Name: Joe Looney
College: Wake Forest
Draft: 117th overall by San Francisco, 2012
Games Studied: 2015 Tennessee vs. Carolina, Jacksonville; 2014 San Francisco vs. Seattle
Report: Looney is a similar type of player in what they had in Mackenzy Bernadeau, given his athletic ability and position flexibility. He has lined up at center and guard during his NFL career. Belly-to-belly blocker that likes to get tight to his man in order to control him.
One knock against him is that he tends to play upright and a little stiff. There's not much knee bend or flex. He plays with a wide base when it comes to pass protection. He plays with some upper body power and strength, and this allows him to hold his man in place. He also shows some punch and power in his hands.
When Looney gets his hands inside, he can be tough to disengage from in this position. There are snaps where his hands get outside the frame of the defender and it will put him in a terrible blocking position. Like Bernadeau, he's not the smoothest athlete when it comes to getting to the second level. He's often out of balance and left trying to adjust in space. If he gets close to his man, he has enough power to push him past the play. He can position block all day when he's one-on-one and he can keep the defender tight.
One thing I'll say for him is that he has really nice awareness to help in the pocket when he is uncovered. As a center, he showed more initial quickness but had his troubles when he had to execute back blocks. Against Seattle in 2014, the opposing defensive linemen were just too fast up the field for him to get in front. He was beaten badly to his off-hand side for a penetration. However, he was aware to adjust to the blitz. He wasn't fooled by the game upfront and was able to make the correct read.
Bottom line: this is a limited athlete that plays with power and smarts. I liked him better as a guard than center but the fact that he can do both helps this team's situation.