Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Eugene Monroe
Eugene Monroe (OT)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 309
College: Virginia
Conference: ACC
Hometown: South Plainfield, NJ
High School: Plainfield
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Jacksonville Jaguars
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 8 (8)
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Pick Analysis: The Jaguars go for the most polished tackle prospect on the board. Though Monroe is highly regarded as a pass blocker, he is equally adept at creating a push in the running game. With the Jaguars hoping to return to their power running attack, Monroe gives them another pile-pusher in the lineup.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

From a family of 16 children that included 10 brothers, Monroe and his siblings could have fielded a team of their own.


Monroe overcame knee problems that slowed him during the 2006 and '07 seasons, and was one of the most dominating linemen in the college game during his final campaign. The Cavaliers struggled, but their offensive line leader excelled, producing 16 touchdown-resulting blocks for an offense that scored only 23 times in 2008.


Many scouting departments labeled Monroe as a certain early first-round draft selection, especially based on his 2008 performance and ability to remain healthy throughout his senior year. Many of those experts feel that his strength, technique and hand placement is superior to former Virginia first-round offensive linemen, D'Brickashaw Ferguson (New York Jets) and Branden Albert (Kansas City).


At Plainfield High School, Monroe was rated the best offensive lineman in the country by numerous recruiting services. The U.S. Army, USA Today, Parade, EA Sports and Super Prep All-American choice received a five-star prospect rating from both Scout.com and Rivals.com. He was the third-rated overall prospect, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com, and ranked second overall among high school football players, by College Football News.


The top-rated player of Super Prep's Elite 50 list, Monroe added Scout.com East Hot 100 list honors. He was named Super Prep's Northeast Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, adding top player in New Jersey recognition by Super Prep, Scout.com and Rivals.com. He was a first-team All-State pick by the Newark Star-Ledger as a senior and a first-team All-State selection as a junior. The offensive lineman did not allow any quarterback sacks during his final three seasons as a starter.


As a true freshman, Monroe appeared in 12 games for Virginia in 2005. He lined up mostly behind All-American D'Brickashaw Ferguson at left offensive tackle, but also saw action at right guard and on the placement-kick unit. He played briefly in two games as a defensive tackle in short-yardage situations, but did not record a tackle.


Primed to replace Ferguson at left tackle in 2006, Monroe suffered a dislocated kneecap in April camp and underwent surgery. He was slow to recover, but showed his "true warrior" attitude by playing in all 12 games, including six starts (seven total) at left tackle. He posted 39 knockdowns with eight touchdown-resulting blocks and graded 84.43% for blocking consistency (81.2% overall) in the contests he started while allowing just four quarterback pressures and no sacks on 345 pass plays.


Monroe missed two games in 2007 after injuring his knee late in the Georgia Tech clash, but still earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition. He led the team with an 87.09% grade for blocking consistency, playing on a line that featured All-American offensive guard Branden Albert (Albert graded 83.5% in 2007). The left tackle registered 55 knockdowns and led ACC linemen with 15 touchdown-resulting blocks, as he did not allow any sacks and gave up just one pressure on 428 pass plays.


A consensus All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference preseason selection entering his senior season, Monroe was one of the few bright spots, as the Cavaliers struggled on offense throughout the 2008 campaign. He was the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, the highest honor to be bestowed on an Atlantic Coast Conference lineman. He set school single-season records with 16 touchdown-resulting blocks and was the first Cavalier to register over 100 knockdowns/key blocks (105) in a season.


High School

Attended Plainfield (N.J.) High School, playing football for head coach Clinton Jones...


Rated the best offensive lineman in the country by numerous recruiting services...U.S. Army, USA Today, Parade, EA Sports and Super Prep All-American choice...Received a five-star prospect rating from both Scout.com and Rivals.com...Rated third overall in the nation, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com...Ranked second overall among high school football players, by College Football News...Was the top-rated player on Super Prep's Elite 50 list...Added Scout.com East Hot 100 list honors...Named Super Prep's Northeast Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, adding top player in New Jersey recognition by Super Prep, Scout.com, and Rivals.com...First-team All-State choice by the Newark Star-Ledger as a senior and a first-team All-State selection as a junior...Did not allow any quarterback sacks during his final three seasons as a starter.


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Analysis

Positives: Prototypical left tackle build -- good height, long arms and a thick lower body. Good feet, and keeps them moving in pass protection to mirror his man. Rarely gets beat, handling bull rushes as well as most inside and outside moves with ease. Keeps his balance. Blocks down inside often to take defensive tackles out of the play. Able to neutralize linebackers at the second level. Shifts to tight end on some strong-side run plays in order to use his strength and athleticism. Blocks through the whistle, often blocking two or three jerseys on one play when on the move.


Negatives: A bit bigger in the middle than you'd like. Tends to catch ends instead of using his punch to keep them off balance. Must improve his awareness of inside blitzers or late rushers when plays break down. Could get to second level or moving targets a little more quickly and sustain blocks better in the open field.


Compares To: WALTER JONES, Seattle -- Both players are blessed with excellent athleticism and agility, along with the quick feet to mirror speedy edge rushers. Monroe is a solid run blocker, plays on his feet with very good balance and has excellent body control. He has the strength to gain position when working in-line and creates and widens rush lanes. He is capable of staying on his feet and sustaining blocks, using his hand strength well to lock on and control his man. He competes until the whistle and plays with good aggression. His field vision and awareness are evident by his ability to pick up line games and blitzes. His body control lets him readjust and deliver crunching blocks in the second level. With his fluid body flexibility, he has no problem sinking his hips and anchoring to protect the pocket. By remaining healthy as a senior, he has the athletic ability and pedigree to be the first offensive lineman taken in the 2009 NFL Draft.


Injury Report

2005: Suffered a patella tendon strain in his left knee while practicing for an all-star game (1/11).


2006: Suffered a left kneecap dislocation during April camp (4/01), undergoing surgery on 4/07. He returned to practice by August camp, but was slow to recover until later in the season.


2007: Injured his knee late in the fourth quarter vs. Georgia Tech (9/24), sitting out the next two games vs. Pittsburgh and Middle Tennessee State.


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