Is the NDSU offensive tackle a fit for the Minnesota Vikings?
[This Joe Haeg Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]
Joe Haeg | OT, NDSU
Height – 6’6″
Weight – 304 lbs.
Age – 23 yrs.
Hands – 9 5/8″
Arms – 33 3/4″
At First Glance
2015 MVFC All-Conference Team
Athletic. Haeg is quick out of his stance, has a smooth speedy backpedal, and can get to the second level in a hurry. He was the top performer of the tackles in many of the agility drills at the Combine.
Ideal size. Looks the part of a future NFL left tackle with good size and arm length.
Versatile. Haeg has shown the ability to play on the right or left side of the line.
Active hands. Has a quick and consistent punch, constantly harassing his opponent.
Level of competition. Haeg played for small school NDSU so there will always be questions about the quality of opponents he faced.
Not overly powerful. It’s not often Haeg plows his man to the ground. He’s more of a finesse blocker and needs to get stronger.
Below average run blocker. This ties into his overall lack of power. Haeg doesn’t get low and drive his man and instead, uses his hands to push.
Some see him as a fit in only a zone blocking scheme. It’s never good to be pigeon-holed as a one-dimensional player, but it seems the general consensus is he’s best off on a team that implements zone blocking.
NFL Player Comparison:
Ryan Harris, Denver Broncos
The Vikings Slant
Vikings fit? Probably not.
There is a lot to like about Haeg. He’s got ideal size, and he’s very athletic. Haeg is quick out of his stance, shows a smooth backpedal, and gets to the second level quickly. There are plenty of flags too, however. He isn’t overly powerful, he doesn’t drive his man back, opting to push more with his hands. Heag also played at a small school and didn’t face top notch defensive talent like many of the top offensive line prospects. The team that drafts him will need to get him in the weight room and make him best friends with their strength and conditioning coach.
Is he a Vikings fit? Probably not. New offensive line coach Tony Sparano is a power blocking guru. The consensus among experts is that Haeg’s strengths would be better utilized in a zone blocking scheme. If the Vikings are also under that impression, then they will likely pass on this NDSU Bison, unless Sparano thinks he can mold him into something more to his liking.