Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Max Unger
Max Unger (OT)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 309
College: Oregon
Conference: Pac-12
Hometown: Kailua-Kona, HI
High School: Hawaii Preparatory Academy
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Seattle Seahawks
Round: 2
Pick (Overall): 17 (49)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The former Duck is a multi-positional player capable of playing all of the positions along the line. He has the power to handle the stronger players at the point of attack, and he's a potential first-year starter as an interior player.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

The Pac-10 has been known to feature standout offensive linemen to supply to the National Football League every draft, but organizations looking for a quality center in 2009 have spent more time than usual out on the West Coast. Unger and California's Alex Mack have long been regarded as the two elite centers in the collegiate ranks, as both have garnered numerous postseason awards. Based on their stellar performances throughout the week of practices at the Senior Bowl, a team selecting either of these players is sure to find their center issues will soon be resolved.


Over the past three seasons, either Unger or Mack has received first-team All-Pac-10 Conference honors, with the other settling for second-team. Both are strikingly similar in size (6:04.5), weight (both are more than 300 pounds) and strength (Unger ranks second on the team with a 363-pound power clean lift and Mack holds the Cal squad record with a 374-pound lift). They have also provided excellent blocking in the middle of the line for their rushing attacks, as both have registered double-digit totals in touchdown-resulting blocks in each of their seasons as starters.


Unger ranked among nation's top 50 offensive guards by Rivals.com as a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. The All-State choice did not begin playing organized football until the ninth grade, but in only his second season he was a member of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's 2002 second-team All-State squad. Playing on both sides of the ball during his last two campaigns, he received first-team All-Big Island Interscholastic Federation honors in both years. As a junior, he recorded 100 knockdown blocks as Hawaii Prep captured the Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF) title with an 8-2 record.


Unger enrolled at the University of Oregon, where he spent the 2004 season playing for the scout team, competing on the left side of the offensive line at guard and tackle. He took over left tackle duties as a redshirt freshman, starting all 12 games. He paced the Ducks with 80 knockdowns and 10 touchdown-resulting blocks. His protection of the quarterback's blind side helped the team rank eighth in the nation in passing offense (304.5 ypg) and 12th in scoring offense (34.5 ppg).


Unger remained at left tackle for the 2006 campaign. He produced 11 more touchdown-resulting blocks and delivered a team-high 94 knockdowns. He was not responsible for any of the 16 sacks allowed by the front wall, which was the second-lowest figure in the Pac-10 Conference and 12th in the nation.


Unger shifted to center in 2007, earning All-American first-team honors in his first year at his new position. He was named the recipient of the Ed Moshofsky Award for the second consecutive year, an honor given to the team's outstanding offensive lineman. He was limited in preseason drills due to hernia surgery, but was fully recovered by the season opener. He posted 90 knockdowns, including 12 touchdown-resulting blocks. Most of those blocks came for the rushing attack that ranked sixth in the nation with an average of 251.69 yards per game.


As a senior, Unger started all 13 games, including 11 at center. He also lined up at left tackle in the Washington and UCLA contests. He matched last year's total of 90 knockdowns and delivered 16 touchdown-resulting blocks for one of the nation's premier ground games. The Ducks led the Pac-10 and finished second in the nation with an average of 280.08 yards per game on the ground. They also led the league in scoring (41.92 ppg, seventh in the country) and total offense (484.85 ypg). For his efforts, the OU center was again named to several All-American teams, in addition to earning All-Pac 10 Conference recognition.


High School

Attended Hawaii Preparatory (Honaunau, Hi.) Academy, playing football for head coach Tom Goodspeed...Ranked among nation's top 50 offensive guards by Rivals.com as a senior...The All-State choice did not begin playing organized football until the ninth grade, but in only his second season, he was a member of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's 2002 second-team All-State squad...Playing on both sides of the ball during his last two years, he received first-team All-Big Island Interscholastic Federation honors both times...As a junior, he recorded 100 knockdown blocks as Hawaii Prep captured the Big Island Interscholastic Federation (BIIF) title with an 8-2 record.


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Analysis

Positives: Understands positioning and can turn and seal his opponent away from the ballcarrier. Sustains his block through the whistle. Excellent hand placement, balance, anchor and mirroring technique as a pass blocker. Good technician who relies on his short-area quickness rather than size or strength for his success. Recognizes blitzes and picks them up consistently. Quick off the snap and able to get his hands into the defender's chest smoothly. Outside at tackle, has at least adequate quickness out of his stance to maintain a wall for the passer. Effective cut blocker inside and gets off the ground quickly. Few collegiate centers have his size and effectiveness on inside traps as well as pulls outside the tackle. Excellent quickness and balance getting out of his stance. Good foot speed to find targets downfield. Athletic enough to adjust to linebackers and safeties in space. Uses his feet and proper angles, instead of pure strength, to sustain. Very durable. Team leader on and off the field. Versatile enough to play left tackle and center at Oregon, moving inside to make room for JUCO transfer Feneki Tupou before 2007.


Negatives: Oregon's offensive scheme hid his deficiencies in drive blocking. Better suited inside than out. Adept at the shotgun snap, but needs experience with the quarterback under center. Will whiff in space when he overextends.


Injury Report

2007: Missed spring drills after undergoing hernia surgery.


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