Playing in the American Atheltic Conference, the Las Vegas Raiders’ third-round pick Dylan Parham didn’t face off against a ton of NFL-level competition. However, Parham did have a one-on-one matchup last season with one of the top defensive linemen in this year’s NFL Draft class, Houston’s Logan Hall.
The Memphis product had an impressive performance in that contest. He notched a 73.3 overall PFF grade with 73.3 and 79.0 marks as a run blocker and in pass protection, respectively, in addition to allowing just one pressure the entire ball game.
However, Hall graded out well too, earning a 73.0 overall grade and 79.2 in run defense, to go along with a sack. Granted, his pass rush grade was just above average at 61.6, so that lone sack was his lone impact in the passing game.
With pretty even grades overall for the game, we’ll have to turn to the tape to see who really won the back and forth between these two, while simultaneously giving us some more exposure to the Raiders’ first pick of the draft.
My college Marcus Johnson also took a look at this matchup, so I’ll build off what he had to say and if we disagree, just know that I’m always right.
Our first clip is a repeat from my full breakdown of Parham.
Hall’s go-to move is an arm over and he tries to set Parham up with it by attacking up the field initially and giving him a little shake right before making the move. However, the Memphis product doesn’t bite and goes to punch with his inside hand.
That stops the rusher’s momentum and then the offensive lineman gets his outside hand involved when the rusher goes for the swim move, and the former has enough strength to wash the latter inside to the center and concede maybe a yard or two past the line of scrimmage. He also does a good job of moving his feet to defend against Hall’s attempt to recover and spin back to the outside.
A quality rep against a quality opponent.
The one thing I’d add from last time is take a peek at Parham’s hand placement. His inside hand is right on Hall’s chest to help gain control of the block, and his outside hand lands under Hall’s armpit to help throw off the rusher’s balance and make it easier to wash him inside.
This time we’ll get to see Parham defend against an outside move in pass protection, and Marcus touched on this rep as well.
What I love about Parham’s initial set here is he’s quick off the ball and gets moving before Hall gets out of his stance, which is important when going against an athletic and quick pass rusher. He also does a great job of splitting the defender’s crotch with his first step so that he can stay in front of an inside or outside move.
Two things I’ll parrot off of Marcus are Parham’s pad level and hands. The former allows him to gain a strength/control advantage, and the latter helps prevent Hall from being able to use his arms on either his initial move or inside counter. Plus, the guard has the strength to widen the defensive tackle, and this textbook rep on how to takeaway a pass rusher’s options.
Memphis runs a play action pass on this next clip, which helps Parham in pass protection but also shines some light on how he struggled at the point of attack against Hall.
Parham’s pad level isn’t terrible here but Hall is able to get underneath him and gain the leverage advantage. It also doesn’t help that Hall’s hands are a little faster than Parham’s, and the former is able to get his hands inside and stand the latter up.
Luckily, the defensive tackle’s run-pass transition is slow so this won’t go down as a pressure and is more of a “no harm, no foul” type of play, but Hall had control of this rep the entire way.
Building off the last play, we’ll see another example of the guard losing at the point of attack and with slow hands.
Houston calls a slant to the playside of this zone run from Memphis. Hall is going to win the leverage battle again and take on the block with a physical rip move to get some penetration. Meanwhile, Parham lunges which causes him to be wide and soft with his hands, so he gets stood up again and the defender cuts the field in half and makes the TFL.
The lunging is also tied to Parham’s first step. He doens’t gain enough ground laterally and Hall’s inside foot is even with his inside foot despite the defensive tackle playing with outside leverage pre-snap.
That could be a result of just not anticipating the slant but regardless, Parham could afford to work laterally more with his initial footwork and add some patience to let the defender come to him. The latter is important if he’s going to play more passively at the point of attack, so that his base stays underneath him.
I’d consider our next clip to be more of a stalemate and I think it exemplified the one-on-one matchup well.
Hall is once again going to win at the point of attack with great pad level and initial hand placement to get extension on the block. However, Parham does just as good of a job at keeping a wide base and sticking with the block to get his hand inside, stay engaged get a little movement late in the rep.
This is how a lot of reps went between the two, where the Cougar would win initially but the Tiger would keep fighting and finish strong.
How about ending with one more stalemate?
Again, Hall wins with leverage and hand placement at the point of attack, and Parham keeps his feet under his butt to anchor and at least hold his position. The biggest difference between this clip and the last one — and is something I’d like to see the Raiders’ draft pick get more consistent at — is working to get his hands back inside. That’s a big reason why he doesn’t generate any movement until the quarterback is already through the hole.
It is another nice finish though, which any offensive line coach can appreciate.