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Stewart Reese

Scouting Notes: Stewart Reese, OG/OT, Florida

Redshirt Senior | 6’5″ 340 lbs | Fort Pierce, FL

A versatile offensive lineman who possesses natural strength and accurate hand contact, but must improve footwork and block anticipation

 

Overview:

Stewart Reese is a redshirt senior that has played both right guard and right tackle for Mississippi State’s spread offensive scheme. Last year was his first appearance at right guard, with 7 of his 8 starts coming at the position. In total, he has appeared in 37 games for the Bulldogs, starting in 34 of them. He has since transferred to the University of Florida to rejoin his former coach Dan Mullen and former OL coach John Hevesy, as well as his younger brother, David. Reese is coming off of his first year as a starting right guard, where he blocked in both gap and zone schemes and allowed a career-low 3.6% pressure rate according to PFF. He should become an immediate starter on the Gators’ offensive line in 2020, regardless of whether it’s at guard or tackle.

Strengths:

– Positional versatility at both tackle and guard
– Massive frame that makes him tough to push back
– Above-average hand placement on initial punch
– Adequate anchor and sustain on power rushes to give quarterback time in pocket
– Handles stunts confidently and with ease
– Effective downhill blocker and will misplace linebackers and contain players on pulls

Areas To Improve:

– Below-average reactive athleticism. Does not fare well against finesse moves
– Does not play with NFL-caliber effort and hustle
– Does not read live defensive flow well in open space 
– Can sometimes over-rely on his size when blocking by using his body to block instead of his hands
– Inconsistent timing on first contact. Usually the second person to make contact on individual battles
– Can lose his balance when stepping on a teammate’s foot and vice-versa
– Footwork will not match his teammates’ in slide protections
– Must improve decision making speed when looking for work

Injury Concerns:

– Missed 2 Games in 2019 with undisclosed upper and lower body injuries.

Projection:

Reese’s size and experience suggest he is more suited to play as a tackle. However, his traits better project him as a guard. With how quick edge rushers in the NFL are today, Reese is a better fit along the interior of the offensive line. Because he has only played guard for one season, he should be considered a developmental prospect at the position. He needs to get more comfortable blocking in between the center and the tackle as his footwork frequently causes problems for his peers. His pass blocking sustainability on the inside will catch the eye of pass-first teams (3.6% pressure rate), though that might not hold up with the jump to the next level. He is at his best when zone blocking. Reese can be expected to get picked up on Day 3.

What To Watch In 2020:

Reese is reunited with his former head coach, Dan Mullen, and former OL coach, John Hevesy down in Gainesville. With the lackluster performance of the Gators’ trenches last year, Reese will provide an immediate improvement to protect Kyle Trask and create holes for the running game. Whether he plays as a guard or a tackle has yet to be determined, as there are many different options on how Florida can construct their offensive line. Reese would benefit most at guard to give him some more experience at the position, though that would result in a lot of movement along the rest of the offensive line to make that happen. Regardless, Reese needs to show his aggression. There have been times where he was in close proximity of a live fumble and didn’t make a real effort to get the ball back. He does not finish his blocks in a dominating way, instead releasing his man after the play has passed him. He does not anticipate where a defender is going to be when trying to block in open space. This should improve as he continues to get more comfortable playing as a pulling guard. He needs to be able to get more push off the line of scrimmage for a man of his size. This can happen with creating contact instead of reacting to it. If he can do that, pair it with his punch accuracy, and get more comfortable with his feet playing on the interior line, that will clean up most of his technical flaws in the run game. As a pass protector, Reese must be more consistent in playing with a lower pad level to shorten the time it takes for him to anchor and preserve the pocket.