Oct 5, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Mekale McKay (2) is congratulated by offensive linesman Sam Longo (60) after he scored a touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. South Florida Bulls defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats 26-20. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Cincinnati Bearcats Offensive Guard Sam Longo

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SEASON REVIEW

Cincinnati Bearcats offensive guard Sam Longo was rock-steady on the interior of UC’s OL in 2013. He of course came over to Clifton from Ohio State and was inserted at guard from his first day of eligibility. Longo hasn’t disappointed since. The guard playing in nearly every game for Cincinnati and was a key cog in the Bearcats boasting one of the best offensive lines during the past couple of seasons. Unfortunately, an injury kept Longo sidelined during his final collegiate game the Belk Bowl. UC could have definitely used him against North Carolina, if the 39-17 beatdown wasn’t evidence enough.

STRENGTHS

  • Size and STRENGTH!!!
  • Run blocking

Like all Cincinnati players in the 2014 draft class, Sam Longo wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. Maybe they should have. The 305 lbs offensive guard notched 47 reps on the bench press and posted a vertical of 33.5 feet. Both would have lead all offensive linemen at the NFL Combine. That certainly caught the attention of NFL scouts and was reminiscent of a player who was a cement wall on the interior of UC’s offensive line. Longo did an exceptional job blocking for Cincinnati runningback and protecting Brendon Kay, although I think his specialty is the former. He is adept at exploding out of his stance, pushing his assignment upfield, and most importantly sliding to the next level. It has helped spring Bearcat runningbacks more than a few times last season.

WEAKNESSES

  • Recent injury

Sam Longo had a fairly healthy career at Cincinnati but was injured prior to the Belk Bowl against North Carolina. It kept him out of the game. Longo injured his foot against UC’s AAC rival Louisville and even though he battled through it and underwent surgery, was forced to miss the Belk Bowl. As mentioned above, the Bearcats could have really used his presence on the interior of the offensive line. The location of this injury is concerning. Longo might be able to get away with it had it occurred to his upper body but everything an offensive lineman does starts with his feet. His balance, strength, and ability to slide protect could be hampered if the injury springs up again. Given his 300+ lbs size, tweaking the foot again is a very real danger. By all accounts Longo is as healthy as a horse but NFL scouts could be concerned using a draft pick on a player who has recent health problems.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Like Blake Annen, I think Sam Longo’s strong Pro Day performance did nothing but help his chances of getting his name called this weekend. I don’t see the offensive guard goes on Thursday or Friday but he could be a steal in the 5th, 6th, or 7th round. Longo is the type of player teams with depth issues on the interior of their line will go after. He has the size and strength to excel at the next level but will need time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. There’s no doubt in my mind that after a season or so Longo will be able to compete for a starting job on any team that takes a flyer on him.

HIGHLIGHTS

 

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