Cesar Ruiz

Center

Michigan

6' 3"

307 lbs

SCOUTING GRADE

7.05

Games Evaluated: 2018 Vs: Wisconsin, Florida 2019 Vs: Middle Tennessee, Iowa, Notre Dame, Alabama

Report By: Mason LeBeau

Scouting Report

ATHLETICISM: 5.84

Q.A.B.: 6.00
Flexibility: 5.20
C.O.D.: 6.50
Explosion: 6.00
Versatility: 5.50

Not really his game. Modest athlete who wasn't overly used in space and didn't excel there either. Solid balance and change of direction, but doesn't give you much in terms of burst or elite quickness. This doesn't kill his game by any means, and he plays to his strengths rather well, but you won't be getting a dynamic run blocker with Ruiz.

RUN BLOCKING: 6.17

In-Line: 6.50
Movement off L.O.S.: 6.00
Reach Block: 5.00
Pull & Block Outside: 6.00
Adjust In Space: 6.50
Use of Hands: 7.00

Ruiz is a strong and physical run blocker who does a majority of his work off of the line. Again, he doesn't do much for you on the move and dynamic run blocks. Isn't overly quick or agile, doesn't always get or locate his defender, and wasn't quite explosive enough to make consistent reach blocks. He will, however, give you a solid base run blocker immediately off of the line. He utilizes very good natural and function strength, leverage, and good use of hands to drive back defenders and create lanes. He isn't exceptional in this regard, but he's far from poor. He'll be able to add a solid spark to your base run game.

PASS BLOCKING: 7.67

Quick Set: 8.00
Protect Corner: 6.00
Footwork / Redirect & Slide: 7.50
Anchor / Reset Ability: 8.50
Handle Games/Stunts: 8.00
Hands / Punch: 8.00

Here is where Ruiz excels. He isn't overly athletic and he isn't superbly strong, but he is just enough of those things that when combined with some very good technique, shows up quite well in pass protection. Strength, use of hands, leverage, and awareness all come together to give you one of the better pass protecting centers I've seen in a while. His only true fault in this area is vs finesse and speed where he can be set up or straight up beaten off of the line. Due to his position directly in the middle, this isn't a huge concern, but he will seem faster defensive lineman at the next level. Calls line players and shifts quite well to put himself and the whole line in a good position. Puts together good placement and grip with his hands to make it hard to shed, as well as a strong initial punch. Leverage and pad level come together to give him a quality anchor against bigger, stronger nose tackles. Very well rounded pass protector who should see the field very quickly as a result.

COMPETITIVENESS: 7.83

Toughness: 8.00
Consistency / Motor: 7.50
Production: 8.00

Strong competitor. Picks himself up and others. Helped a very solid Michigan team have success as a consistent and reliable starter in the middle of the offense. Helped open up the run and pass game. Motor isn't overly hot but certainly doesn't turn off.

INTELLIGENCE: 8.33

Instincts: 8.50
Learn/Retain: 8.00
Teamwork: 8.50

Smart and productive. In charge of the whole line while also being very well aware of his area. Isn't fooled by stunts or twists, and is capable of picking up others slack if he's free himself.

STRENGTHS

Larger, stockier build but he doesn't play to his height. In pass pro, he commonly keeps great leverage which maximizes his ability to anchor against bull rushes. His hand usage is very good as well, able to get good placement with an okay punch but more importantly can reset if he misses. Smart as well, rarely letting blitz assignments confuse him. Upper body slightly weaker than the lower, but still quite strong, able to redirect, steer or control a defender if his hands were in the right spot. Hard to shed and able to move a defenders off the ball. Very good in pass pro as well as a good contributor in the run game.

WEAKNESSES

Isn't quite as nimble and balanced. Footwork is smooth and he was able to handle his pull and 2nd level assignments, but change of direction and agility were lacking. This wasn't an issue too frequently at the center position where he did most of his work in his bubble of an area, but in-space he was unable to secure a block more than you like to see. Struggled a bit more against finesse and creative pass rushers who would set him up then hit him with a counter, but this was largely against better competition. Some consistency issues in the run game.

BIG PICTURE

Three-year starter who played guard as well but Center full-time over the past two seasons. Ruiz's build, strength, and technique in pass protection made him a brick wall against anything other than elite competition. A strong bottom half, consistent hand usage, and great leverage helped him anchor and keep the pocket clean. Just solid enough movement ability combined with strength helped him win in the run game as well, but this was almost entirely in-line. Not dynamic when it comes to blocking in space. Can pull and make a seal of the edge, and can win 2nd level blocks in the LB creeps up, but too often failed to make an impact in space. Good run blocker just not dynamic. Struggles appear against more elite talent like Alabama when lineman became nuanced and could counter and throw real pass rush moves. If beaten, Ruiz quickly puts that behind him then wins reps of his own, overpowering a d-lineman with a move of his own. His strength was capable of putting defenders down and he did this against every level of competition. Against lesser opponents, Ruiz was a strong and reliable centerpiece in both phases of the offense. Against higher quality competition, Ruiz wasn't as consistent, but losses came with wins as well. His strength is maximized by technique but sluggish footwork can put him behind against savvy linemen. While his upside isn't great, his floor should be higher than usual as well.

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