Jeremy Ruckert Scouting Report: The Blocking Buckeye

Casey Sully

Jeremy Ruckert might not have set the stat sheet on fire, but he’s a physical and willing blocker, has great hands, and could be a solid contributor at the next level. Ruckert took a lot of snaps at sniffer where he was used on crunch blocks and sent out in the passing game. He wasn’t a huge part of the Ohio State offense, but he’s a natural fit for a zone-based offense that likes to use play-action.

Blocking

One of Ruckert’s biggest hurdles is consistency. He is an eager and willing blocker, but he can often be out of control and too aggressive. When he connects and uses good technique, he’s a plus in the blocking game. He locked down edge rushers in pass protection, could cut off linebackers from the backside of zone, and could physically dominate at times. He’s got the size and strength to be able to hold up on split zone looks where he’s kicking out ends and linebackers.

Crunch pancake

Pancake run block

Crunch solid

Pass pro on DE

Pins DE

However, while he’s exciting to watch when he gets it right, too often he took poor angles or was too aggressive in working up to the next level. He has a particularly hard time getting cutoff blocks on the backside when facing any defensive end or outside linebacker with speed and quickness. A lot of his issues come with taking poor angles and getting too high, which can both happen when he’s offset in the backfield as an H-back.

Cant get cutoff block

Bullied

Whiffs on block

Receiving

Jeremy Ruckert isn’t going to wow you in the passing game, but he’ll catch everything you throw to him and will be in the right spot at the right time. Despite his relatively low number of targets, he has great hands. Regardless of his inconsistency in the blocking game, he is a viable blocking threat and someone that does block often. That gives him credibility off of play-action – especially on a team that bases out of 11 personnel.  He’s not the most intuitive route-runner, but he does show good technique and an understanding of how to stem defenders and use his body to open himself up. He’s not quick enough or twitchy enough to route up linebackers underneath from down-to-down, but he can create explosive plays off of good design down middle of the field.

Texas route td

Crunch pass

Contested catch seam

Catch through contact

While he’s aggressive when blocking, that physicality doesn’t always transfer to his route-running. Again, consistency is the issue. He’ll be physical at the top of his route and lean into defenders to create separation one play, then get jammed off the line the next.

Physical at top of route

Jammed at line

Final Thoughts

Jeremy Ruckert has the tools to take a significant step forward in the NFL as a pass-catcher. He was never the focal point at Ohio State and didn’t get that many opportunities to show what he can really do. He’s got aggressiveness you can’t teach and a willingness to stick his nose into traffic both when catching passes and when blocking. He proved he’s versatile enough to move around the formation and split out wide. If he becomes more consistent, he could be a steal in the mid rounds.  

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