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 an early third day pick as he may end up having a smaller number of teams interested in him because of his scheme fit and could end up slipping as a result.
Vitals & Build
Halapio is listed at 6’3” 320lbs 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. 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.
Halapio has worked to improve his ability to move, but he is still not a great foot athlete. The biggest reason has to do with his body control and balance as he does not seem to be able to adjust to real well to a moving target or adlib real well.
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. He eliminated a hop step he had used in the past and gets out in front of plays better than he did previously. If he runs into a problem at this point, it is usually caused by stepping back to deep before coming across to make a block.
He is at his best in a phone booth and just working forward. Halapio has gotten better when it comes to getting to the second level, but he does not land many blocks when he gets there. Too often, he ends up lunging rather than just blocking an opponent. The larger issue is too often Halapio will make a good block and find himself with nothing to do during a running play. He does not often look to make another block and just ends up being a spectator waiting for the whistle to blow.
In the past, Halapio was content to just overpower opponents with brute force and to an extent, he still does, but he has done a better job at getting in position to cut opponents off from the play rather than just trying to maul them. 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.
Halapio is an impressive pass blocker but has a few issues that need to be corrected as a senior. 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 have a tough time adjusting. Occasionally, Halapio will have trouble with balance and can get caught going one way and have trouble going the other way, but these can be adjusted with additional work and making better steps. 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.
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.
Halapio’s feet and range have improved but it is still not to a point where he is anything but a right guard. He has eliminated some bad habits from last year and gotten better when it comes to pulling and trapping but will have a difficult time doing that on a consistent basis in the NFL.
Halapio is always going to be best utilized in a phone booth. He has gotten better getting to get to the second level, but has trouble hitting moving targets or adjusting on the fly and can end 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.
Halapio is a great fit in a power scheme at a right guard. 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.
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.
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 an early third day 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. He could have an opportunity to sneak into the second day if he has a nice showing in the postseason process, especially on the All-Star circuit.
Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com