NAME – Vladimir Ducasse
Position – Offensive tackle/Guard
College – Massachusetts.
Status – Senior.
Size/Weight – 6-4 3/8, 332 pounds.
Important numbers – 5.21 seconds in 40-yard dash, 29 reps on bench press, 26-inch vertical jump, 7-foot 7-inch broad jump.
Age – 23 in October.
Honors – First-team All-America for Football Championship Series … first-team All-Colonial offense ‘08-’09 … team captain ‘09.
College career – A late comer to football, not playing the game until his junior year in high school, Ducasse developed quickly enough to move onto the college game at UMass. He became a starter as a sophomore and spent the next three seasons handling left tackle.
Stats of note – 43 games/35 starts.
STRENGTHS – Big man with a big body, he plays physically and aggressively … good agility and light on his feet … he’s able to move and play in space … durable guy, who has had no injury problems … feisty nature has him taking on all defenders in his area.
WEAKNESSES – Lack of football experience hurts him at times, as he lacks awareness … fundamentally challenged, he got by at the Division 1-AA or FCS level with his athleticism … does not handle inside moves well and will lose his balance.
THE RIGHT 53? – Ducasse’s journey from his birthplace in Haiti to the NFL is filled with the “right stuff” type of attitudes and sought-after personality traits. Work-ethic is top-notch and so is his desire to improve on a daily basis.
What he said – “I like competing. I’m physical. Up at this level, everybody’s athletic, everybody’s talented, everybody’s fast. They just want to be able to see you finish and be physical, and that’s what I bring to the table.”
End game – There are few players in this year’s draft crop that have an upside that matches Ducasse. It’s a matter of coaching and time now, because he’s shown the willingness to work hard and he has the intelligence to understand the concepts he will be taught. He might be better suited to play guard in the NFL than tackle. But his athletic skills will make him a second-round choice, no later than early in the third round.
ON THE CHIEFS LIST? – Absolutely and should receive some consideration with those two selections in the second round. If he was still there in the third round, Ducasse would be hard to pass up. If the Chiefs view his upside like other teams do, grabbing him and letting him develop could produce a top notch offensive lineman in a year or two … or three.