Building depth currently is really important, but adding to the depth for the future is also important. Brady Petersen adds to the future. The in-state prospect from Ankeny is another 2020 offensive line prospect that gives Iowa State more pieces for the future on the offensive line.
Petersen was beginning to become a popular commodity on the recruiting trail when Iowa State offered him. Petersen instantly committed when he received his offers but Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan and Michigan State were vying for his services. Petersen was a 3-star recruit with an 85 composite rating.
Brady Peterson really jumps out to me for one main specific reason. Iowa State has struggled in run blocking over the last few seasons and you really can tell a trend with this years offensive line class. It is that they are road graders. Ankeny Centennial is a team that puts their hand in the ground and runs the ball down the opponents throat. Time and Time again on some of their big plays, Petersen is on the of the lead blockers.
What I like about Brady Petersen’s film is that he never goes backwards, and when he blocks it makes an impact. Time and time again throughout his film, you see Petersen driving a man well out of the play and making him disappear. As I have said in some of our other offensive line scouting reports, impact blocking is needed for Iowa State and it will get you on the field sooner. Example being Trevor Downing.
His foot work is solid and his first steps out of his set are towards the block. A lot of times with lineman coming out of high school footwork and base seem to big one of the bigger issues. Peterson plays with a solid base and his footwork matches the blocks that he is asked to make.
What we don’t see a ton of here is pass blocking. Though this is his junior tape. By all accounts it is known that Petersen worked hard to refine his pass blocking from his junior season to senior season. He put in that work with some of the other instate lineman in Cedar Rapids. While his position in high school was at the tackle spot, his leverage is great to transition well into the guard spot at college. If needed I could see him playing right tackle.
Stay with me on this one folks. I see a lot of Quenton Nelson here in Brady Petersen. Nelson is the best guard in the NFL. What makes me compare the two is footwork and execution of any block. If you go and sit and watch Quenton Nelson on any given Sunday, his hips, feet and blocks are seamless. There are no errors and that’s what makes him so effective. Playing offensive line is just as much technique as it is physicality. Petersen’s footwork is so good and if you pair with proper technique. He is going to win most battles. It gives a lot of things for the coaching staff and one less thing they have to worry about developing for Petersen.
Run blocking is not going to be an issue here for Petersen. He is exactly what Matt Campbell is looking for in an offensive line at Iowa State. The problem is while we know that he worked on pass blocking over the last summer, the question is how that translates to what Iowa State wants to do in their pass blocking scheme. This is why I don’t think Petersen will be playing tackle. He transitions well into the guard spot, he is used to play with his hand in the ground. This makes his fit into the scheme all that easier.
Petersen is an intriguing prospect. There is a ton of upside and ton to work with. How he transitions into the college game with his pass blocking is going to be key. From the sounds of it, I don’t think it is going to be a major problem. Fortunately, the 2020 season is going to be one that he gets his body ready for the college game rather than trying to navigate a college field. Matt Campbell has done a great job utilizing the redshirt season on offensive lineman to make them better players. This is going to be no different.