Matt Miller of Bleacher Report is ranking 1000 NFL players over the coming day and he is doing it by position groups. Having already completed the QB position, Miller moved on to the tackles.
And the first Chief on the list is Donald Stephenson.
Here is some of what Miller had to say about Stephenson following the tackle’s rookie season
Watching Donald Stephenson (6’6″, 312 pounds, one season) as a pass-protector wasn’t pretty. Initially he looked good, with a lean and athletic frame, but his technique wasn’t good. Stephenson punches at pass-rushers with a two-handed approach, but fails to stun them due to a lack of strength. He struggled to slide his feet to cut off the corner after a punch and looked otherwise awkward when moving back and to his left. Stephenson was too easily beaten to the inside, as teams baited him with an outside step and then countered inside with high success.
As bad as his pass-blocking was, Stephenson impressed in the run game. He has a good ability to lock on to defenders and drive with wide hand placement. I would like to see him get lower for better power and leverage here. He does a good job of dipping his shoulders to square up and drive, but has to get stronger and lower at the point of attack. Overall, Stephenson did a nice job walling-off on the edge, and he has the quickness to be a factor at the second level.
I would say this sounds about right. Stephenson did look good at times last season but in other moments he looked, well, like a rookie.
Given his success run blocking, it could be that Stephenson ends up making a run at the Chiefs’ starting RT position once the team’s relationship with Eric Winston ends.
Do you agree with Stephenson’s ranking?