Name: Dru Samia
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Interior Offensive Lineman
JERSEY: No. 75
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 297 lbs
Pass Protection – NFL teams may have some issue with his stance at times, but it seems to work for him so well I’m not sure I would mess with it. If power rushes are the way to beat him as a smaller offensive lineman, I haven’t seen it work. Anchors with a strong based and terrific core strength. Able to mirror counters with terrific movement skills and good hand placement. How many quality pass rushers did he face this year? Not many, probably even less 1v1. Pass rushers with quick, violent hands were the only ones who seemed to get around him.
POA Run Blocking – Oklahoma runs a lot of zone or counters/pin-pull concepts, so Samia is not asked to be a true vertical blocker very often. Not a mauler at the point of attack, but savvy with his technique and hand placement to gain ideal position and seal off lanes. Big 12 level of defensive line talent needs to be taken into consideration here.
Functional Strength – Not the biggest or strongest offensive lineman, and there are instances of power players moving him a bit on the interior. Despite his impressive functional strength due to technique and ability to find leverage points, I do worry about what happens against some of the big, long defensive linemen in NFL. Matchup with Raekwon Davis should tell us a lot.
Pass Pro Footwork – Quick setups to establish half-man as needed. Often uncovered, so will have to quickly move laterally to pick up twisters, showing excellent fluidity and balance. Base is strong, almost never on the ground or thrown off his base. Couple times I noticed him stop his feet and get beat by a secondary move, which may be more of an awareness issue than anything else.
Strike Timing/Placement – Attention to detail to find leverage points and displace opponents ever so savvily, without disarming power, is impressive. Under control and times his strikes well in pass protection. Despite lack of size, haven’t seen him overpowered much by opposing bull rushes. Lack of size and length are concerning for landing meaningful strikes against long-levered defenders in NFL. Quick with his hands to counter and swat down his opponent’s punch with a trap move.
Leverage – Plays with excellent knee bend and leveraged hands. Consistently the low man in 1v1 exchanges, allowing him to create movement that his smaller frame otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Digs low on double teams to uproot his opponent, maximizing his traits by attacking leverage points.
Space Blocking – One of the best pulling offensive linemen in the country. Consistently explosive out of his stance and under control when reaching his target. Reacts beautifully to his opponent’s technique, countering with ideal hand placement and body positioning to seal off rush lanes. Good balance and agility to adjust angle on the move. Rare movement skills to chase upfield-bursting edge defenders past the play when pulling. Able to work down to the second level and reach defenders, but can get a little hung up on first level contact, delaying his arrival downfield. An asset in space on the screen game.
Competitive Toughness – No issues here. Not a big-time finisher, but plays with an edge and embraces the physicality of the game. Works hard to create extra movement.
Mental Processing – Active eyes to find late blitzers or pick up twists. Consistently looked for help when uncovered. Adjusted fluidly to his target when on the move as a blocker, especially pulling. Had no issues executing his assignments, even against late shifts of the defensive front.
Athleticism/Size – Elite athlete for an offensive lineman, but his weigh-in will be a concern. If he hits 300 pounds, that’s a huge win, but I’m not sure I see that in the cards for him.
BEST TRAIT – Space Blocking
WORST TRAIT – Size/Length
RED FLAGS – None
A four-year starter at Oklahoma who locked down the right tackle spot as a true freshman before moving to guard for his final three seasons, Samia is one of the smallest guards in the class, but his size is rarely an issue on tape. Highly athletic and extremely technical, Samia uses rare explosiveness and the ability to find leverage points to surprise his opponents, maneuvering them out of gaps in the run game with ease.
Of course, the NFL will provide a different level of defensive line talent than he faced in the Big 12, especially as pass rushers. Where Samia was often uncovered at the snap or had to deal primarily with bull rushes or defenders twisting inside off of a game, in the NFL he’ll face more complicated rush plans and superior athletes. How he fares against Alabama in the playoffs and at the Senior Bowl will be huge, but right now Samia looks like a lock to come off the board early in day two.
Functional Athleticism – Presents needed short area mobility to reach and work over the top of leveraged defenders. Mobility would shine more with better attentiveness to not stopping his feet in sparing stretches. Like his natural reflexes to react as defenders flash in his gap.
Football IQ – Can get a little too wrapped up in initial flash across his face and as a result can be late working back vs. stunts and twists. Angles as a puller are best when he’s able to turn up through a gap. Highly experienced starter with good grasp on responsibility in zone.
Anchor Ability – Like his ability to anchor firmly and not get walked back. Passed test vs. Alabama (2018) in pass pro vs. power rushes with flying colors. Bigger, more powerful rushers have created movement but not enough to worry about leaving him in 1 on 1 vs. heavy handed/footed NTs.
Hand Technique – Placement is pretty effective but did see some habitual “clapping”, forcing hands to arrive wide and late. When he’s playing inside his numbers he shows good pop. Got worked over by long armed defenders in first contact but it’s game over once he gets you close.
Balance – Over-eagerness and stoppage of the feet do result in reps where he’s over-extended. Easier fix than having physical limitations. Carries himself well on the hoof, nimble footed and redirects in space well vs. scraping defenders.
Pass Sets –He’s pretty effective once he’s able to clamp his hands and establish control of the block. Mirror skills can be compromised by a habit to over-commit and then struggling to pivot back and protect back inside. Good habits as a help blocker. Sudden out of stance on short sets.
Flexibility –Isn’t overly fluid through his hips relative to some of his 2019 colleagues but shows good mobility. Little wide in his stance but his mobility is effective out of it. Pulls come with effective results and above average mobility.
Power at POA – Would be even more effective with ironed out hand usage, doesn’t always power himself through first contact. Shows tenacious effort to work underneath the pads of blockers and often wins with hand strength to yank defenders into desired set point.
Length/Extension – Possesses more anatomical length than he plays with, has a more defined strike zone to time up his blows and optimize his pop. Will at times throw early and end up with his pads out over top of his toes. Plays effective in lateral situations to sustain his hand fit.
Competitive Toughness – Tenacious. He’s a brawler in ever sense. Plays chippy to the whistle and can often be seen chirping and pushing opponents after the play. His functional strength meets all needed baselines, regardless of his stature.
BEST TRAIT – Competitive Toughness
WORST TRAIT – Stun Punch
BEST FILM – FAU (2018)
WORST FILM – Ohio State (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Dru Samia brings needed levels of athletic ability and strength to play as a starting guard at the NFL level. With that said, he has a handful of technical deficiencies that handcuff his balance and ability to set first contact. Samia’s mobility projects best to a zone heavy rushing offense, where he can continue to use short area mobility to leverage defenders at the point of attack. Samia will need to focus on eliminating the “clap” with his hands if he’s to reach his ceiling.
Run Blocking – Dominant zone blocker who knows how to take advantage of angles and create space for his running backs. Has the functional strength needed to be a succesful drive blocker but is inconsistent staying square and keeping his upper and lower body in sync.
Pass Blocking – Illustrates a powerful anchor to absorb power and maintain the proper depth of the pocket. Is often uncovered and does well to help block. Must be more consistent bringing his feet with him when mirroring to stay square and not soften his edges. Has some technical improvements needed with his punch to more consistently keep rushers at the edge of his reach.
Blocking in Space – Outstanding. Excels at framing moving targets and connects with consistency. Anticipates flow and takes good angles. Excellent and trapping and leading into gaps. Comes to balance well and and arrives on schedule. Terrific body control in space.
Power – Has the functional strength needed to absorb power and redirect. Excellent core and lower body strength when he uncoils and accelerates his feet on contact. Capable of moving bodies and creating space in the run game. Is a smaller interior offensive lineman but he exchanges power just fine. Tenacious and wants to pancake people. Finishes.
IQ – Aware and alert in pass protection and does well to react to pressure packages. Always looks for and consistently finds work in space and when uncovered. Does well to take advantage of angles and exploit leverage points. Timing is generally sound, although he can get ahead of himself releasing to the second level without making sure the first level is taken care of on scoops/combos.
Feet – Has good foot speed and is able to redirect his weight. With that said, he must be more consistent sliding his feet to remain square in pass pro. Too often, his feet get left behind. Takes good angles when climbing to the second level and when reach blocking. Mobility is of no concern.
Hands – Hand carriage can be low which elongates his punch. Does well to snatch and trap. Will occasionally get wide and late with his punch which can improve with holding his hands higher in his stance. Sets the clamps well in the run game with good inside positioning.
Balance – Contact power and balance is generally good but he is guilty of his feet lagging behind in pass protection and he’ll get top heavy. Has excellent control on the move. Generally plays with good leverage but there are times he gets upright.
Versatility – Highly successful zone blocker that does well to take advantage of angles. Needs to improve his technique to be more consistent in gap runs. Has pass blocking upside with improved technique. Strictly an interior player despite some experience on the outside.
BEST TRAIT – Space Blocking
WORST TRAIT – Technical Consistency
RED FLAGS – None
A four-year starter for the Sooners, Samia spent his freshman season at tackle but played the final three years at guard where he projects best to the next level. Samia excels as a zone blocker that knows how to take advantage of angles and connect in space to create space for his running backs. He has good functional strength and a stout anchor. With that said, playing with consistent leverage, improving his hand technique and keeping his feet and upper body synced up is necessary for him to find success in the NFL. If he can clean that up, Samia has the potential to be a quality starter by Year 2/3. I can see him finding an immediate role as a utility blocker.
PROS: Excellent mobility and vision as a puller, brings a pop with excellent hat placement. Plays with a nastiness and looks to finish his blocks and dominate with power as a run blocker and puller. Good, solid initial drive with a strong base and heavy feet. Mobility allows him to work up to second level on combo blocks. Can reach blocker and gains proper amount of depth. Can swing his hips around to keep frame between defender and the hole. Powerful player. Good kick step with awareness, looks for work and has the speed to work onto other blitzers.
CONS: Despite mobility, doesn’t have great lateral quickness and can be a half-step behind defensive lineman who have a quick first-step. Questionable zone blocker and doesn’t necessarily drive defenders when he can’t attack them squarely. Can occasionally get swung around off-balance because of his inability to move laterally and attack squarely.