Duke Manyweather, a renowned expert in offensive line evaluation, recognizes the potential of Detroit Lions‘ fifth-round pick, Colby Sorsdal. Manyweather's investigation into Sorsdal revealed a hidden gem, overlooked by scouts who dismissed his small-school background. Impressed by Sorsdal's tape, Manyweather reached out to NFL general managers, prompting them to reconsider the prospect.
“They know when I’m calling or texting and I’ve got a name for them, they’re like, ‘Damn, I missed that one,’” Manyweather said on the First Byte Podcast. “All of a sudden I started sending clips (of Sorsdal) to GMs and they’re like, ‘Oh man, we missed him. I’m going to watch him. I’m going to write him up.’”
- Duke Manyweather, an esteemed offensive line evaluator, discovered Colby Sorsdal's talent and potential.
- Sorsdal, a fifth-round pick by the Detroit Lions, was initially overlooked due to his small-school background.
- Manyweather's involvement and endorsement of Sorsdal prompted NFL general managers to take notice of the previously underestimated prospect.
- Sorsdal's tape showcased impressive body positioning, leverages, technique, footwork, and play strength.
- Manyweather's training sessions with Sorsdal further confirmed his exceptional skills and dedication.
- Despite veterans Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Graham Glasgow being on the roster, Manyweather believes Sorsdal may compete for a starting position sooner than expected.
O-Line guru reveals why Colby Sorsdal will eventually start for Detroit Lions
Further demonstrating his belief in Colby Sorsdal's abilities, Manyweather personally trained him for several months, witnessing the lineman's exceptional technique, footwork, and play strength. Manyweather's endorsement suggests that Sorsdal has the qualities to become a professional player, even potentially earning a starting role earlier than anticipated.
“He had really great body positioning, leverages, great technique, tremendous footwork. He was very efficient with his movement,” Manyweather said of Sorsdal’s tape. “He never looked out of control, always finished—whether he put guys in the ground or not—he just gave an added extra (effort). He wasn’t challenged much in pass protection, which I don’t care what level you play at, there are going to be times in which you get out of position or somebody gets into your chest, and you just didn’t see that with him. You saw above-average hand usage. Him being able to swat down a long arm, being able to lift up a long arm, being able to trap guys down, being able to re-fit anchors.
“That play strength was also something that stuck out to me. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, if you are physically dominant, you’re always in good positioning—being in good position to recover when you need to be is important. That’s really what O-line is about in the NFL: being able to recover. So Colby was in position to recover, what we call ‘be where your feet are.’ And just his play strength was off the charts for that level.
“So when I look at those things, that lets me know that the guy’s got a chance, and when I met him and I saw his personality and I saw just what he was willing to do and willing to invest and willing to put in, it let me know that, ‘Alright, what we saw on tape married with the mental component of it. We’ve got a player here. This is going to be a pro guy.’”
“This is not to say that he’s penciled in as a starter, but I know the mentality that Colby has,” Manyweather said. “And I know what Penei (Sewell) provides at right tackle, I know what Jonah Jackson and Taylor Decker like to do. I think he’s going to fit in that room really well and he’s going to compete. That’s for sure. So I think if it came down to it, him competing, you may have found a starter in a fifth-round draft pick from a small school that’s going to play a physical brand of football.”
Bottom Line – An Offensive Line Revelation
Colby Sorsdal's journey, guided by the expert eye of Duke Manyweather, unveils a promising future for the young lineman. Manyweather's endorsement and personal training reflect his belief in Sorsdal's potential to become a starter in the NFL. Sorsdal's exceptional technique, footwork, and play strength set him apart, making him a player to watch. As he joins the Detroit Lions' offensive line room and competes with experienced veterans, Sorsdal's dedication and mental fortitude may propel him to an earlier-than-expected role as a starter. His journey symbolizes the triumph of talent and perseverance, showcasing the impact of recognizing hidden gems.