One of the best things being back on the road is discovering hidden gems. One recently was UConn right tackle Andreas Knappe, an interesting talent who reminds me a lot of the Pats Nate Solder and in matter of fact, here are excerpts from my report for the Pats on him;
Initial Quickness 1.4 Off the snap, Knappe has good quickness out of his stance and shows the ability to mirror the defender. He has improved his balance working into the second level. He can gain advantage on the defender with his footwork and long arms. There are times where he will struggle to get into gear and lacks the lateral agility needed to prevent NFL-caliber edge rushers from beating him around the corner at times. He may be better suited for right tackle, as he does not have the lateral agility to get out quickly vs. the edge rush.
Lateral Movement 1.6 Knappe is not effective when asked to slide and mirror. He has decent lateral movement, but lacks sudden quickness. Even though he has improved his balance and good timed speed, he needs to work on his technique when attempting to redirect (gathers before changing direction). He can slide and be very efficient working in the short area, but can not sustain speed on the move.
Balance/Stays On Feet 1.6 Hard work during the 2015 off-season helped him greatly improve his base. From looking at 2016, you see a player who now knows how to play on his feet. He has the short area speed and leg drive needed to handle the speed rush to the outside. Against the stronger defensive end, he will struggle a bit with a bull rush and get caught on occasion with his weight moving backward. He has the leg drive, but improved lower body power is needed to prevent the stronger defenders from pushing him back. Knappe seems to have as a tendency to put his head down, especially on second level assignments, resulting in missing his blocks on the move, at times.
Explosion/Pop 1.5 He lacks consistent explosion and drive off the ball, but he has decent balance and ability to stay on his feet after contact. He flashes an adequate punch, as he catches too often. While he keeps good position, he needs to add more power in order to drive block with consistency. Knappe has explosive hands and upper body strength, but fails to generate the lower body power needed to drive defenders off the ball as a run blocker. He uses his hands very well to joust with the defender and delivers a solid hand punch, but appears stiff with his hips when moving in-line.
Run Blocking 1.5 Knappe is a good drive blocker who tries to run his feet, but needs to improve lower strength. In the run game, he will catch too often and this causes him to struggle when anchoring. However, his technique is solid, as he stays low in his pads and uses his long arms to get movement and root out the defender. He is a physical straight-ahead blocker, but loses his base (gets too narrow with his feet) and fails to roll his hips properly. He does get good movement once he engages the defender, using his hands with force to steer and wall off. If he gets his mitts on an opponent, he can deliver enough force behind his punch to jolt.
Pass Blocking 1.6 Knappe shows above average technique and good feet, but will get caught moving backwards. He has a high pass set, with decent slide ability,but he lacks a good anchor and gets pushed back. In the past, he would struggle against the speed rush, but has developed better kick slide ability to get to the edge quicker. Against the smaller pass rushers, he does a good job of getting the body lean to sustain. Once he maintains position and uses his hands, he shows consistency in controlling and steering the defender off the line.
Pulling/Trapping 1.6 Knappe shows the ability to pull in the short range and locate. He is adequate blocking on the move and needs to work on becoming a better scope blocker. He can reach block, but struggles to sustain on the reach when he gets too high in his pads (tends to play on his heels, rather than playing flat-footed).
Adjust on Linebacker
Downfield 1.6 He has the ability to get to the second level, but struggles to sustain on linebackers when he does not keep his feet in front of him. He is best when playing at the line of scrimmage. Knappe will sustain his blocks once he gets into the second level, but the problem is, he does not have the speed to get there. He struggles adjusting up field, as he is slow and lacks fluidity in his open field moves.
Use of Hands/Punch 1.3 He has the upper body power to flash a punch and will lock on thanks to good hand action. He has worked hard to generate a more powerful punch and has very good placement skills. He might rely too much on his hands to dominate, but he does a great job of stunning the pass rusher with the jolting shot his hand punch delivers.
Reactions/Awareness 1.2 He is very good at reading and reacting to the action in front of him. His foot agility allows him to slide, adjust and maintain position on his man in the short area. He is not the most fluid runner working in space, but has improved his flexibility, body control and sink ability.
KNAPPE, Andreas Connecticut 53 2012 23/41
Height Weight Birth date College Position Pro Position
6:08.4 311 06/02/91 OT ROT
Bench Press Squat Power Clean Vertical Jump Broad Jump
23x225 500 305 30” 8’-10”
Arms Hands Wingspan 20-Yard Shuttle Three-Cone
33” 9 ¾” 82 7/8” n/a (hamstring) n/a (hamstring)
Grade One Grade Two Time (10-yard) Time (20-yard) Time (40-yard)
1.51 1.47 1.77 2.93 5.17