We continue our Dead Tree Media draft review series with a look at the second of the Minnesota Vikings’ two fifth-round selections, Miami (FL) offensive lineman Danny Isidora.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. . .you’re thinking that I skipped over the Vikings’ first pick of the fifth round, South Florida wide receiver Rodney Adams. Well, the truth of it is that Adams doesn’t appear in either the Athlon Sports draft preview or the Lindy’s Football draft preview. No Dead Tree Media = no review. So, we’ve moved on to Isidora.
We’ll start with the guide from Lindy’s Football, which has Isidora listed as their #10 guard prospect with a 4th-5th round projection. So, in their eyes, the Vikings got him in just about the right spot.
In Our View: Isidora was a highly recruited prep, turning down the likes of Florida State and Wisconsin to sign with the Hurricanes. His college career began slowly, redshirting in 2012 and missing nearly the entire next season with a broken foot. Few interior linemen have proven as durable and reliable since, however, with Isidora starting each game at right guard the past three seasons, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors from league coaches after his junior and senior campaigns.
With a thick frame, natural power and surprising mobility, Isidora offers a tantalizing skill set for NFL teams looking for help inside.
Strengths: An inch or so shorter than scouts would prefer, Isidora has the ideal frame otherwise — high hips, thick thighs, and a big bubble. Generated good push at the point of attack with his natural power and leverage. Can stone defenders attempting to bull rush him, showing terrific lower body strength and core flexibility to anchor. Impressive quickness to pull or release to the second level, exploding out of his stance with a clear target. Durable player who started every game his final three seasons.
Weaknesses: Too inconsistent given his experience. Too often is a beat slow off the ball and struggles to recover, lunging at opponents and occasionally completely whiffing. Plays with good knee bend initially but shows some lazy tendencies when locked up with opponents, leaning into them and leaving himself off-balance. Too often is knocked to the ground. Indecisive against stunts and blitzes.
Like most of the players that you’re going to find relatively late in the draft, Isidora appears to have all of the physical tools to be successful, but is going to need some refinement. Hopefully Tony Sparano and company can provide that for him.
Now, on to the Lindy’s guide, which has Isidora as their #8 guard prospect, also with a 4th-5th round grade.
Strong Points: A stout, powerful interior blocker whose game is built on toughness and power, Isidora displays impressive movement skills as well. He fires off the snap quickly, and he shows the flexibility to get out and seal on reach blocks. He’s at his best, however, in the phone booth. He has a powerful lower body and enough leg drive to knock defenders back at the point of attack. He flashes light feet as a pass protector, with the ability to mirror against quickness and the anchor strength to hold up against the bull rush.
Weak Points: He needs to clean up his technique. Isidora has heavy hands, but he struggles with hand placement, often shooting too high and failing to take full advantage of his natural strength. He’s also not great on the move, playing with poor balance when asked to pull and struggling to adjust in space when attempting to block faster defenders on the second level. He can be a tick slow at the snap when asked to pass protect, and at times looks hesitant when facing stunts and twists. His medicals will be key considering his history of foot problems.
Summary: A power blocker, Isidora might be able to unlock a little more upside with the help of NFL coaching. He could be developed into a starter, but because of his limitations as an athlete, his ceiling is not particularly high.
Final Grade: 4th/5th round
There seems to be a little bit of conflict between the reports from the two sources. Lindy’s talks about Isidora’s “limitations as an athlete,” while Athlon seems to be pretty high on his athletic ability. Athlon also seems to be impressed by his ability to pull and block on the move, with Lindy’s being much less so.
I personally think that Isidora is going to make this team as depth on the offensive line, and given the opportunity could be pushing for a starting spot if Joe Berger does hang it up after this season and the Vikings have an opening at the guard spot.
We’re only about halfway through our Dead Tree Media draft review of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2017 draft class. We’ll continue making our way through the group over the next few days.