September 22, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators offensive linesman Jon Halapio (67) against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Pre-Season Breakdown - Jon Halapio, OG Florida


The Florida Gators are always a factory for the NFL Draft and since Will Muschamp has taken over, they have had an even stronger loyalty to the running game and using their offensive line to dominate opponents up front.  One of the players that have been paving the way for the running game has been their right guard Jon Halapio.

Halapio is the prototype right guard for the system the Gators run and is incredibly powerful.  He dominates at the point of attack and is able to drive opponents off of the line of scrimmage but is a better pass protector than some might expect.  Halapio needs to improve his hand usage and work to get better with his footwork but he still looks like a fringe top 100 pick.  With more improvement, he could secure himself a spot in the top 100 but it might surprise people where he goes in the draft due to the amount of systems that may not be interested in taking him.

Vitals & Build

Halapio is listed at 6’3” 315lbs with incredible strength and power.  He seems to really understand how to get the most out of his body on the field and shows remarkable functional strength on the field.  His feet are not great and will be questioned but it is not in the passing game where the issues come up the most.  While it is likely Halapio will come into his senior year with even more strength, the real focus for him athletically should be improving his quickness and how well he can use his feet.

Athleticism

Halapio is not an impressive foot athlete.  He makes due with what he has but his feet are going to be scrutinized when it comes to the running game.  It is ultimately why he will only be looked at for right guard.  If he can work to improve it, it will make him a better player and not have to work so hard as a run blocker.

Run Blocking

Halapio is a bulldozer at right guard from a power standpoint.  He is able to generate space with relative ease.  The best circumstance is just lining up and running behind Halapio as he shows a good first step and is able to get in place and drive the opponent down the field.

The Gators use him to trap block but he really does not move particularly well.  When he pulls, he uses a hop step to get to the other side of the center and while he gets there, it can end up being a photo finish when it comes to getting to his spot in time.  Against most college competition, he is strong enough to dig them out anyway, but the increased speed and power of the NFL could really prove problematic.  His range is limited and he is at his best in a phone booth and just working forward.  Too many times when Halapio goes to the second level, he ends up lost and cannot seem to find anyone to block.  The times he does, he looks incredibly awkward in trying to land the block.

Halapio will work to get in position but ultimately, he would rather just dominate an opponent with power than work to cut them off with a good angle and at Florida, he is powerful enough to get away with it.  There are times when he demonstrates a great punch and can send an opponent reeling.  Taking more advantage of position and angles will be more important in the NFL, but he certainly appears to have the ability to adjust while still playing with a ton of power.

Pass Protection

Halapio is an impressive pass blocker but has a few issues that need to be corrected as a senior.  He does not have range as a run blocker, but he is able to cover enough ground to handle the right guard spot in pass protection.  The biggest potential issue Halapio will face will be quickness and opponents who can set him up outside and get inside.

Halapio is incredibly strong as it is but especially when he anchors, it is extraordinarily difficult for opponents to get him off of his spot with power moves.  Part of what makes Halapio effective is he is strong enough where he does not get caught in a position where he sinks to absorb a power move and the opponent uses speed to beat him.  He can absorb power and sink as he takes it, so he is able to counter quick moves more effectively and looks better laterally than he otherwise might.

While he is a right guard only for the most part, he is an effective pass protector and might surprise people who expect him to look clumsy or slow in that respect.  Halapio’s hand usage and technique actually cause him more problems than his feet.  In what appears to be an effort to avoid holding, his hands can get too far inside and opponents can work their way through them.

Technique

Halapio’s hand placement can be problematic and result in opponents being able to fall off of his blocks.  There are times when he ends up too far inside and he is unable to fully contain the guy across from him who can roll off of his block as a result.  Halapio can demonstrate a great punch and when he puts his hands in better spots, he ultimately controls and really shuts down the block so they are unable to factor into the play.  Not only is the enemy completely stoned but Halapio is a threat to pancake them, especially in the running game.  If he can continue to work and improve his hand technique, he will really be tough to beat in a phone booth.

Halapio is actually pretty good when it comes to pass protection.  He mirrors effectively and does not get caught making mistakes often, which makes a big difference.  Halapio also has a ton of ballast and it is not easy to get around him.  As questionable as his footwork might when it comes to making blocks on the move in the run, he does not make many mistakes in pass protection and looks effective for the most part.  He does need to avoid lunging and it is silly that he does it, because he is so strong.

Footwork

Halapio’s feet are not great and range will always be an issue.  He has some habits like using a hop step to get to his pulls and trap block that are not terribly efficient.

Halapio is always going to be best utilized in a phone booth and has an issue with range.  He struggles to get to the second level and ends up off balance and ineffective when it comes to angles and landing a second block.  There are times when his strength allows him to make up for his lack of range and he can dig opponents out impressively, but when it comes to the NFL, the less ground he is asked to cover, the better off a team will be.

The other area that Halapio can improve is with his base.  There are times he will play with a narrow base and allow opponents to get him to stand up too tall.  The result is he will become off balance, lose power and the defender can take advantage to get past him and at times, Halapio will end up falling and ending up on the ground.

System Fit

Halapio is a great fit in a power scheme that does not ask their right guard to do much pulling or move a ton to land their blocks in the running game.  He is not going to be a fit for a ton of different schemes, but he should flourish if he ends up in a scheme that just asks him to line up and beat up the guy across from him.  While he does have some issues to work out with his technique and footwork, Halapio could be a player that could push to start as a rookie.

Schedule

Sat, Aug. 31 vs. Toledo
Sat, Sept. 7 at Miami
Sat, Sept. 21 vs. Tennessee
Sat, Sept. 28 at Kentucky
Sat, Oct. 5 vs. Arkansas
Sat, Oct. 12 at LSU
Sat, Oct. 19 at Missouri
Sat, Nov. 2 vs. Georgia
Sat, Nov. 9 at Vanderbilt
Sat, Nov. 16 at South Carolina
Sat, Nov. 23 vs. Georgia Southern
Sat, Nov. 30 vs. Florida State

Notable Games

Depending on how the Volunteers line up, the matchup between Halapio and Daniel McCullers could be fun to watch.  Halapio shows impressive strength but McCullers is an enormous human being who makes a habit of bench pressing opposing offensive linemen on each snap, so seeing who can win that matchup should be fun.  One of the best matchups for Halapio will be on the road against Kentucky.  The Wildcats have a pair of talented defensive tackles in Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph.  Regardless of how they line them up, Halapio will be challenged all game.  The regular season finale could feature Halapio going up against Timmy Jernigan of Florida State.  Jernigan can demonstrate power but he really excels with his quickness and that could be what gives Halapio the most difficult time.

NFL Comparison

Halapio’s game could end up being similar to that of Shawn Lauvao of the Cleveland Browns.  Lauvao has similar dimensions and came out of Arizona State with a ton of strength.  He has managed to hold down the starting job for the Browns the past couple years but has not really distinguished himself to this point in his career.  Halapio could end up being a much better player but both had questions with their feet, technique, and angles.  They also both really fit a power system well and might have trouble catching on in other offensive schemes.

Draft Projection

Halapio is a powerful guard who really helps the Gators offense power their way down the field.  He is able to create space easily and pave the way for backs to gain yardage but there are questions with hand usage, feet, and angles.  Halapio is a better pass blocker than some might think, but he does need to just be more consistent.  He looks like a fringe top 100 pick and it has more to do with his fit in the NFL than it does with his ability.  Being a right guard and only really fitting a power scheme well could result in him slipping a little bit and enabling a team to get a nice value.  Halapio could improve his stock this year and ensure himself a spot in the top 100 picks.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 Mock Draft 2014 NFL Draft Florida Gators Football Jon Halapio Offensive Guards