When I mention a prospect from Central Michigan, it is probably met with very mild enthusiasm. Especially this early in the college football season, when NFL Draft prospect blogs are scraping along with stories about big name prospects who you may have heard of.
Central Michigan typically isn’t one of the teams that is addressed.
It seems like every year there is a small school prospect that gets first round buzz, and this year the name that is beginning to surface is that of Eric Fisher.
Fisher was an unheralded two star prospect coming out of high school. He was listed at 6’8″ tall and 260 pounds (if he was soaking wet). Few offers came his way and he decided to stay in his home state and play for the Chippewas.
You would think a player with his undeveloped frame would sit awhile and possibly redshirt his freshman year. Fisher did no such thing, he stuck on the roster as a freshman and tried to add weight along the way.
Weight has been the biggest issue for Fisher so far. He has dipped below the 300 pound mark by the end of every season. On a 6’7-8″ frame, that just won’t cut it at the NFL level.
This year Fisher is supposedly up to about 310 and his main goal is to keep that weight on throughout the season. Despite this issue, Fisher has many excellent tools that excite scouts about the small-school project.
He moves -very- well for a guy so long. He looks like he has been 6’8″ since he was 10; he just looks used to it. There is no awkward coordination issues, or issues with his balance. He moves like being any smaller would be abnormal. His arms don’t look Tyron Smith long, but they don’t look abnormally small on his frame either.
His butt leaves a little to be desired (yes, I hear you giggling). His hips imply that he will always be a little on the light side, or at least he will never really get much wider.
As a prospect he is somewhat similar to Nate Solder. Solder was another guy with a big frame, solid athleticism, and untapped potential. Solder looked like he had the potential to put on more weight than Fisher does, but Fisher also has better balance and tends to form a more solid base.
Fisher will need to come into the offseason activities with good weight. Honestly it may be better for him to balloon up a little bit and come in bigger than his playing weight. Dallas Thomas, Rick Wagner, and Brennan Williams are the only other senior tackles that post a threat to Fisher in being the top senior tackle drafted.
Fisher brings with him a lot of potential and athleticism. He probably won’t be a day one starter, so unless he blows up at the combine or senior bowl practices, I think of him as more of a second round prospect with a chance to go late first round to a team who won’t need him right away.
I like Fisher’s upside but must admit I need to see more of him. I do know that the last Central Michigan player to be drafted in the first round was in 2007, and that was Joe Staley.. who also played left tackle.