After the loss of Cardinals Center A.Q. Shipley, the team looks to rookie Mason Cole as their heir starter. Many players, fans, and coaches see this as a natural fit. Time will soon tell how he will perform for the Cardinals, so let’s look back at his time in Michigan.
A versatile prospect with starting experience at multiple spots along the offensive line, Cole has been the anchor for the Wolverines up front throughout his career, regardless of where he’s lined up. His 51 consecutive starts are the most by any offensive lineman in Michigan history, a program with a rich tradition of producing talented prospects from the trenches.
Though the majority of Cole’s experience has been at left tackle, a deeper look at the film shows he might project better as a center at the next level. His frame and arm length are rare for the position, and he looked more effective and consistent as a blocker when lined up inside. His intelligence and awareness make him a strong center prospect, but his versatility will certainly be a bonus for NFL teams.
It was apparent that Steve Keim and the front office felt the same way about Cole’s ability to be dependable in multiple positions within the offensive line. This pick at the time may have raised some eyebrows when many fans were expecting the team to address the need for a Wide Receiver. Once again, Keim’s meticulous planning keeps the roster full of depth in all the right places. This is a game that is dominated by the line of scrimmage and Keim realizes that.
— Michigan Sports News (@SportsGuyMI) March 2, 2018
Another thing to Cole’s advantage is his size. The 6’5″, 297-pound lineman is nearly four inches taller than the man he is replacing on the line. With a taller frame, the arm length is to follow. Physically, Mason Cole has all the tools needed to succeed at the position. Now he has to master the playbook as he will be a key cog in the success of the offense.
For example, here is Cole losing his footing again Pasoni Tasini on one of the 1v1 drills.
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 3, 2018
Alternatively, Cole seems to do really well against the spin.
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) January 26, 2018
Presumed starter Sam Bradford weighs in today about the adjustment:
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 7, 2018
The veterans are walking alongside Cole to get him up to speed. This is a really good locker room culture where Mason will be able to pick up knowledge quick, fast, and in a hurry. He should have to look no further than the other 4 starting lineman on this team. DJ Humphries, Justin Pugh, Mike Iupati, and Andre Smith. All these players have plenty of experience at the NFL level to bestow on Cole.
Kazual Sportz wishes the rookie all the success this season and we look forward to seeing how he performs this Saturday in the preseason.