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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: IOL Jimmy Morrissey

  • The Draft Network
  • January 27, 2021
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Jimmy Morrissey came to Pittsburgh as a walk-on but developed into a four-year starter, team captain, and three-time All-ACC Selection. His career culminated with earning the 2020 Burlsworth Trophy, which is presented each year to the most outstanding player in college football who began his career as a walk-on. Morrissey was a consistent performer throughout his college career which was spent at center with the exception of one start at right guard in 2020. He’s a positional blocker that plays with excellent technique, low pads, outstanding awareness, and an understanding of timing. With that said, the power components and mean streak are missing from his game. For a center that is more of a technician that lacks size and length, more explosive movement skills are preferred. Morrissey doesn’t wow with physical traits, but he finds a way to get the job done by playing with ideal technique, low pads, good control, and taking advantage of angles. While he doesn’t have a high ceiling as a starter and is truly only a fit at center for zone schemes, his path to this point makes it tough to bet against him. If he can prove himself at guard in addition to center, it would go a long way in increasing his valuation. 

Ideal Role: Developmental center.

Scheme Fit: Zone run blocking.


Written by: Joe Marino 

Games watched: Penn State (2019), Virginia (2019), Syracuse (2019), Duke (2019), Virginia Tech (2020), Florida State (2020), Clemson (2020) 

Best Game Studied: Florida State (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: Penn State (2019) 

Competitive Toughness: Morrissey is more of a positional blocker that isn’t going to wow you with his nasty demeanor. While that doesn’t mean he isn’t effective (because he is), it just means that he lacks an aggressive mean streak and wins more with technique than power. He battles throughout every snap and always looks for work. 

Balance: Morrissey does a great job of playing within himself. You rarely see him over-extend, lunge, or play out of control. He’s deliberate about taking advantage of angles, playing with good technique, and getting his body in proper alignment to seal. 

Anchor Ability: Morrissey isn’t overly stout, but he absorbs power in pass protection. He does well to maximize his functional strength by playing with consistently sound leverage and bending at the knees. He does have some issues with his base narrowing that can get him in trouble. 

Lateral Mobility: Morrissey has sufficient lateral mobility but he isn’t super explosive. His short-area quickness and ability to slide his feet is average. For a center that lacks power components, more lateral movement skills are preferred. 

Power at P.O.A.: Morrissey’s functional strength is modest and he isn’t a blocker that is going to blast open gaps and own the line of scrimmage; he’s more of a technician and positional blocker. He does do a good job of playing with leverage which helps him overcome a lack of power and mass at the point of attack. 

Hand Technique: Morrissey is a technician that is deliberate about getting his hands placed and fit. Overall, he has good timing and does well to find leverage points to help him control reps. With that said, his grip strength is average at best and it creates some challenges with sustaining blocks. 

Football IQ: Morrissey is an extremely smart football player. He’s a former walk-on that developed into a four-year starter and team captain. He understands technique and timing, which helps him overcome a pedestrian physical skill set. 

Versatility: Morrissey is a center only that lacks the power to play guard and the length/mobility to play tackle. He did play one game in 2020 at right guard but has otherwise exclusively played center at Pittsburgh. He projects best to a zone-blocking scheme. 

Pass Sets: Morrissey is consistent reaching his set points and his snap-to-step quickness is ideal. With that said, he does have some issues with narrowing his base when sliding his feet which leads to greased rush angles for his opponent. Rushers that can challenge his edges usually get around him.  

Flexibility: Morrissey is more smooth than he is sudden. He doesn’t appear to have restrictions in terms of being tight, but he certainly isn’t springy or explosive. He can hinge and pivot adequately. 

Prospect Comparison: Brett Romberg (2003 NFL Draft, UDFA Jacksonville Jaguars) 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 70.5/100

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