Steve Avila is one of the more talked about interior offensive linemen linked to the Dallas Cowboys. To be completely honest, he does fit the bill on the type of player the Cowboys would take a deeper dive into. Avila is a local product standing at 6’4″ 332 pounds and one of the more compact human beings in this country.
The Dallas Cowboys may have a big hole in their offensive line if Tyron Smith doesn’t return and Tyler Smith has to man the left tackle position.
This may make the left guard position a bigger need.
At TCU, he played multiple positions. That’s the position flex that Dallas just loves. His sophomore year, he played a combination of right tackle and center. His junior year, he manned the center position almost exclusively.
Last season, he was auditioning for the left guard position for NFL teams. It just so happens that was a sneaky huge need for the Dallas Cowboys. In his lone season at left guard, he had equaled the amount of run blocks as he had pass blocks which is a testament to TCU’s balanced offensive approach.
It was certainly a smart move on his part to increase his value by showing he could play the guard position at a high level. High enough to a point where PFF graded him at 83.6 for pass blocking. That’s pretty darn good considering that’s one of the pain points for Dallas and more difficult skills for interior offensive linemen. Avila allowed 4 hits and 4 sacks his entire three-year starting career at TCU. I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Despite his height, his anchor is impressive. He plays low to the ground which allows him to explode up and move smaller defensive tackles off their position. He has excellent power, but his agility stands out for a guy his size. He ended his collegiate career on a sour note even though it was in the championship game. The overall team looked overmatched against Georgia, but he held his own against a team loaded with top players on their defense.
For the Dallas Cowboys, they would be getting a plug and play left guard. As a throw-in, they would be getting a potential backup to Tyler Biadasz at the center spot. Two positions for one player is how the team maximizes its’ depth and capacity. Talk of new offensive line coach Mike Solari’s multiple blocking schemes include inside power blocking and zone blocking tells everyone that power is key, but movement is even more important. Avila has a combination of both and lining up next to Tyler Smith should open up plenty holes on that left side.
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NFL Draft Projection: Steve Avila is a 2nd or 3rd round player. Considering his ability to play guard and center coupled with the lack of true depth at the guard position in this draft, I would suspect that would push him up the draft boards. Some mocks have him higher than Dallas’ second round pick but if he makes it to 59, he should be in play.