Gerrad Kough is the next player up on our positional breakdown. A three-year starter at left guard for Colorado, Kough was a significant piece of an offensive line that paved the way for Phillip Lindsay’s success with the Buffaloes.
As you can probably infer from the information above, Kough’s strength as a blocker is in the run game. He’s a decent athlete and possesses good timing on his blocks, which allows him to clear running lanes and act as a primary blocker. He would be the ideal pull guard for a team with a “ground and pound” mentality.
While he may be a great run blocker, Kough struggles mightily in pass protection. Standing at only 6’4″ and 295 pounds, he does not really have the strength to hold off professional pass rushers. This lack of strength makes it difficult for him to hold blocks in a one-on-one situation against an interior pass rusher and could expose him in protection.
During his time in college, Kough struggled to stay healthy. He missed time due to a broken bone in his foot, a wrist injury, a concussion, and an ankle injury. When a player with a tendency towards injury plays a position with high-injury risk, disaster just seems to be inevitable.
Kough’s biggest challenge, in my opinion, is the fact that he does not have any experience playing the tackle position. For his entire collegiate career, he operated primarily as a run blocking left guard. For some players, like Beau Nunn, a transition comes easily because they have the intangibles or the size to make it work. In Kough’s case, he does not have the ideal size of an offensive tackle and lacks the primary skills that most teams want to see in their tackles. While Mike Martz may see something in him, I think it is likely that Gerard Kough is left off the final 50-man roster.
Next, there is John Montelus, a player with a lot of question marks surrounding his name. Montelus signed with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish out of Everett High School in Massachusetts. Known as a school that typically breeds high-end NFL offensive line talent, Notre Dame was a perfect fit for Montelus.
Unfortunately, he did not see much action on the offensive side of the football while he was with the Irish. He appeared in one game during his sophomore season and acted as a reserve guard only as a junior, but never actually made a start on the offensive line with the Irish. The team decided to utilize him as a defensive lineman at the end of his junior season and he appeared in three games on the defensive side of the ball as a senior at Notre Dame.
After graduating from Notre Dame, Montelus exercised his final year of eligibility and enrolled at the University of Virginia as a graduate transfer. He appeared in all 13 games with the Cavaliers and made ten starts with the program at left guard.
Montelus has decent size (6’4″) to play tackle but makes up for it by weighing in at a massive 316 pounds. Montelus put up 29 reps on the bench press at his pro day, showcasing that he has the strength to go along with his massive size. His versatility, as he played both offense and defense at Notre Dame, showcases that he is a decent athlete for how big he is.
While Montelus does not have experience playing the tackle position, a transition from the interior to the exterior should not be too difficult for him. He’s known for his ability as a pass blocker and definitely has the stature to hold his own as an offensive tackle. As far as his fit with the Fleet, he might sneak his way onto this roster as a left tackle.
The final offensive tackle listed on this roster is former San Diego State Aztec, Terry Poole. Poole is the only offensive lineman on this roster that was actually drafted by an NFL team, as he was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Despite being given a chance by the Seahawks, Poole never appeared in an actual game with the team and was released in October of 2016. He did spend some time with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans, but has never actually seen action in an NFL game.
The 26-year-old California native transferred into San Diego State from Monterey Peninsula College. After redshirting his first season with the Aztecs, Poole was ready to make an impact for the team. As a redshirt junior, he started 12 games for the Aztecs at right tackle and only allowed two sacks on 492 dropbacks. Poole would make the transition to left tackle for his senior season with the Aztecs.
Poole has ideal size to play either tackle position for the Fleet. He stands at around 6’5″ and weighs in at approximately 325 pounds, making him the perfect tackle in today’s game. For a player at his size, Poole’s technique and footwork are phenomenal. He uses every bit of his size to his advantage and then some, knowing how to use his body in both pass protection and run blocking. From a pure blocking perspective, he excels as a run blocker but has also had sustained success in pass protection. While with the Aztecs, Poole gained experience playing both left and right tackle and brings versatility to a Fleet roster that desperately needs it.
Despite his massive overall frame, scouts have concerns about Poole’s hand and arm length. They view him as “undersized” in that regard and believe that this may ultimately leave him better suited to play the guard position. While he is regarded as a good athlete, he is not a great one. Due to this, he is probably better suited to play right tackle long-term instead of left tackle. The biggest knock on Poole is honestly where he was drafted. A fourth-round pick in the NFL draft comes with a lot of expectations, and for a player who was traditionally considered as a sixth or seventh round pick, the Seahawks selected Poole way too early in the draft.
In my opinion, Poole should be a lock to make this team. He is the best tackle listed on the roster, despite not being the best actual tackle on this team, and is the most experienced offensive lineman of the bunch. He may be able to get away with playing left tackle in the AAF but should ultimately perform better as a right tackle in the long-term.
Based on my observations, the tackle position on the Fleet is quite weak. To begin with, I think that the best actual tackle on this roster, Beau Nunn, is not even listed as a tackle, and that some of the players listed as tackles, like Jeremiah Kolone, are better suited to play either center or guard.
With that being said, I predict that at least three of these players will make the roster. Those three players, in my opinion, should be Brandon Hodges, Jeremiah Kolone, and Terry Poole. Hodges and Poole make the roster as offensive tackles, with Kolone being a depth piece that could possibly fill in as a center or guard.
The Fleet have some holes at the offensive line position, but unless some crazy injuries occur, their unit as a whole should be just fine.