Has good size with a compact, thick build. Has quick hands that does a good job initiating contact both as a run blocker and in pass protection. Has the strength and ability to win in a short-area. Does a nice job redirecting the nose tackle or power move, and can lock on at times with his punch in pass protection. When he gets good initial posiiton off the snap, he shows some leg drive to develop. Does a good job using his size to get position and wall off a defender. Has decent footwork and plays with good base, as he'll only struggle matching up with the most powerful players. Decent athleticism to pull and block on the second level. Has very good mean streak and consistently finishes his blocks.
Is too much of a waist bender, getting overextended when trying to deliver punch to a moving target. Doesn't do a great job when going up against moving targets, particularly on the second level. Not a power player and doesn't show consistent leg drive to move defenders off the ball. At times will get jolted off the snap and doesn't get great extension with his punch in pass protection. Needs to play with better initial hand placement as a run blocker, allowing defenders to get leverage at times. Does a bit too much grabbing at times. Needs to play with better knee bend and does not adjust well in space. Can be iffy on some of his exchanges in the shotgun, despite working in a shotgun-heavy offense.
Blake is a thick, powerful center that works well in a phone booth. He isn't asked to move a lot in Baylor's spread pass attack, and while he flashes the potential as a run blocker, their scheme doesn't always translate well to the next level. The last two promising Baylor blockers: Jason Smith and Danny Watkins have struggled with their initial transitions to the pros, and you wonder if Blake will follow suit. He has enough ability and versatility that he could also play some guard at the next level, if center doesn't work out. He'll turn 27 in November. After graduating from high school, he spent two years at Champlain Regional College, a post-secondary school before turning up at Tyler Junior College in Texas. He's a native of Toronto, and has already been drafted by a CFL team.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/2) vs. TCU: 4 key blocks; Downfield: 1/3; Pull: 1/1; 1 penalty (chop block)
(12/3) vs. Texas: 1 key block, 1 pressure; Downfield: 1/1; Cut: 1/1
(12/29) vs. Washington: 1 key block, 1.5 pressures; Downfield: 1/2
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, center
2010: 13/13, center
2009: 12/12, right tackle
2008: at Tyler JC
Blake is a nice center prospect because he offers a bit more beef than your traditional NFL center. But he worked best in a phone booth and in a similar scheme he may do his best work at the next level. He has the potential to be a starter, but I don't think he'll come in right away and produce there, and instead is a developmental option that may need two or so years before he can really iron the kinks out of his game. He has quick hands, but just needs to refine his technique and punch a bit more to really produce. HIs footwork is adequate, but that also needs some polish. Blake has the strength and size to matchup against the bigger 3-4 nose tackles at the next level, but again I think he needs some work before he's ready to be a starter. If he doesn't work out as a center, he offers enough size and strength to play guard. But his footwork isn't ideal there, and he's probably not a guy that you want as a long-term solution there. But playing on the left side, where he could get more help from the center would definitely improve his chances. At the very least, he can be a solid and versatile backup at all three interior positions. If he does turn into a starter, he'll probably not be one of the top centers in the league, but a solid starter capable of getting the job done.
Chris Spencer, Bears.
Blake offers developmental potential for the Falcons. He offers more size and strength than Hawley does as a potential replacement for McClure. He would definitely get a chance to develop for at least a year before he would compete directly with Hawley for the job. His ability to play guard as well means the Falcons could afford to carry him on the roster as a third center as a rookie. But in truth, he's probably not a better guard prospect than some of the other young reserves on the line, so that if he's beaten by Hawley for the starting gig, he'd just be a backup. But he'd make a good backup. He does have potential to beat Hawley for the job, but given that Hawley would have three years of experience on him, I would probably not give Blake the edge.
Blake is a solid developmental center prospect with enough upside to be a starter, but is more likely to be a good reserve. That means that at the earliest a team could take him in the latter half of the fourth, but he's better value in the fifth round.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Blocking: 6.5
Run Blocking: 5.5
Mean Streak: 7.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.