Reese Dismukes, Center
Reese was the bedrock of Auburn's offensive line for four years. His first start was game one of his true freshman year, the first of 50 starts he would rack up though the rest of his career. He was suspended for the first game of 2012 and missed another game that year due to injury, but really, nothing went well for Auburn that year. He was not only a starter but also a captain for every game of his junior and senior seasons and finished his career with the Rimington Trophy as the country's best center.
SB Nation's NFL Draft Editor Dan Kadar has him rated at the 148th best player in this year's draft, which would put him in the middle of the fifth round.
By the numbers
Measuring an offensive line with stats is difficult. Assigning value to an individual on that line in nearly impossible. So instead, let me throw in a mix of individual and team stats with new and old metrics.
With experience and a functional offense, Dismukes helped turn Auburn into the best rushing team in the country in 2013 and second best in the conference in 2014.
According to Auburn's official site, he recorded 124 knockdowns in 2013 and graded above 90% for the season as a whole. And in 2014, he was part of an offensive line that ranked in the top 15 of several of Football Outsider's Offensive Line Stats which try to parse out the line's contribution to the running game.
Here are the numbers Reese put up at the 2015 NFL Combine.
|40 YD||10 YD||225 BENCH||VERTICAL JUMP||BROAD||SHUTTLE||3-CONE DRILL|
And here is what that looks like compared to other centers in years past.
He's a little small for a center but his numbers in some events were actually quite good, especially the broad jump and vertical jump. And I think I'd rather have an explosive center rather than a fast one, right?
Strengths and weaknesses
Smarts, effort, and consistency. Just ask Auburn's offensive line coach J.B. Grimes. "...The combination of how he plays, his physical and mental toughness and how smart he is, I believe he's the best I've ever had." And at the Remington Trophy Ceremony, he said, "Consistency is the best description of Reese. I've never seen him take a lazy step on a football field. He's the same every single day, and that's a pleasure to coach."
Beyond that and based on "eye tests" by me and others, he does well in both run blocking and pass protection. He doesn't get fooled by twists or stunts by defensive lines and he has the ability to reach those second level blocks that are necessary for zone running teams.
I'm sure there are some NFL scouts that don't trust what their eyes tell them because of the offense Auburn runs. Add that to his smallish physical measurements and you might begin to question whether or not his all-star collegiate career will translate to the pro game.
Highlights for offensive linemen are almost as hard to come by as stats, but when one wins the Remington Trophy, there's bound to be something out there. Nick Marshall had lots of success with QB Draws last year and Reese was a big reason why.
And here's a video (courtesy of Draft Breakdown) focusing on Dismuke's play vs LSU in 2014, a game which Auburn won 41-7.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday, 30 April 2015, at 8pm EST / 7pm CDT.