Cesar Ruiz Overview
Position: Interior Offensive Line
Weight: 307 pounds
2020 NFL Combine Data
40-Yard Dash: 5.08 seconds
Bench Press: 28 reps
Vertical Jump: 33”
3 Cone Drill: 7.91 seconds
Cesar Ruiz 2020 NFL Draft Profile
Cesar Ruiz is one of the younger players eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of making an immediate impact. During his Junior year, the Michigan product played 919 snaps at center without allowing a sack. Additionally, he only allowed two quarterback hits and seven hurries while establishing himself as one of the best interior linemen in the nation.
Ruiz initially joined Michigan as a five-star recruit and 247Sports top center in high school. A highly-recruited prospect, Ruiz also fielded offers from Auburn, Florida, and North Carolina but ultimately decided on Michigan. After starting his freshman year on the bench, Ruiz earned the starting right guard job towards the end of the 2017 season. He didn’t do much to impress during his abbreviated time on the field, but that’s not uncommon for a true freshman.
Given an offseason to build up strength, Ruiz returned in 2018 and established himself as one of the best interior offensive linemen in all of college football. Ruiz allowed just one sack in 873 snaps to go along with just two hits and seven pressures. Following an even better Junior campaign, Ruiz opted to skip his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2020 NFL Draft.
- Quick to get off the snap and engage his man;
- Strong anchor and rarely loses his footing, overall excels in pass blocking;
- Has experience at both center and guard;
- Sticks with his blocks and quick to recover when beaten;
- Tested well at the NFL Combine and has required strength for the next level;
- Young player developed well beyond his years;
- Slightly undersized for the position and will need to gain some weight;
- Doesn’t possess superstar ceiling;
- Below-average arm length;
- Average run blocker;
- Pedestrian lateral movement, although it’s not a fatal flaw by any means;
- Solid overall player but lacks game-changing blocks.
NFL Comparison: Dan Connolly
Projection: Round 2
Bottom Line on Cesar Ruiz
Cesar Ruiz isn’t the flashiest player in the draft, but he’s one of the most reliable and has a decent enough ceiling. Positional versatility is king in today’s NFL, and Ruiz has the talent to start at center and both guard positions. Ruiz excels as a pass-blocker, is fundamentally sound, and isn’t even 21 yet. While he didn’t look remarkably athletic on tape, his combine performance implied that he is an above-average athlete. If a team can hone into that untapped athleticism, then they could have a perennial Pro Bowler for years to come.
Most of Ruiz’ flaws aren’t major issues. While he rarely dominates guys, he typically holds his own and does what he needs to do. Generally speaking, an average block won’t have a dramatically different result on a play compared to a great block. Ruiz is definitely better in pass protection than run blocking, but he can still run block at a serviceable level. Overall, he lacks the superstar ceiling to go in the first round but he should be a great Day 2 pickup who can compete to start right out of the gate.
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