2020 NFL Draft Profile: Boise State OL Ezra Cleveland
A first rounder?
Could the Mountain West have multiple first-rounders?
Ezra Cleveland was selected in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings with the 58th overall pick.
The big name in the Mountain West for the NFL Draft is Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, but don’t sleep on Boise State offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland who is getting first-round buzz and a small chance he could be the first pick from the Mountain West.
Cleveland was a stable on the Boise State offensive line by being named to the first-team Mountain West twice and honorable mention as a freshman. He falls in line with a legacy of Broncos running game being so good and that is a testament to the offensive line. Boise State’s last four starting running backs were drafted so that goes to Cleveland and the coaching staff.
A multi-year starter and award winner is a good start to show off Cleveland’s strength. His measurables and athleticism, as shown above, are really good compared to others at his offensive line position.
Cleveland played three sports at a high level in high school and being a multi-sport athlete is a plus as it provides versatility. The other two sports he played was baseball and wrestling, and the latter is very similar to football and specifically an offensive lineman.
His upper body strength is well above average and that has to do with his wrestling background. This allows him to hold off a bull or speed rush that is intended to knock him over. Also, his footwork is really good which allows him to move side to side to and focus on a defender, plus he is capable of going downfield a bit and take on a linebacker when the play calls for it on a running play.
There are not many weaknesses with Cleveland but one is that he likes to stand tall of the ball. This means that oncoming defenders who go low to high on his body and knock him around a bit.
He also needs to get stronger from the waist down and then adjust his positioning to allow him to push over defenders off the line and be able to handle an oncoming defender at full speed.
Of the offensive tackles, Cleveland is a top-10 prospect and there have been some mock drafts that project him to be a first round pick. It seems likely he will be at worst a second round pick but who knows with trades and team needs that Cleveland could be a first-rounder.