I endorsed this player this week. I took a beaten. I didn’t care. I think Kyle Long is the real deal and the NFL have an offensive lineman for the next decade.
He will start at guard in 2013 but don’t be surprised if he’s a tackle in 2014.
Long looked to be on the road to professional success as a two-sport high school star in Charlottesville, Va. The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long (84 sacks in 13 seasons) and brother of Chris Long, the former No. 2 overall pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2008, had the freakish size and athleticism to excel as an all-state baseball pitcher and first baseman, as well as an offensive and defensive lineman for back-to-back state champions at St. Annes-Belfield High School.
The lefty pitcher decided to accept a scholarship to Florida State to play baseball after spurning the advances of the Chicago White Sox, who selected him in the 23rd round of the 2008 draft. He lasted only one semester in Tallahassee, however, failing to make grades and eventually being cited for a DUI charge. After spending time at home to ponder his future, he decided to enroll at Saddleback Junior College for the 2010 season. He played defensive end in his first year there (16 tackles, two for loss, sack) and then moved to the offensive line as a sophomore. He chose Oregon over several other FBS suitors coming out of Saddleback, and started 10 out of 12 games for the Ducks on the offensive line despite his relative lack of experience. Applied for a sixth year of eligibility via a medical redshirt, but was denied. Both Howie and Chris Long have referred to Kyle as the best athlete of the family.
Looks the part of an NFL lineman. Has nice height and long, thick arms, which he can extend to keep defenders at bay in pass protection (sometimes using one hand to ward off his man while on the move). Can turn smaller tackles out of the hole with his upper body strength. Decent leg strength and very good flexibility for his height, as well, which helps him drop his hips and anchor and explode from his stance. Excellent mobility given his size, has no issues moving behind the line or pulling in front of plays — hitting multiple targets at times. Solid on combo blocks when maintaining his bend, and also displays the footwork to get the outside angle on run blocks, move well on zone plays, and also sustain while his man is trying to spin out of pass pro blocks. Plays with attitude, backs up his teammates on the field, cleans up piles.
Still new to the game of football, and his play is still a bit unrefined. Doesnt always play with the natural bend he possesses. Overextends off the snap at times trying to land his punch, losing his balance and allowing his man to disengage. Similarly, will lunge at linebackers when he reaches the second level. Struggles to keep his hands inside of the defender, and will catch his assignment. Seems to second guess himself in space or get partial, glancing blows when blocking on the move instead of driving his man to the ground. Rocky start to his college career at Florida State.
The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and current St. Louis Rams end Chris Long is making his name on the offensive line for the Ducks. The two-sport star in high school enrolled at Florida State to play baseball (he was a 23rd round pick of the White Sox in 2008), but struggles there caused him to regroup at home for a while before attending Saddleback Junior College. Even as a one-and-done contributor for the Ducks on the line, Longs combination of size and athleticism wont be ignored by NFL scouts, who will see his great potential as a starting guard or tackle.