NFL Draft

2020 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland

From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#76 Ezra Cleveland/OT Boise State – 6’6 311

The Good

– Well-built frame with enough length (33 3/8 inch arms) to play tackle
– Highly impressive athlete, smooth, coordinated, and rare fluidity for his size and position
– Gets out of his stance consistently quickly, able to get depth/width on his kickset and makes it look effortless
– Feet/hand use work together, maintains a great base with knee bend
– Handles speed rushes with ease, seals edge effectively and rarely beat at the top of the arc
– Good run blocker who works well in space, climbs to 2nd level and sticks on contact
– Desire to finish his blocks, overwhelms smaller ends/linebackers and drives feet on contact, playing to whistle and shows some nasty to his game
– Overall, technical player who shows great refinement in his punch, placement, ability to repunch and anchor against bull rushes
– Steady player who doesn’t show many flaws in his game
– Lots of starting experience
– Tested at an elite level at the Combine

The Bad

– Struggles more against power rushes/rushers than speed and finesse, can get outlveraged by bull rushes and expose chest
– Can get beat on inside rushes and counters, will struggle to mirror against them
– Bit lower level of competition, hard to find him going against top pass rushers
– Small hands for frame (nine inches)
– Not a dominant, imposing run blocker
– Seems a bit tall and upright out of a three point stance, teams may tweak it

Bio

– Three-year starter for the Broncos, 40 in total
– Two-time Conference First-Team selection
– 4.93 40, 4.46 short shuttle at Combine
– Three-star recruit out of HS
– Played basketball and wrestled in high school

Tape Breakdown

The Steelers showed interest in Cleveland, wanting to bring him in for a pre-draft visit for the coronavirus pandemic changed those plans. Their interest is well-founded. Cleveland, funny as it is to think about, would be a great fit in Pittsburgh. But thinking about it is as close as it’s going to get to happening. After watching his tape, it’s hard to imagine him falling anywhere near #49.

In a word, as I wrote above, Cleveland is smooth. Athletic, his testing indicates that, but it translates to the tape. His movement is effortless. He’s quick out of his stance, plays with a great base, and easily dominates the edge. Wins routinely. He’s the left tackle in all these upcoming clips.

 

Hands and feet work together and he’s coordinated, rarely on the ground on his own accord. As a run blocker, he isn’t dominant, but more than functional and plays with an edge and desire to finish.

 

It’s hard to find a lot of flaws in his game. My notes are riddled with plays, nearly 90% of them positive. You see the same guy every single week. The one area I’d note is that he can struggle against inside moves. Will struggle to change direction and seems to sit on the outside rush a little more.

 

This tackle class is one of the best over the last 10-15 years, meaning Cleveland’s name has gotten lost in the shuffle. Playing out west in Boise doesn’t help either. But in any other year, he’d be a slam dunk first round pick and to me, should still sneak into the back end of Round 1.

My player comp is a bold one but I see the next Joe Staley.

Projection: Late First Round

Games Watched: at Troy (2018), vs Florida State, vs Air Force, vs Wyoming

Previous 2020 NFL Draft Player Profiles
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WR Denzel Mims WR James Proche EDGE Bradlee Anae TE Sean McKeon WR Michael Pittman
IOL Darryl Williams RB Cam Akers OG Ben Bredeson EDGE Alton Robinson EDGE Josh Uche
WR Tyler Johnson OT Josh Jones DT Davon Hamilton TE Colby Parkinson WR Devin Duvernay
DT Leki Fotu T Austin Jackson RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire ATH Lynn Bowden Jr. C Lloyd Cushenberry III
EDGE Jonathan Greenard NT Benito Jones S Ashtyn Davis WR Van Jefferson EDGE Jabari Zuniga
WR Quartney Davis DL Justin Madubuike TE Albert Okwuegbunam TE Hunter Bryant RB Sewo Olonilua
iOL Tyler Biadasz iOL Jake Hanson DT Larrell Murchison NT Bravvion Roy DL Jason Strowbridge
TE Charlie Woerner NT Rashard Lawrence OG Logan Stenberg OLB Zack Baun RB Jonathan Taylor
OLB Darrell Taylor WR Jauan Jennings TE Adam Trautman OL Robert Hunt WR KJ Hill
OG Damien Lewis ILB Malik Harrison DL Jordan Elliott TE Devin Asiasi DT Ross Blacklock
OG John Simpson S Kyle Dugger TE Thaddeus Moss LB Cam Brown WR Antonio Gandy-Golden
WR Chase Claypool TE Harrison Bryant EDGE Curtis Weaver WR Gabriel Davis RB Zack Moss
LB Logan Wilson WR Isaiah Hodgins WR Jalen Reagor OC Matt Hennessy LB Evan Weaver
EDGE Julian Okwara QB Jake Fromm EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson RB DeeJay Dallas LB Joe Bachie
LB Troy Dye OT Matt Peart WR Omar Bayless S Geno Stone OL Jonah Jackson
S K’Von Wallace S Jeremy Chinn RB Anthony McFarland WR Freddie Swain DB L’Jarius Sneed
DB Terrell Burgess  S Antoine Winfield Jr. OT Lucas Niang OG Kevin Dotson WR Justin Jefferson
RB Patrick Taylor Jr. WR Tee Higgins RB Brian Herrien OT Isaiah Wilson RB LeVante Bellamy
WR Kendrick Rogers EDGE Trevis Gipson WR Kajila Lipscomb RB Tony Jones Jr. TE Dalton Keene
S Alohi Gillman CB Darnay Holmes OL Tyre Phillips EDGE Jonathan Garvin
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