177 carries, 761 yards, 4.2 yards per carry and 5 touchdowns. In games where Evan Mathis did not start, Cedric Benson put up 445 carries, 1601 yards, 3.5 yards per carry and 8 touchdowns.
The move means that Ryan Harris is very clearly not making this roster. It also makes it seem as if Winston Justice isn’t going to be ready for the season and he might even be cut at this point. At this point it doesn’t look like King Dunlap and Winston Justice are both going to be on the 53 man roster at the start of the season, one of them is going to be gone and it looks like its going to be Justice.
The move also frees up a guard spot. It looks like Julian Vandervelde is going to sneak onto the roster now. Mike McGlynn has played miserably this preseason, he looks lost in the new scheme out there. Plus, Vandervelde is one of Howard Mudd’s ‘guys’.
The Eagles are going to be able to run the ball behind the right side of the line. Between Todd Herremans and Danny Watkins the Eagles have upgraded the run blocking on the right side immensely. ProFootballFocus gave Todd Herremans a +7.0 grade in run blocking last year, 8th highest in the NFL from the OG spot. One of the biggest assets that Danny Watkins brings to the table is his run blocking ability, he has a thick base and a powerful lower body so he doesn’t get rocked backwards and he can move people in the run game. That was one of the things Watkins did best at Baylor. Now the Eagles can run on both sides of the line with Jason Peters and Evan Mathis on one side and Danny Watkins and Todd Herremans on the other. Great news.
If Todd Herremans performs as the Eagles expect him to perform it likely means that Brent Celek isn’t going to be used as a blocker as much this year. This spells good things for the intermediate passing game that struggled at times last year.