Functional Athleticism - Ample mobility at his disposal. He moves really good both laterally and when charged with climbing to the second level to pick off LB flow and scrape. He's quick in short spaces and showcases strong ability to gear down quickly, come to balance and frame his blocks in space.
Football IQ - He takes really good angles out of his stance to win reps in the first step. He's got good spatial awareness and does a nice job of feeling gap shooters looking to trigger and fire into his space. Has ability to play both guard and center — although weaponizing him at Center gets the most value out of him.
Anchor Ability - Does not have an overwhelming amount of power in his frame and longer-armed and powerful nose tackles can walk him backwards as he tries to drop anchor in one on ones in isolation. Good recovery ability thanks to athletic ability and skill to snap his base back into place — but not a true power player.
Hand Technique - Lack of length can bite him against quick hands on the interior — two gap nose tackles will give him some trouble unless he's given a chip to help win control of the play early on. His punch power is good thanks to compact windup and he has a fair level of accuracy to land hands on the numbers.
Balance - Free mover who excels when he's asked to play in space. Effective and efficient mover in pull situations to not drift out of alignment and stay tight for good timing and crisp fits. Defenders who challenge him with leverage and long-arms will get his weight off center but he's fairly dense and low to not be fully compromised.
Pass Sets - If you're running quick game, you're set. If you ask him to anchor seven step game against a nose, you might want to think again. Some scheme specificity is likely going to challenge him against certain defensive looks but his feet are clean, he frames well and executes proper technique to attempt to anchor and buy himself time.
Flexibility - Very clean in the lower half, has no issues at all with flipping his hips open as a puller or driving off a planted foot to redirect his momentum effectively and pivot back across his frame. He plays with good leverage and offers a stout presence to play under the pads of defenders.
Power at POA - Pure drive blocks aren't going to consistently create creases and bubbles. Didn't see a lot of dominant reps against big bodies, instead he was a steer blocker who stayed engaged and looked to ride out defenders and allow ball carrier to cut off of his hip.
Length - Does not have the ideal amount of length — has let gap shooters rip through contact and get hip to hip due to lack of stopping power. He's going to be prone to getting stacked in two gap situations or when facing off against nose tackles — he's got functional length but his gravitational pull isn't a plus.
Competitive Toughness - Hustle and effort are hallmarks of his tape; you're going to get a blue collar presence. His functional strength isn't where he'll hang his hat and as such he's "buyer beware" if you play against a lot of teams that have boomers in the A-gap. Ceiling is highest when avoiding gap/ power rushing concepts.
Best Trait - Football IQ
Worst Trait - Functional Strength
Best Film - Fresno State (2019)
Worst Film - UCLA (2019)
Red Flags - 2019 shoulder INJ
Player Summary - Keith Ismael projects as a ZBS scheme center — and a potential starter at the pro level. his ceiling may not every be that of a high end difference maker on the inside but he pairs mobility and intelligent play for successful reps and can hold down the heart of the line on a team that isn't going to charge him with creating creases in the A-gap. Ismael's mobility is a huge plus and will allow him to work across face and steer defenders. Scheme specific starting candidate.