Scouting Report: Patrick Kugler

Submitted by Magnus on March 8th, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Since there wasn't much video available on Patrick Kugler when he committed, I held off on giving any TTB Rating.  Now that a twelve-minute highlight film appeared on the internet, I decided to devote this week's scouting report to Kugler.  Overall, I think he's a very good prospect who reminds me of the mauling linemen of the 1990's/early 2000's at Michigan.  I don't think we've seen a center like him for many years; Molk is a very good player, but a different type of lineman.


Six Zero

March 8th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

Seems like that's one of those words that just CAN only be a good thing when describing your own football team or its players.  Plus it's kind of fun to say AND it starts with an 'M.'


March 8th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

So is Molk. If this kid can become as good as molk, With his size and leg up on others coming from his pop, the thought is tremendous. Just hope he can duck or shane can jump pass like a pro.


March 8th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

His height doesn't bother me.  IIRC, Shane is just about 6'4".  Kugler will need to stay as low as he can to gain as much leverage as possible against the NT and various DT he'll be going up against.  With his coaching pedigree and the guys in Ann Arbor, I think he'll turn into a scary good player.


March 8th, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

Good stuff!

Can you tell us what the starting OL will likely be for the three years or so projecting out current players and the last 2 recruiting classes- it'd be neat to know who you think will get times and at what points in their development.


March 8th, 2012 at 9:58 AM ^

It seems like you're very high on this offensive line class, with 3-4 having very solid draft potential.  Combine that with your 95 for Kalis and your 87 for Magnuson and this line could be fairly filthy in the coming years.


March 8th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

While I fully realize that "athlete" is subjective (I don't personally consider pro bowlers athletes, for example) I gotta believe that an offensive lineman that highly rated must be a great athlete.  Perhaps not in the style of blazing speed, vertical jump, or other measurables, but the skill set necessary to perform the tasks required are still beyond the scope of most of us mere mortals. (and yes, Gilvani johnson blocked one of my jump shots off the top of my head in an IM basketball game)


March 8th, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

It's another person's opinion. If you want to take Scout's take as gold, then don't read other ones. If Magnus said, "Yep - everything Scout thinks" for every recruit, his site wouldn't be worth reading. It's possible Scout just thinks he's more athletic than Magnus does.


March 8th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

Call it trolling or whatever you want but the more i follow this stuff i find myself relying on TTB and Tremendous more then any other site. I liken it to KBB and selling a car. We all know KBB and its indexes are inflated by dealers but we still use that as a guide when buying. Beholden to advertisers or coaches so they can get early interviews, leads whatever the case may be, i dont trust scout, rivals etc as much as i do independent sources.

Magnum P.I.

March 8th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

You're underselling him by saying that he's on the low end of having "a good chance to be All-Big Ten." Most rating services that have actually seen him play say that he's one of the top five at his position in the country and, as of now, the best guard/center to sign up to play for a Big Ten squad. That would suggest that he's a "likely" future All-Big Ten selection, which is what your rating system would consider a 90+.


March 8th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^

How can Magnus be overselling or underselling? He's giving his evaluation. Just because Magnus thinks lesser of a recruit than someone else doesn't mean he's underselling, he just disagrees. So many people have read Magnus's evaluations and said, "that must be wrong because Scout says this, or Rivals says that or Hoke and Saban offered him so that must not be true."

Magnus is giving his opinion on a recruit. You can disagree with him all you want, but you can't tell him he's wrong because it's his evaluation.


March 9th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

"90-99 = Outstanding starter in Big Ten; likely All-Big Ten and All-American; high likelihood of NFL draft potential (Ex: Brandon Graham)"

Since he's a center and since it's hard to be an All-American (only a couple guys get chosen out of 120 schools), I don't think it's a stretch to say that he might not be an All-American.  It doesn't mean he's a bad player.


March 9th, 2012 at 8:24 AM ^

Posted about this below as I didn't see this reply.

I don't see how NFL potential is at all relevant to us, as Michigan Football fans.  If he's the best center in college football, I could care less if that's a first round, fourth round or undrafted position.  I'm looking for Michigan to have more wins, not the Lions.

I can understand how, in a global perspective, NFL status might be relevant, but on a college football blog looking to see how a recruit will affect his college team, downgrading his evaulation because you think he won't be an early round pick seems counter productive.


March 9th, 2012 at 8:34 AM ^

I don't think it's counterproductive at all.  The highest ratings (90-100) are reserved for players who seem like surefire college stars and NFL draft picks.  As long as people are aware of what the numerical grades mean (and the information is readily available on my website, unlike Rivals/Scout), then I don't see how it can be counterproductive.  The only way it can be counterproductive is if people ignore the available information.  And if people are going to be ignorant of the things they read, then I'm not really worried about what they think.  (And that's not directed toward you, but at people who see Kugler's rated 17 points away from being perfect and cry foul.)


March 9th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

So are you basically saying that the best center of the year (or the decade, for that matter) will probably never be ranked as highly as the top few Receivers/RBs/QBs on any given year, based on their NFL draft potential?

Again, it certainly isn't irrelevant in the global picture, but from the standpoint of evaluating how it will affect the product on the (college) field, NFL impact still seems irrelevant (or at least far less relevant) to me.  No problem though.  What I hear you saying is that you are not evaluating how good a college player someone will be, but how likely they are to be a good college player AND NFL prospect.

That seems like a perfectly reasonable goal to me, but will stand by my comment that, while I like seeing Michigan players do well in the draft, I really only care about their production on the field in college, not in the NFL combine or draft...  Irrelevant was probalby too strong a word.  Probalby better to say that, IMO,  the ratings would be more relevant to me if NFL potential were not a factor.

P.S.  I agree with the person who said that including a like to the explanation of the scale would be a good idea.

P.S.S.  Worth repeating that I appreciate the evaluation and look forward to reading more of them.


March 9th, 2012 at 12:01 PM ^

That's not a hard and fast rule, but generally, yeah, quarterbacks and receivers are more likely to grade out higher.

I generally don't link to my own ratings on here (this was a special case because I didn't have a chance to rate Kugler when he committed), but if I do link to a TTB Rating in the future, I will try to remember to link to my ratings.


March 9th, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

I think we're on the same page.  A few final thoughts...

I was thinking more of you linking to the TTB Rating scale at the end of your eval when you give the grade.  I, for one, hadn't read many of yoru reviews before, and didn't know the scale was linked at the top of the page, so I was definitely missing some context for a while there.

My point with the whole NFL draft potential, is that I care much more about what the college world will think of a player.  I want to know who the college version of the Danny Wuerffel, Eric Crouch, Charlie Ward, and even the Denard Robinson-type players will be.  Whether or not an amazing college player (skill position or otherwise) will translate well to the NFL is definitel a valid thing to assess, it just isn't so relevant to my interest as a college football fan.

That said, keep up the good work!

Magnum P.I.

March 9th, 2012 at 11:30 AM ^

That makes sense, although it seems like Kugler might be a better NFL prospect compared to other college centers (if, in fact, that's where he ends up) due to his size alone. He's gonna be a lot bigger than Molk, for example. All these fools who are projected to be drafted ahead of Molk--like Konz and Brewster--are just taller than him. Kugler's as tall as Konz and taller than all the others. Given his pedigree and rankings at this point, I'd say he has as good a chance as anyone else in this class of being one of the top three center drafted (wild speculation at this point, but his chance is better than most).


March 8th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

At 6'10"/380 I bet you wouldn't say that to his face (unless he were blindfolded, tied to a rock, didn't know your name or where you lived.



March 8th, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

You missed one of his best strengths.  Once he becomes engaged with a defender, they don't escape.  It almost looks like the defender has velco on the front of his jersey.  Must be very good technique.

I think you're underestimating this kid.  Great athlete or not, he can block.

Still really like reading the TTB reviews.


March 8th, 2012 at 11:22 AM ^

I didn't really miss that point:

"Good drive blocker . . . Nasty player who finishes blocks"

Also, here's what a TTB Rating of 83 means:

"80-89 = Very good starter in Big Ten; good chance of All-Big Ten; some NFL draft potential (Ex: Jonas Mouton)"

So...I said he has a good chance of being All-Big Ten and is on par with Jonas Mouton (a 2nd round pick), and I'm still being criticized for underrating kids.  Yeesh.  I understand that you might have different opinions of kids, and that's fine.  But the kid's a center.  Centers don't get picked very high in the draft.  If I say he has a chance of being the best/one of the best players at his position in the conference and that he's on par with a 2nd round NFL Draft pick, then I would think people would be satisfied.  But I guess not.

This is why I don't really let people's comments affect my analyses.  Because no matter how good you think someone will be, Michigan fans won't be happy unless I rate every kid as a 100.  And since that's not realistic, it's just not going to happen.


March 8th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

Shane Morris has a chance of moving up to that point, Ty Isaac, Eddie Vanderdoes, Robert Foster would all have a chance, I think.  Adam Breneman, too.  I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but there might be a couple more.

EDIT: Last year Kalis was close, if not for Jordan Simmons and maybe one or two other guys.


March 8th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

What about Su'a Cravens and Montravius Adams?

I have one other question. Quite often, prospects will list a school of interest, even though there is no offer extended by the school. Conversely, schools will give offers, even though it is quite unlikely that the prospect would seriously consider the offer. For instance, RDT mentioned that while Alabama had given an offer to Logan Tuley-Tillman, there was no way LTT was going to go there. For this reason, the list of prospects at Michigan's Scout board has quite a few that are very unrealistic. Examples of this for 2013:

  • Max Browne
  • Adam Breneman
  • Laremy Tunsil
  • Jaylon Smith
  • Vernon Hargreaves (maybe this is a real possibility . . . I haven't seen it yet.)
  • Ethan Pocic (doubtful because we have 5 commitments already.)

My question then, to cut to the chase:  from your perspective, who do we have a realistic to strong shot at in the following list:

  • Ty Isaac
  • Su'a Cravens
  • Robert Foster
  • Eddie Vanderdoes
  • Michael Hutchings (think he is unlikely)
  • Robert Foster
  • Kendall Fuller (is he a VT lock or not?)
  • Chris Hawkins
  • Sebastian LaRue
  • Joe Mathis
  • Priest Willis
  • DeVeon Smith

You may notice that a bunch of these guys are from out in California. I'm wondering if Hoke's connections and familiarity with California will help us with some of these guys.



March 8th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

Ty Isaac, Su'a Cravens, Eddie Vanderdoes, and DeVeon Smith seem to be the guys we have the best shot at in that group.  We're outside Foster's top group, Hutchings is bound to stay on the west coast, I think Fuller is a VT lock, and the rest of the guys have yet to visit.


March 9th, 2012 at 7:26 AM ^

I also appreciate the non-sugar coated evals. My only complaint (same with Rivals) is that, IMO, NFL potential/draft position is irrelevant.

Think back to some if the Heisman winners who were not highly regarded in the NFL. I'd much rather have the best player in college football who may not translate as well to the pros, than a lesser college player who will be better at the next level.

Tell me about (and rank) a player's college potential. I'll look to Mel Kiper for the draft eval.


March 9th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

Well, for the most part, I think college success translates to the NFL.  The place where it seems to bog down is with some system quarterbacks (Jason White, Ty Detmer, etc.).  Kellen Moore is another system college QB who doesn't necessarily translate well to the pros, although he didn't win the Heisman.  There have been a lot of Heisman flops, but many of them were considered to be good pro prospects.  In general, good college players who play in good conferences will be considered NFL prospects.

Leroy Hoard

March 8th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

Not that my opinion matters, but I think your reviews are great.  Biggest problem in reviews of anything is the relationship between the reviewer and subject or those with relationships with the subject - it is common that people tout the good stuff but underplay the negatives to avoid upsetting people.

It is refreshing to have someone who, as far as I can tell, knows what they are talking about review where there are no ties whatsoever and give the straight facts/opinions. 

As far as basing his opinion on 12 minutes of highlights - that would tend to create overrating guys, not underrating them.  No one puts up highlights of a lineman getting plowed into his own QB - it is the best that you will get.


March 8th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

I enjoy your stuff.  I think this analysis was pretty fair.  Same with LTT.  Now if you give Tunsil an 83, then I might start to question


March 8th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

You should probably toss up a link to your rating system too when you link these scouting reports. People have seen ratings on 247 and ESPN and stars on Scout and Rivals. Your system is different from theirs and is worth checking out before reading what you have to say and your ranking. Sometimes people just see a number and don't necessarily understand what it means.

Thanks for the link, keep up the good work.