2013 Draft Prospect: Eric Fisher
Going into the draft process, Eric Fisher was a bit of an unknown, but as we’ve gotten closer to draft day, Eric Fisher has risen up draft boards exponentially. At first, I wasn’t sold on Fisher and thought the Eagles would be better off taking a player like Dion Jordan or Dee Milliner, but as I began to read scouting reports on Fisher and watched tape on him myself, I no longer have any doubt that if Fisher is available, the Eagles should absolutely draft him.
Eric Fisher is a big athletic left tackle from Central Michigan, measuring in at 6’7″, weighing 306 lbs, and he is equipped with 34 1/2″ arms. At the Senior Bowl, Fisher was regarded as the player to attend the game because of his strong performances in practice and in the game. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Fisher was excellent and he out preformed the projected number 1 pick, Luke Joeckel. Fisher is regarded some as the best player in the draft, but if the Chiefs do what most are projecting them to do, and that’s selecting Luke Joeckel, there is a good chance that Eric Fisher will be available at four for the Eagles to select.
Strengths: Fisher excelled the most in everything that a team wants a left tackle to be good at: pass blocking. Fisher is an elite pass blocking tackle because of his great ability to recognize the play as it’s happening. When I watched Fisher on tape, Fisher was able to tell if the edge rusher was going to bull-rush or try to speed-rush him to the outside and because of this ability Fisher was able to let the play come to him. Against speed rushers, Fisher was able to match the rusher with his outstanding footwork and strong hands to knock the rusher of balance or out of the play. Mike Mayock said that “Fisher is like Joe Staley with better feet,” and that is extremely evident against speed rushers. Against bull-rushers, Fisher still stayed patient and let the play come to him, which means that he wasn’t caught of balance because of over extension. At the point of attack, Fisher used his strengths and his hands to lock up rushers and keep them out of the play.
Fisher’s ability to recognize plays early made him extremely good when the rushers switched and forced him to release and pick up another rusher. When the pass rushers went outside-inside on Fisher, he was able to release his hands and use his athleticism to lock on to the other pass rusher, which is normally an extremely difficult thing to do.
Weaknesses: Fisher doesn’t have any huge weaknesses, but there are a few things about his game that he is still improving upon. The first is in the run game. Fisher isn’t a bad run blocker, but sometimes he is caught leaning and overextending in the run game which leads to him being off balance or pushed aside at times. In the pass game, Fisher can get caught a with his upper body a bit over his feet and when the pass rushers recognized this, the pass rushers would effectively use the swim move or pull-push move to get by Fisher. Again, these weaknesses aren’t glaring and aren’t a huge concern, but they’re small issues that Fisher needs to continue to improve on.
Fisher is a very good, complete prospect who will succeed at the next level. If Fisher does fall to the fourth pick in the draft, it would be a very wise decision for the Eagles front office to draft Fisher.