Ohio State offensive tackle Jack Mewhort has been a captain and leader for the Buckeye offensive line this year. He has experience at left tackle as well as left and right guard. Mewhort has a ton of experience playing all four years during his time in Columbus.
Mewhort brings prototypical length and foot quickness to the NFL, but the questions will be about his power in the running game. He does a great job of using angles and technique to shield opponents out from plays, but he has had trouble creating space off of the line of scrimmage and really overpowering opponents in short yardage situations. Mewhort appears to have a decent amount of potential going forward and while he probably is better suited for a swing tackle initially, he has the potential to be a starter in a relatively short amount of time. His overwhelming athletic ability and potential might enable Mewhort to go as high as the back end of the second day, but he seems more likely to be a third day pick that goes relatively early.
Vitals & Build
Mewhort is listed at 6’6” 308lbs and has a lean looking build for the position. He is not carrying a lot of fat around his midsection and looks pretty good. His overall strength and functional strength are a little disappointing, but he does have the room to improve substantially and some of it may just come down to a mindset. He is impressive in how well he can move going laterally and how explosive he can be going forward, even from a standstill position. There appears to be a good amount of physical potential for Mewhort and plenty of room on his frame to continue adding weight without losing anything.
Mewhort is incredibly athletic with great feet and the ability to move well. At times, he can fly up to the second level and look like a tight end and it would not be surprising at all if he really has an impressive showing in workouts when it comes to his speed and quickness. He has shown he can easily get to the second level in the running game as well as his ability to slide in pass protection, so he becomes somewhat of a mobile wall for the Buckeyes.
Mewhort is a positional run blocker that is at his best when he is able to shield off opponents, use position to make blocks or he can use the opponents force against them and just let them take themselves out of the play. Mewhort does a great job of having a sense when an opponent just needs an extra push to get out of the play so that Mewhort can turn his attention elsewhere and pick up an extra block. There are a lot of offensive linemen who would just go ahead and follow an opponent and make sure they keep him out of the play and perhaps try to really send a message. Mewhort is far more inclined to see if he cannot get the initial threat out of the play and move on and take someone else out, which works really well on counters and other plays that are not quick hitting run plays. And with Mewhort’s athletic ability, especially with his speed going forward, he is able to get in an extra block or have an impact on plays that many others cannot.
He is able to pull and wrap easily. Mewhort is able to get to the second level easily and tends to basically pass block to avoid missing the target and just shield them off from the play. Occasionally, he will miss the target and look unwieldy but for the most part, he does a good job of making sure he can be in a position where he can shield off the opponent from the play.
The issue for Mewhort is he has not shown the ability to use much power or get much push in the running game, even against weaker opponents. Some of this appears to due to the fact Mewhort is not overwhelming in terms of his strength and power and some of this is due to his technique. Mewhort does not do a good job getting behind his pads when he blocks as a run blocker. He rarely does it and it might be intentional due to Mewhort being concerned that he will overextend and give opponents the ability to get around him and make a play. As a result, Mewhort tends to run block from an extremely tall position, so he is only able to use a fraction of his power at any given time. His run blocking tends to look like pass blocking as a result. Mewhort is looking to control and out maneuver the opponent rather than overpower and dominate them physically.
It seems as though Mewhort will try to cut opponents to try to keep them off balance in an effort to make it so he can try to get more of an impact with his power or at least make it so he does not lose any ground. The results when Mewhort cuts are not always good and he at times appears almost uncomfortable in trying to cut.
With additional strength, Mewhort will be able to do more damage, but some of it will be adjusting his technique so he can get behind his pads and drive the opponent back off of the ball to create space in the running game. Especially in the Ohio State offense, Mewhort’s style is effective and works for what they do, but he leaves something to be desired when the Buckeyes need a yard on a short yardage play and he just cannot do much other than cause a stalemate.
This is definitely where Mewhort excels and looks natural. He not only has great feet and is able to move well, but he does a great job of mirroring. Mewhort is able to keep opponents in front of him and use his long arms to control them and ultimately take them out of the play.
He is able to slide and protect while staying in control and able to react. Occasionally, he will get caught going one way and take an extra step that allows the opponent to attack and get past him, but these are not terribly often.
Although Mewhort does not show a ton of power in the running game, he has a good base and is able to take on power moves pretty well. Nevertheless, if an opponent is going to try to attack Mewhort where he is most vulnerable, it is likely going to be using power or going from speed to power in hopes of catching Mewhort under his pads. His ability to slide and protect the edge makes him extremely tough to beat going laterally.
Mewhort does not have a great punch, but he does have pretty good hand usage. He is not someone looking to hammer the opponent. Mewhort is more interested in outthinking the opponent and controlling them and almost lulling them to sleep and frustrating them with his angles and technique rather than just getting in a fight on every play.
Some of this may be due to the fact that because Mewhort is not an overpowering guy, so this was the best path for him to succeed. As a result, it will be interesting to see if Mewhort can add strength and if he plays the same type of style or if he uses more power and tries to dominate opponents more often.
Mewhort’s feet and athletic ability are impressive. He is able to slide easily as well as get to the second level and make another block to help open up a play. Occasionally, he will take an extra step or take a bad angle when it comes to attacking the second level, but he has the ability to do both extremely well.
Mewhort’s best fit is in a zone blocking scheme or some other type of blocking scheme that can take advantage of his athleticism and use of angles to win. He would be best served to come in as a backup or swing tackle and be able to ease himself in and get more strength and work on being a more powerful presence in the running game, but Mewhort could step in and be a solid pass blocker.
The concern with Mewhort is if he will get overpowered by some stronger opponents in the NFL and that might be true initially, but he should only get bigger and stronger going forward and able to really hold his own. He certainly has the potential to develop into a starting tackle in the NFL.
Mewhort’s game and path in the NFL might end up similar to that of Jason Fox of the Detroit Lions. Fox, a fourth round pick out of Miami(Fl) was drafted as a developmental tackle prospect and swing tackle initially. He was able to work and develop into a solid tackle option and when Riley Reiff moved over to left tackle with the retirement of Jeff Backus, Fox moved into the starting job at right tackle and has been able to do a solid job. That might be the type of path Mewhort might have in addition to the fact he and Fox have similar builds and abilities.
Mewhort has a ton of experience combined with some legitimate NFL caliber tools that will make him an intriguing prospect for NFL teams. He has great feet and athletic ability combined with prototypical height and long arms. While he is not an overpowering force, he appears to have the potential and room on his frame to add more power and become a more physical player in the running game. Mewhort uses angles and is able to shield off opponents from plays in the running game but has trouble when it comes to creating space when they need yardage in short yardage situations or in a phone booth. He has a chance to really improve his situation in the postseason process in the All-Star circuit as well as the combine. There is a chance that Mewhort could end up slipping into the back end of the second day but seems more likely that he will end up as a relatively early third day prospect that has the chance to develop into a starting tackle in the NFL.
Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com