Foot Quickness: 6 Play Strength: 5 Balance: 5
Run Block: 6 Pass Block: 7 Aggressiveness: 6 Instincts: 6 Range Blocking:X
(Explanation of grades can be found here.)
Games Watched: vs MTSU (B) @Penn State (Skycam) vs Michigan (Skycam)
Strengths: Cesar Ruiz’ most impactful trait is his pass blocking. His quick jump set in pass pro allows him to prepare for any move. His quick hands provide a strong defense against swipes and rips and he consistently resets his hands to regain control. Has incredible feet and quickness, and can mirror any nose tackle. He will frequently get favorable angles downfield in run blocking due to his athleticism. He can hold his ground with the strongest and most aggressive defenders with his strong wide base. Shows great awareness on stunts and handles them incredibly well. Instinctively reacts to complicated defensive schemes. Quick left hand usage after the snap slows down defenders. Passes off combo blocks in zone very well.
Weaknesses: When run blocking he struggles pushing the defender down the field due to lowering his head when initiating his block. Anchor could be improved. Tends to lean too far into a block and get pulled by the defender in pass protection. Two gapping nose tackles will be able to throw him due to his lack of balance.
What we need to learn about him: Will he be comfortable in a man/power scheme, as he ran zone at Michigan? Questions as to whether or not he can truly handle the strength and technique of NFL caliber linebackers when blocking in space.
Scheme: Ruiz was in a heavy zone scheme at Michigan with frequent down blocks and second-level blocks. Lots of one-on-one pass protection having to create a strong interior pocket. Often left on an island against nose tackles.
Injury History: No known injury history.
Summary: Ruiz is a day one starter who will suffice in his first year due to his athleticism, awareness, and ability in pass protection and run blocking. He would be best in a zone scheme that can take advantage of his quickness and angles, with pass protection skills that are NFL ready.