#77 Luke Marquardt, OT, Azusa Pacific University
HGT: 6-9 WGT: 315
Many people may not have heard of Azusa Pacific University. APU is a small private University in Azusa California, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Azusa Pacific alumni include former NFL players, Christina Okoye and Doug Barnett and the Cougars are hoping to add another name to that list. Luke Marquardt’s journey is very intriguing in that he originally came to Azusa Pacific University looking for an opportunity to play basketball, but ended up landing a spot on the Cougar football team as a tight end, but was later switched to Offensive Tackle because of injuries to starters.
Marquardt has rare size (listed at 6-9, 312lbs) and possesses the athleticism of an elite level athlete. On film Marquardt rarely gets beat. Plays with good, not great pad level and knee bend for an athlete of his size. Shows off a mean streak in his game. Plays with good explosiveness in the run game and really gets off the ball with a purpose. Shows the ability to pull and bury defenders on contact. Good in space on screens. Takes good angles when climbing to the next level of defenders. Marquardt reaches wide defensive ends effortlessly within his first few steps. Looks very comfortable in his pass demeanor and when kick sliding. Displays good feet when changing directions in pass protection. Jolts defenders with his strong punch. Uses his arm length very effectively, never allowing defenders in to his body and shows that with his upper body strength he can lockout on defenders. Sits and anchors against the bull-rush.
Missed the entire 2012 season due to injury (broken foot). Does not play against elite level competition, coming from the DII level. At times plays with a narrow base which causes him to lose his balance. Would like to see him develop more lower body strength. Needs to work on over all hand placement, at times his hands get outside frame. Improve on the consistency of his pass sets, at times under-sets and he ends up having to run defenders over the top of the pocket. At times his length doesn’t allow him to drop his hips to re-anchor.
With the intangibles Marquardt possesses and the coaching and guidance he received from NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, there is no doubt in my mind that Luke Marquardt will make the transition from DII level to the NFL. Marquardt will be a prospect to keep a close eye on during the evaluation process.