I got in touch with several writers on the college football blogs. I wanted to get their thoughts on the Redskins newest draft picks and ask a few more revealing questions about how these players fit on the team and their chances of making an impact either immediately or down the line. Mr. Sanchez of Dawg Sports gave us some great information regarding UDFA Tyler Catalina.
Cadillactica: Could you give us your impression of what the Georgia coaches thought of Catalina?
Mr. Sanchez: I presume they liked him, as I can't speak to specifics in the locker room. But he came in and stayed starting despite his struggles. So he clearly impressed in practice.
Cadillactica: Can you give us a rundown of Catalina's strengths and weaknesses?
Mr. Sanchez: He's big and strong. He played LT almost exclusively in Athens and was exposed frequently by speed on the edge. So you do not want him on either end against NFL pass rushers unless you have a Kirk Cousins death wish. But he was an effective run blocker and could work well on the interior. The tools are there to be a solid NFL guard, particularly as he fills out his frame entering mid-20s. But having not seen him play in those tight quarters I'm not sure how well he adapts to the differences coming inside.
Cadillactica: He has an uphill battle to make the team but if he can fit well into the Redskins power run scheme he has a shot. Being versatile is also a plus, can he play another position if needed?
Mr. Sanchez: I'd doubt it. As said, he's been a tackle at Georgia and Rhode Island before that. But he did so poorly against the better SEC edge rushers, I wouldn't trust him even on the right outside. And his length makes playing center a tricky ask. So right or left guard seems his only home.
Cadillactica: The Redskins are trying to build the Hogs 2.0. With Trent Williams, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses entrenched as the starters they are well on their way. Can you speak specifically to Catalinas run blocking and his attitude on the field?
Mr. Sanchez: He never quit on plays, even when outmatched, so the attitude is good. And as said above, he gets good push run blocking and Georgia used a more physical blocking scheme this year, driving DL off the ball. We had significantly more success running to the outside as opposed to up the middle, too. But again, he'll have to adjust to the different steps and angles against interior as opposed to edge blocking.
Cadillactica: Could you sum up his play in a single word or phrase?
Mr. Sanchez: Slow, Derek Barnett, now an Eagle, squared off against him often so see for yourself.
It sounds like Catalina is a good kid and a hard worker but it's clear he has a very long way to go. I asked specifically about versatility because I think that is the key for him making the practice squad if not the roster. It sounds like he is not even a backup level NFL tackle with his issues with speed rushers off the edge so he will have to make his living at guard. I don’t know much about him but I’m relying on Mr. Sanchez’s information him being the Georgia fan that he is. I think he will have to grow very fast to provide competition to Kyle Kalis, much less Arie Kuandijo. Let’s wish for the best and see what Coach Callahan can do with this young man.