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Draft Preview: Roy Schuening

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Schuening is a Tim Ruskell kind of guy. Schuening is tough: he played with walking pneumonia. Dedicated: he started 50 consecutive games. Versatile: playing tackle for much of his senior season. Athletic: he twice lettered in wrestling in high school. Schuening is also steady, stable and without character questions. He's a natural leader, something Seattle's soon to be very young offensive line could use. On paper, he doesn't have superstar potential, but like Lofa Tatupu, his awareness and dedication should not only allow him to play above his talent, but should improve the play of everyone around him.

I watched some video on the guy and here's what I saw: He's quick out of the blocks, plays low and with leverage, has good handfighting skills - especially, he can engage and chuck smaller, quicker defenders. He plays mean, that is, he takes the fight to the defender, not sitting back and awaiting engagement, and will continue to find defenders to block until the play is done. He also moves pretty well through space, but is unrefined as an actual pull blocker. He can lose a defender if he isn't able to knock him down with his initial surge and may have trouble with physical, high-motor types. He's a good size, and has a good, thick build.

Schuening is the 9th ranked guard on most draft boards, but may shoot up with an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. Instead of being a sleeper, a small school tools goof, Schuening is an accomplished player from a major conference that is devalued for middling measurables. Oh yeah, that's a Tim Ruskell guy in spades, and if Ruskell trades down in the third round to pick him up don't be surprised if the wags sniff, and I crack a beer in celebration.