From NFL Draft Scout
Petrus' career has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. He signed with the Razorbacks as a tight end, made the switch to offensive guard, moved to fullback and was a key blocker on special teams, moved back to guard in 2007, earning second-team All-SEC honors in his first full season, and then was lost for the entire 2008 season due to an academic suspension.
If that wasn?t enough, during Petrus? suspension the Razorbacks went from a run-oriented offense under Houston Nutt to a pass-heavy attack led by former Louisville and Atlanta Falcon head coach Bobby Petrino. Scouts were intrigued by the athleticism shown by Petrus, but had no idea how he?d perform in such a different scheme.
Petrus answered any questions scouts might have about his ability in pass protection by earning first-team all-SEC accolades from rival coaches. He remains a bit lighter than scouts would like, but Petrus plays with impressive tenacity and the athleticism that earned him a scholarship as a ?skill-position? player remains.
Pass blocking: Rare overall athleticism for the position. Can mirror the pass rusher due to his balance and lateral agility. Is improving hand punch and upper-body strength. Quicker, more powerful hands as a senior. Natural knee bend and balance help him anchor surprisingly well for his lack of bulk, but this is an area of concern. Will struggle against powerful DTs' bull rushes.
Run blocking: Needs to add strength, especially in his lower body, to be a drive blocker. Relies on turning the defender away from the hole and sealing him off, as he struggles to physically uproot the defender. Marginal hand placement and will allow his hands to get outside the frame as a run blocker.
Pulling/trapping: Best attribute might be his quickness and agility to pull and get to the second level as a run blocker. Good straight-line speed to get around the tackle and out into the open field. Can break down and adjust on the fly to hit the moving target.
Initial Quickness: Good-to-very good quickness off the snap. Often the first off the line of scrimmage and gets good initial movement as a run blocker.
Downfield: Good effort to block downfield. Not a dominator, but consistently gets to the next level to block linebackers and even defensive backs.
Intangibles: Suspended for the 2008 season due to academics. Allowed to practice with the team last season despite the suspension and had time to acclimate to the new offense. Spent some of his time learning to box, improving his hand speed and strength. Impressed with his ability to adjust from the run-heavy offense Houston Nutt used to the pass-heavy attack favored by Bobby Petrino. Looks lighter on film than listed. Some feel he is maxed out at this weight and doesn't have the frame to add the weight and strength to be an effective guard in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Eric Steinbach
- Considering that he's a former walk-on tight end whose only scholarship offer out of high school was a partial to Arkansas Tech, Razorback guard Mitch Petrus certainly is taking advantage of his opportunity to impress scouts this week. Petrus, who had been moved to fullback for the 2006 season before switching back to guard, tied the Combine record with 45 repetitions of 225 pounds this afternoon. Petrus told me his previous career high had been 35 repetitions, which he had hit "three or four weeks ago." He characterized his sudden explosion to 45 repetitions as a mixture of adrenaline and the can-do attitude that he'd learned as a walk-on. "It's not luck, I can tell you that," Petrus said... "Not being the biggest, baddest guy on the field, I had to be the hardest working guy on the field. It is what got me through the 45 today. I didn't wake up this morning feeling like a totally different person. I'm not a freak of nature. I weighed 230 in high school. I weigh 310 now. I do whatever it takes. You reap what you sow." Perhaps I'm a pessimist, but the eye-popping jump in his bench press and comment that he'd do "whatever it takes" led me to question just how valid Petrus' bench press total was. The last player to hit this mark was Ohio State's Mike Kudla in 2006. Kudla was not drafted. - Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com