Dealt with Turf Toe for Majority of 2019 Season.
2019 Vs: Florida St. 2018 Vs: Fresno St, Wyoming
Cleveland's best attribute is definitely his athleticism. He's big, strong and fast. He is great in pass pro, is quick off the line and has very good lateral movement. Love his hip flexibility and his ability snap his them and change the direction of his block. Whether it's opening a running lane, or sealing the edge during pass pro, he is able to get his body in the right position to make the block. His wrestling background is also very attractive for an offensive lineman, it teaches you how to gain leverage on every play and it's a big factor in having great hip movement.
Does not have the ideal power for a lineman and suffers in the run game. He gets too tall when run block, so he has a hard time recovering when up against a more aggressive defender. When playing elite talent this can be a real issue, because it makes him lose leverage and balance. He also needs to work on his inside hand, because he gets a little stiff when trying to seal the inside gap.
Overall Cleveland is a good prospect with a huge upside, though is going to be a project. He will be able to contribute right away as a swing tackle but will need to develop in order to become a full-time starter. I have coached a lot of offensive line and have come to realize that the best lineman have some kind of wrestling background, so I really like the potential Cleveland has. He is very comparable to Raiders LT Kolton Miller because he can excel in pass pro but will not be an instant starter. He will be a 2nd round pick and would be a great fit with the Chiefs, Saints, or Texans.
Cleveland is an extremely athletic offensive lineman, needs to build some mass to be successful in the NFL. Was an All-State wrestler in high school, which is something that is great when you play on the line. His background has given him incredible hips and the ability to gain leverage on any play. He is always very quick off the LOS and making initial contact, though he needs to gain more power on intital contact. His lack of mass does cut down his versatility, unfortunately, because I don't see him being able to move to guard. Athletically though, he is at the top of this class of offensive linemen.
Movement off L.O.S.
Pull & Block Outside
Adjust in Space
Use of Hands
Big Play Ability
He is a very difficult player to grade in the run game. He is a very smart player and has great technique, but he just doesn't have the ideal power and nasty demeanor to be a great run blocker. Take a guy like Quenton Nelson, he lives to inflict punishment on his opponents and that is a big factor in him becoming an All-Pro lineman right away. I know that isn't politically correct, but it is a truth of line play. For Cleveland to become a complete lineman, he needs to get a mean streak and learn to play with more power. He has all the skills and knowledge to be great, he just needs to get more aggressive. Look at the Fresno St 18 game, the weather got sloppy and it became a ground and pound game. Cleveland played well and opened a lot of holes, but his deficiencies were very clear when it came down to win the battles for an extra yard. Had that been a better D-Line, I'm not sure the outcome would be the same. One of his main problems in this area is he can stand too tall, so loses leverage and power.
Pass pro is definitely Cleveland's bread and butter. He is a great athlete, so he is able to handle most pass rushers easily. Having that wrestling background gives him an edge here because it's all about gaining leverage just like wrestling. His athleticism helps him dominate the edge and make sure no one beats around the corner. He is very good at allowing the outside rusher to run himself out a play, though he can get a little too eager and open his hips too early. When this is the case, he is beatable to the inside. Even in the times, he does get beat, he is usually able to recover. His weakness in pass pro, again generally comes down to a lack of power.
Ability to Combat Inside Move
He is an average graded player in this area because though he is tough he isn't a nasty lineman. When grading on either side of the line, I look for how nasty a player one is. Things like do they bury an opponent into the ground when the opportunity arises, or do they defend their QB at all cost. Cleveland just doesn't have that nasty demeanor, which at times gets him in trouble in the run game. This doesn't take away from his skill, because he is a very polished player and does most things well. The really interesting thing about his level of toughness is that he has had incredible production in his career. After redshirting his freshman year, he has started every game at left tackle and that usually means you are one tough guy. Overall I don't see this being going forward as he is a good technical lineman, but he will need to learn to finish every block in the NFL.
Ezra is a very smart player and has great instincts on what to do in any situation. He really understands the whole picture of being a successful lineman. Sure there are things to improve but his understanding of all the little nuances of O-Line play will help propel him further at the next level. Things like how important your hips, because if you can turn hips in an instant you are able to create holes and running lanes. He is also very good at chipping a D-Lineman and getting to the second level. If he can only become more aggressive, it will take him very far. He has all the techniques, he just needs to become a stronger finisher.