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Andrew Datko - Worth The Risk ?

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Guy could be an absolute steal if fully recovered from his injuries, I know that is a big if, but had he played all of last year he prolly would have been considered the best pure blindside tackle after Kalil .......I think if Datko were there in round 5 might be worth a gamble, he can take Reynolds spot on the roster ........

Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Prospect: Andrew Datko


With a lot of talk flying around about Zebrie Sanders being a potential draft target for the Atlanta Falcons, I’d like to take a look at another guy from the Florida State roster: Andrew Datko.

Datko is the true left tackle from the Florida State team. At least he’s the one FSU would have wanted to start if he hadn’t been injured for a big part of 2010, and nearly all of 2011. And injuries are the place to start and end the conversation on Datko.

Datko suffered a shoulder injury in the 2010 preseason, was set for the first couple games, was injured again against Oklahoma and missed three games, then finished out the season. He then suffered a dislocation in one shoulder, and a torn labrum in the other. He underwent surgery in the preseason, yet was able to start the first four games of the season. However, he was hurting from an injury, and didn’t play again for the rest of the season.

There are positive signs. First, Florida State was willing to go with a guy who had recently had shoulder surgery at LT over a healthy Zebrie Sanders; that either says a lot about Datko, or a lot about Sanders. Since Sanders is a decent prospect, it would lead me to believe that Datko is a much better talent when healthy. That’s the only problem though, he hasn’t been healthy the last two seasons.

In the 2011 preseason, Datko was an early candidate for multiple offseason awards, such as the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Trophy (the one for great college linemen and linebackers). He has obvious talent, but when he was on the field he noticeably was affected by his injuries–he didn’t fully extend on blocks, or couldn’t due to his injuries. There was a reason the Seminoles tried to keep him on the field so long, and there is just as valid a reason that they eventually pulled him off it.

Other than the injuries, Datko is a fine specimen. He weighs 315, is 6’6, has good enough footwork to handle the speed rush, can anchor against the bull-rush (although he had a tendency to give up too much ground on the power-rushers), and run block effectively. He also has great leadership, is a smart guy (All-ACC academic team), and works hard to improve. He would be a great locker room guy.

A healthy Datko could be a tremendous asset. I doubt he would ever be an elite talent in the NFL, and given that he suffered these injuries in college, there is little doubt they he would continue to experience them at the next level. However, it has to be noted that the Seminoles started fresh-from-under-the-knife Datko over 100% Zebrie Sanders for the LT position. His injuries would make him a very low draft pick, 6th or 7th round, and its possible he could even go undrafted. If he were available really really late, perhaps the Falcons would take a flyer on him, or try him out as an undrafted free-agent. He would be risky as a draft pick in any round, but the potential upside is a player who could start in the NFL, and hold the Falcons over until they can acquire the LT they really want for the future.

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As a fsu fan i actually like Datko je jas potential although he is an injury risk at this point but it seems TD isn't afraid of that and with a later pick is probably worth it for the upside be brings.

Where as Sanders i actually can't stand as a LT prospect and want nothing to do with i got tired of seeing him get beat like a drum over and over again at FSU and want nothing to do with it in the nfl.

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Worth the Risk?

Not lashing out at you, but I'm tired of being hopeful about often injured players.

I pass.

I said that about Moore and it worked out pretty good .Not so much with Jerry LOL ........but if you can find a true LT in the FIFTH round, hey , that may be worth a dice roll ........

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I liked Datko when I saw him a few years ago. Kinda slipped off my radar last year. Doesn't seem like a natural athlete, but he projected at a 2 or 3.


From Pro Football Weekly


• Quick out of his stance

• Athletic and light on his feet

• Shuffles, slides and pushes rushers wide

• Places his hands inside and can pop and recoil

• Flexible hips to scoop and seal

• Understands positioning, angles

• Terrific character


• Underdeveloped body

• Limited core strength (not stout to anchor vs. bull rush)

• Outmuscled at the point

• Not explosive on contact

• Lunges and slips off blocks

• Long-term durability is a concern

• Medical issues are serious — has a history of shoulder problems

The Way We See It:

An underpowered, intelligent, competitive, hardworking technician, Datko is a hunchbacked zone blocker who played left tackle at FSU, but is better suited to play the right side in the pros. Durability is a major concern and will drop draft standing.

Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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NFL.com overview. Doesn't seem overly glowing, but he was the top performer in the 20 yard shuttle, which means he's got some agility.


Datko played four games in 2011 because of persistent shoulder injuries but was a stalwart of the Florida State offensive line when healthy. He is a much better run blocker than pass blocker and will need to work on his pass set and overall strength to be able to block NFL-caliber defensive ends. A former walk-on, it's apparent that Datko has the drive and competitive spirit necessary to succeed at the next level; he certainly has the size. A big man who can get overpowered at times, strength training should be a postseason necessity for him.



Datko is fast off the line of scrimmage and immediately fits on his blocks whether it be linemen or working up field. He is not an explosive mover, but he can stay with his blocks once on them. In pass protection he can struggle at times but usually blocks long enough to get the job done. He makes up for his average athletic ability by being technically sound and understanding how to use his hands and feet to keep defenders occupied. He works hard to keep defenders moving in the run game and, despite his weaknesses, is a "get the job done" player at the end of plays and games.


Datko can be stiff at times and struggles noticeably with certain movements. While he is an effective blocker, it is usually not pretty and when he has to move a lot is when inconsistencies in his play can show up. He does fit on blocks OK, but it is often a struggle getting there. He is a catcher as a blocker, but it has served him well up to this point.

Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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If he can be had in the 5th then we'd better have that card turned in before anyone else realizes that they missed it. He's a true NFL left tackle and if it weren't for his injuries you'd be talking about a guy with a legit shot at the top 15 in the draft. Unfortunately for him he's had a lot of injury issues. If he can prove healthy and I'm TD I'd have a hard time finding a better player on the board in the 3rd round, but by the 5th, there's no chance I'd let him slip by, if he proves that he's going to be able to contribute this year.

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I read that the surgery hadn't progressed well at all. Like Peyton Manning there were concerns over nerves not knitting together well and this augured badly for a swift recovery and severely questioned a full recovery.

What is the latest report? I would expect people are looking to use complimentary picks very late or even UDFA slots post draft.

I doubt he'd be ready until 2013 if you were serious about his full recovery and then can he step up and will he endure.

So I would only use a post draft choice coz we need to be more assured with the small amount of draft picks we have. That or a cheap incentive laden deal for McNeill.................!unsure.png

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not in round 1. If he was a round 5 pick, sure.

When speaking 'nail in the coffin" I would think one of the worst recent shoulder injuries in football to your throwing shoulder would be about as bad as it gets. Brees said they told him before the operation they figured his football career was over.

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If the should is really ok then go for it. Not sure of the round. I know he was really highly thought of. I know McNeil's back kept him out of round 1. He had a really good career early in San Diego, but now its acting up again and he is looking for work. Round 5 would not be too big of a risk if you still don't have a left tackle and he is on the board when you pick. I like his teammate Sanders in round 2, hope he is there. I'm even thinking about Nate Potter of Bosie too. Just wonder if he is a scheme fit.

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