Rams Claim C Austin Blythe Off Waivers From Colts

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    Rams Claim C Austin Blythe Off Waivers From Colts

    link: http://nfltraderumors.co/rams-claim-c-austin-blythe-off-waivers-colts/

    The Los Angeles Rams officially claimed C Austin Blythe off of waivers from the Colts on Tuesday.

    Blythe, 24, is a former seventh-round pick of the Colts back in 2016. He’s currently in the second year of his four-year, $2.401 million contract and stands to make a base salary of $540,000 for the 2017 season.

    Indianapolis elected to cut Blythe loose on Monday after they signed a number of players to contracts.

    In 2016, Blythe appeared in eight games for the Colts.


    from the wiki:

    Austin Blythe (born June 16, 1992) is an American football center and guard who is a free agent. He played college football for Iowa, and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round (248th overall) of the 2016 NFL draft. Blythe was a four-year starter at Iowa, appearing in 52 games. As a senior for Iowa’s Big Ten West champions, he was one of three finalists for the Rimington Award, given annually to the nation’s top center. He was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten player in 2015, and was a third-team Associated Press All-America. As a rookie in 2016, he served as a backup center behind fellow rookie Ryan Kelly. In 2016, Blythe played in eight games with one start.





    In the sports world, Iowa is primarily known for two things: producing NFL offensive linemen and high-level wrestling. Blythe, a Williamsburg, Iowa native, is a perfect example of how those things go hand-in-hand. He was a two-time all-state pick in football (123 career tackles, 40 for loss, 14 sacks) and three straight heavyweight wresting titles (setting a state record with 143 pins) in a state that takes the sport very seriously. He put those skills to use in his redshirt freshman season, starting nine games at right guard but missing two due to injury. Blythe didn’t miss any more games during his three final years with the Hawkeyes, starting all 40 games at center. He gained recognition for his play each year, garnering consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore and second team All-Big Ten accolades from league coaches in 2014 and 2015. Blythe was even named as a Rimington Trophy finalist this season.

    40-yard dash: 5.37 seconds
    Vertical: 31 inches
    Broad jump: 8 feet, 3 inches
    Short shuttle: 4.5 seconds
    3-cone drill: 7.53 seconds


    STRENGTHS Four-year starter featuring durability and leadership qualities. Has played center and both guard spots which gives him a mental head­start. Controlled glider up to inside linebackers and plays with plus body control. Patient, confident run blocker who consistently lands his blocks in the center of his targets. Keeps his feet grinding after contact to generate movement and prolonged engagement as a blocker. Sticks to opponents like a shadow and is always bodied up near his man. Excellent outside zone blocker. Uses feet and upper body strength to run gap­-shooters up the field past the quarterback. The Hawkeyes love pulling him and using as lead blocker in space. Technician able to snap and step quickly on reach blocks. Sinks hips and can anchor up against bull rushers. Good functional strength for his size. Played in over 96 percent of team’s offensive snaps over last three years.

    WEAKNESSES Undersized by every standard that NFL teams use for centers. Lack of length and mass is a legitimate concern moving forward. Has played both guard spots and center, but size likely limits him to center only in the league. Teams may view him as fit for zone specific teams which could limit his draft stock. Catches pass rushers rather than punching. Will have to adjust to defensive tackles using length to disrupt his task. Tape shows potential mental mistakes in protection against blitzes.

    DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 6 or 7

    NFL COMPARISON Matt Paradis

    BOTTOM LINE Played with consistency throughout his stint as a four-year starter at Iowa and his 2015 tape is solid from start to finish. While his lack of physical traits could hurt where he is taken in the draft, his functional strength, technical savvy, athleticism and body control should not be ignored as he has all the makings of an eventual NFL starter.

    -Lance Zierlein





    Nolan Nawrocki on Austin Blythe from last years draft guide…

    C / OG AUSTIN BLYTHE, #63 (Sr-5) IOWA GRADE: 5.21 Ht: 6-2 ⅛ | Wt: 298 | 40: 5.36 | Arm: 31 ½ | Hand: 9 ½ History: Married. Iowa native who also competed in track and field and wrestling — won three state wrestling titles. Had his right knee scoped prior to his junior season in high school. Redshirted in 2011. Started 9-of-10 games played at right guard in ’12 — sat out two games while nursing a high left ankle sprain. Shifted to center in ’13, when he started all 13 games. Showed versatility in ’14 when he started all 13 games — first six at center, one at ORG and the final six at left guard. Was a Rimington Trophy finalist in ’15 after starting all 14 games at center. Team captain graduated with a communications degree. ‘

    Strengths: Experienced, four-year starter. Excellent feet and initial quickness off the ball to zone off areas. Explosive climbing to the second level and sealing linebackers, with good body control to adjust to moving targets. Runs his feet through contact. Very efficient pulling and operating in space. Extremely intelligent and football smart — makes all the line calls and is a very quick study. Versatile — has played all three interior line positions. Works hard, is highly competitive and respected as a team leader (four-year member of the leadership council). Can power clean 400-plus pounds and is a weight-room phenom, bench-pressing 225 pounds 29 times at the Combine, more than any other center.

    Weaknesses: Undersized with small hands and extremely short arms that create some issues engaging and sustaining blocks. Lacks bulk and can be overpowered by big-bodied nose tackles and walked back in pass protection. Has some lower-body stiffness and could stand to play with more consistent knee bend in-line. Limited punch.

    Future: Feisty, explosive zone-blocking center who compensates for his lack of mass and length with exceptional quickness, grit and work habits. Is wired to quickly earn a starting job and make a living overcoming his physical limitations.

    Draft projection: Fifth- to sixth-round pick.



    The 2016 seventh-rounder saw limited playing time with the Colts last season, but had strong grades in college.



    The Los Angeles Rams claimed Austin Blythe off waivers from the Colts to up the competition at center, which has been underwhelming in years past.

    Blythe was a seventh-round pick of the Colts in 2016 after being the third-highest-graded center in the nation in 2015.

    During the 2014 season, Blythe played the first seven games at center before moving to guard. Before the switch, his pass-blocking efficiency was the fifth-best, and his two QB pressures allowed were tied for second-fewest.

    The Colts thrust Blythe into the starting guard slot for one game in 2016. He gave up eight QB pressures on 50 pass-blocking snaps


    He gave up eight QB pressures on 50 pass-blocking snaps

    BTW that was at guard against Jax:


    At right guard on Sunday, it was seventh-round pick Austin Blythe making his first NFL start. Blythe played some guard in college but had not seen any action at right guard in the preseason.

    Haeg and Blythe joined fellow rookie Ryan Kelly as 3/5th of Andrew Luck’s starting line against the Jaguars.

    It was a not a great afternoon for the unit.

    Luck was sacked a career-high six times, as the offense could not gather any real production through the game’s first 40 minutes.

    “They fought their butts off,” Luck said of the offensive line following the 30-27 loss, “but by no means was it perfect by anybody on offense.”

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