Detroit Lions draft prospect: Offensive lineman Brandon Pertile

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 14: Brandon Pertile
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 14: Brandon Pertile /

Brandon Pertile is a prospect I had never heard of before he showed up on the Detroit Lions private workout list. A few games in, I’m impressed.

The Detroit Lions are plumbing the depths of the 2018 NFL draft class, as they always do. Their quest for greater depth across the offensive line has led to some interesting team workouts. Virginia’s Brandon Pertile is one of those workouts. He is not in’s top 67 offensive tackles in the draft, but he is one of the Lions 30 players brought in for a personal workout.

Pertile is a big man. At 6’5″ and 319 lbs, he is not a sloppy big man. Nobody is going to confuse him with The Rock, but his midsection is not drooping below his belt line either. His 33″ arms are a weakness for a prospective tackle. He ran a 5.60 40 yard dash at his pro day and his agility drill numbers were adequate at best. Pertile started his college career at Gerogia State. He then spent a year at Mesa Community College, where he sustained an early injury and received a medical hardship. Pertile transferred to Oklahoma State for two years and then went to Virginia as a graduate transfer for his final year of  eligibility.

Pertile’s kick slide is terrible. Even in his highlight film, he is essentially just shuffle stepping backward. He is definitely moving to guard at the NFL level with his lack of agility and length beign the reasons. Pertile plays too tall, bending at the waist to punch at defenders. His knee bend leaves a lot to be desired, and he uses his head as a weapon more often than you’d like to see.

Here are the things Pertile does well. He diagnoses blitzes very effectively. He finishes blocks. Long after the play is gone, he is still working his man. He puts other players on the ground with shocking regularity and then makes sure they’re not getting back up. He clearly understands his role within the entire play and hands off defenders to other blockers with a high level of skill before seeking another defender to put his hands on. Baiting the defensive lineman to the gap that the offense wants him to shoot is a skill that Pertile has. He often gets overeager defenders to take themselves out of plays.

His short area quickness though is pretty good.  He slides laterally quickly with his first step. He gets around defenders quickly and sets up to block immediately after he gets position. And he’s mean. He engages in a wrestling match for the entire duration of every play. He has a really good punch that he underutilizes due to his other technical flaws. Pertile is the kind of lineman that is not doing this because it’s work. He makes blocking look fun. He will use a defender like a slip and slide after pancaking them.

Next: Detroit Lions draft prospect Matthew Gono

I like Pertile more than I liked Corey Robinson when the Lions selected him. There are much worse linemen who are gaining much more esteem in the online draft community.