With the Iron releasing their 52 man roster, I thought it would be about time to do an in-depth roster analysis and some predictions. I will be going position by position.
Today’s post is covering all 3 (I know, only 3) of the interior offensive lineman in Birmingham. Barring any last minute free agent pickups, I expect this is how it the depth chart to end up for The Iron.
J.C Hassenaur was a top reserve lineman for Alabama in 2017. He played guard and center and was a part of both the 2015 and 2017 national championships. He actually graded out as the best offensive lineman in the 2017 National Championship for either side. He started that game. He’s versatile, but he is also the only center on the roster, so I doubt he’ll need to be. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons out of college.
He has the highest bench of any player so far and a very solid pro day. The AAF did a great article which I’m going to highlight here:
“He’s very intelligent,” Iron coach Tim Lewis said. “He is the guy that all of the other guys look to for leadership, and he’s more than able to provide that. He does a fantastic job with our offense. I can’t wait to see him in action.”
Hassenauer: “I bring leadership, I bring dedication, I bring hard work. I want everyone to be together. I emphasize hard work.”
I think I’ll leave it there, as I can’t find a scouting report.
Finally, an offensive lineman not from Alabama! I don’t really care I guess. Avery Young is an Auburn guy. He started 36 of his 37 career games, missing one because of an ankle issue. He played right guard, right tackle, and left guard. He went undrafted in 2016 but bounced around in the NFL playing for four different teams. He made 2 active rosters with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints. He never made an appearance in a game. He was marked as a late-round draft pick but slide because a few teams doctors reported he flunked his medical. He’s a brother of former NFL defensive end Willie Young and a cousin of Carolina Panther star Thomas Davis.
Here’s a scouting report on Young from NFL.com:
Bubble rear that he can sink to help him anchor when being bull rushed. Has starting experience at both guard spots and right tackle. Shows some lightness of feet. Capable and effective in short-pull situations as a guard. Does a decent job of working feet into position to help secure his block. Athletic enough to operate at guard or tackle as a zone blocker.
I always loved the name of Ball State. Such a good name for a sports school. That’s where Kitt O’Brien started all 35 games for the Cardinals. He also received an award called, I swear I’m not making this up, the “2012 Ball State Ray Louthen Senior Participation Award“. Yep. O’Brien is no stranger to pro leagues other than the NFL. Having played for the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League after going undrafted in 2013. During his 2014 season with the Cleveland Gladiators, they set a season record for most wins, going 17-1, and yet lost in the ArenaBowl, the equivalent of the Superbowl. He then played for the Indianapolis Colts and also spent an offseason with the Cleveland Browns but got injured. That is all I could find.
Depth might be an issue here, but many of the tackles can move around. With only one center, we might see a problem down the line if J.C gets hurt. That being said, J.C can be a beast in the trenches for the team. I’ve heard many good things about him. The lack of NFL game experience is a bit concerning, but I’m sure that’s an issue for all eight teams as well. It’s hard to tell how good a line can be till later in the season, so we will have to take a look back at a later time.
Heisman Winners:1 (D2 but still counts)
National Championships: 9
All Americans: 3
Highest Draft Pick: 3rd Overall
NFL Games played: 71
NFL Passing Yards:0
NFL Rushing Yards: 2,083
NFL Receiving Yards: 1867
NFL Touchdowns: 20”
NFL Tackles: 9
NFL Interceptions: 0
Players Analyzed 16/52