Run Blocking - Does have ideal power or mass to consistently create movement but he is a sound positional blocker. Fires of the ball with leveraged hips and keeps his feet engaged through contact. Hand placement is inconsistent which leads to inconsistency sustaining blocks.
Pass Blocking - Nimble footwork that enables him to slide and mirror. Lacks length and width desired of an outside blocker. Punch is fairly consistent in terms of timing and pop. Anchor is soft when rushers get into his chest.
Blocking in Space - Has the acceleration and control to reach landmarks in space. Effective walkup blocker. Limited length requires him to stay square and come to balance, reducing his margin for error.
Power - Lacking. He doesn’t have the desired mass and functional strength, making a move to center his most likely course to sticking. Gets walked back to the quarterback due to his soft anchor. Contact power is below average.
IQ - Plays with good alertness in pass protection and passes off responsibilities with good timing and communication. Works hard for body positioning to overcome his pedestrian play strength. Naturally moves between the left and right side.
Feet - Foot speed is above average and he has the ability to redirect and mirror. With that said, his set points are inconsistent which leads to rushers easily attacking his edges. Feet stay engaged through contact.
Hands - Has more pop in his punch than I expected. With that said, fitting his hands and maintaining those fits as a run blocker is a challenge. Doesn’t have the length to consistently play with ideal extension.
Balance - Reasonably controlled considered he was miscast as an offensive tackle. Narrow, lean build with limited length presents restrictions. Light on his feet and moves laterally extremely well.
Versatility - Played both left and right tackle at Penn State but I do not project him to play offensive tackle at the next level. I hope he can snap because he profiles best to playing center. Don’t like the idea of power being stacked on top of him more frequently at guard.
BEST TRAIT - Mobility
WORST TRAIT - Length
RED FLAGS - 2017 season-ending leg injury
It was surprising to start studying Bates’ film and see him play outside at tackle. His narrow frame and lack of length presents a world of restrictions on the outside, which often showed up on tape where he struggled to keep pass rushers away from his edges. Bates does feature appealing mobility and effort as a positional blocker, making a move to center one that is favorable to maximize his potential. Bates is a developmental prospect that could make an impact at the next level with a position switch and added play strength.
Round Grade - Late Day 3