General managers looking for a solid offensive lineman capable of starting at the next level should go to the SEC film first; more “big uglies” were picked from teams currently in the SEC (including Missouri and Texas A&M) over the past five drafts than from any other conference. Though many of the league’s most talented players get the recognition they deserve, scouts can find lesser-known talents who end up contributing heavily on Sundays. Sullen’s size and strength as a run-blocker give him a chance to become one of those mid-to-late round steals.
It’s not as though Sullen wasn’t highly thought-of as a high school recruit, as the all-state pick from Auburn could have gone to many different schools. But he stayed at home to play for the Tigers, sitting behind veteran players his first two years in The Plains; he played in 26 games but only starting one contest (against Ball State in 2009). Sullen started 11 of the team’s 13 games at right guard in 2011, however, causing NFL teams to pay close attention to his skill set.
Tall, long, powerful guard prospect with a thick overall build. Plays with a wide base. Often comes low and hard out of his stance to gain leverage despite his height. Better feet than his build would indicate, effective as a zone-blocker and can execute a reach-block surprisingly well to get the angle. Mirrors while engaged in pass pro, brings a punch, and anchors strong against bulls. Controls his man with his upper body on zone or power run plays. Has intensity to drive defenders to the ground when gaining the advantage.
Height is a disadvantage in the leverage game if he’s unable to maintain bend. Sticks to linebackers on combos, but simply lacks agility to adjust to quick defenders in space. Mirroring one-on-one against quicker NFL tackles might be an issue, must prove lateral agility and recovery speed if missing his punch.
This big-bodied SEC lineman took time to get on the field, starting just one game in his first two seasons, and might not be considered an elite prospect by most teams. But like many others before him, Sullen’s size and toughness will get him on scouts’ radars, and if he shows better athleticism than anticipated through the draft process, some team will take a chance on him in the mid-to-late rounds.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.