From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections, and priority undrafted free agents. Today, we’ll be profiling Florida OT Richard Gouraige.
#76 RICHARD GOURAIGE/OT FLORIDA – 6047, 308 (R-JUNIOR)
Senior Bowl Participant
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Richard Gouraige||6047/308||10 3/8″||34″||82 1/2″|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Solid size to play guard or tackle with long arms and a thick lower half
— Good footwork in his vertical and 45 sets, can cover ground to cut off speed rushes around the edge
— Solid lateral speed and solid change of direction, able to mirror counter moves inside
— Solid anchor, gives up very little ground against the bull rush
— Solid reach blocking, good enough play speed and length to seal defenders from the play
— Hand placement tends to be too far outside, limiting the power he can generate
— Leans at the waist and lunges, loses balance when engaged with a defender
— Just adequate competitive toughness, stops plays prior to the whistle
— Marginal gap blocking ability, prefers to anchor against the run and stop his feet instead of driving defenders back
— Footwork issues when moving in space, trips himself up limiting his otherwise good athletic ability
— 24-year-old prospect, will be 25 in October
— Initially a four-star prospect out of Tampa, Fla.
— Played left tackle at Florida for his final two seasons, left guard before that
— Chose Florida over Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson, and others
— Played in 37 games for the Gators
— Pulled out of NFL Combine with an ankle injury suffered during a “pain tolerance test”
— Graduated with a degree in sociology, three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll
— Participated in the Las Vegas Bowl despite intent to declare for the draft
Playing in the SEC, Gouraige has a lot of experience against top defenders from the likes of Alabama, LSU, and Georgia. In the first part of this clip, he is against Will Anderson of Alabama, who is widely regarded as one of the top players of the 2023 NFL Draft. On this play, he gets good hand placement inside, but he is bending at the waist too much. That led to his feet stopping and Anderson crossing his face back inside. The play went for a touchdown anyway, but Gouraige’s power was limited by his technique, and it allowed the defender to stay in play.
On the second play of the clip, his hands are too far outside, allowing the defender to long-arm and win the half-man relationship. Once again, his feet went dead and the defender was in position to limit the run. The third play, he fails to use his hands well while combo blocking up to the second level and gets stuck. As a result, the inside backer makes the play.
The best part of Gouraige’s game is his quickness, specifically when moving backward or laterally in his pass sets. The below clip highlights his speed to cut off speed rushers with his vertical pass set as well as his 45-degree set. In a couple of these plays, he has to cover quite a bit of ground to cut off the pass rushers’ angles, but he is able to get there each time.
One issue that popped up multiple times in the three games I watched was his footwork when needing to cover a bunch of ground moving forward and when he is asked to pull or climb to the second level and find a linebacker in space. His footwork would get sloppy and he ended up crossing his legs pretty often, which led to balance issues. If any defender touches Gouraige while he is stumbling, he is going to be hitting the turf. He needs to keep his base wide, even while moving in space, to not get tangled up like he does here on the first two plays of the clip. On the third play, another problem that was on display — he will give up on plays. It happens most often when he feels like he has run the defender past the point of being able to make a play. But he will turn his head to watch what is going on and it sometimes allows his man to get back into the mix. Playing to the whistle will be a big thing for his coaches to work on with him.
Gouraige’s strong suit is definitely protecting for the pass over moving forward and generating push in the run game. He doesn’t show much play strength moving forward — some of that has to do with the hand placement and balance issues — but he can be effective with his anchor in the run game. While he won’t generate push, he also doesn’t get pushed back often. This can be an asset sealing defenders off from the hole but limits his usefulness as a blocker in short-yardage situations.
Gouraige has the body type and frame to be an NFL offensive lineman, but you question where exactly he fits at the next level. He played primarily left tackle, save some guard his first year with the Florida Gators. The height, length, and weight suggest he would be a better fit at guard, but his play in the running game leaves a lot to be desired. His best trait is his ability to move backward or laterally as his play speed in that area can keep up with speed rushes around the edge. His anchor also is solid, but he relies on it too much in the run game instead of trying to generate a legitimate push.
Given his athletic ability and his movement in pass sets, you would think his ability to pull or climb to the second level on combo blocks would be decent, but awkward footwork gets him tripped up more often than you would like. His usage of hands, including the power behind his strikes and the placement of his strikes, could also use a lot of work. My pro comparison for Gouraige is Kelvin Beachum.
He can provide versatility at OT or OG, but unless he plays in a (very) pass-heavy offense, he is not ready to contribute to a team in any large way. Knowing how Pat Meyer coaches usage of hands, Gouraige doesn’t seem like the right fit, but his versatility and pro-ready body could be worth a flyer in the late rounds.
Projection: Middle of Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 6.7 – Backup/Special-Teamer (5th Round)
Games Watched: at Georgia (2022), vs LSU (2022), vs Alabama (2021)