Today's prospect is LUKE MARQUARDT, OT Azusa Pacific University, 6’8 322lbs. Recruited to play basketball player, but made the switch to TE and then left tackle. Sound familiar? Very Jason Peters-ish. ASU not exactly known for churning out NFL players. the last player drafted out of APU was former Kansas City Chiefs star running back Christian “the Nigerian Nightmare” Okoye, in the 2nd round of the 1987 draft.
The Good: Prototypical monster NFL LT, with an extremely rare athleticism and flexability for a man his size. He has the long arms you want in a LT, and incredibly nimble footwork. For a no name kid, prepare to watch him fly up the draft board. Adding to the intruige of this prospect is the fact that he is coached by NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jackie Slater, who instilled an extremely high level of technique in Marquardt for a player at the NAIA level. He is believed to have a frame that can add bulk (which he needs) without losing that freak athleticism. Started at tackle the past 3 seasons.
He does need to add bulk although its not expected to be a problem. Like all young men his size, he has struggled getting low against speed rushers. However he isnt stiff, displaying great flexability so this kid really does have a tremendous set of tools to work with, and you cant find many players in this draft with a higher upside then him.
For fans that want to ship Foles away after 6 games, this guy is not for you. He is a stash away, and develope type of prospect who might even spend a season on the practice squad. However, if you see his size, and athleticism you will drool at envisioning the potential payoff down the line for what this nimble, BEAR of a man might become. It might cost a mid round pick, but this kid has an endless amount of potential. He has a chance to one day be significantly better then where he will be drafted. Had this kid been playing football since his freshman year in high school, I would bet he would have been an SEC player!
So far, the two late round prospects on my EAGLES GOTTA HAVE LIST are: Dexter McCoil S Tulsa, and Luke Marquardt OT. I will be adding names to my late round Eagles must have list in the weeks leading up through the draft. There are Gems to be had late in the draft, a good front office can uncover future stars. With our new VP of Player Personel, there is a new level of hope leading up to the draft.
Luke talks as he gets ready for the combine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTe0ybd1Rfs
4 game tapes: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/610274/#luke-marquardt
You all need to check Marquardt out and get back to me.