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Vikings guard Danny Isidora has the size and above average athleticism to be a starter in the future. Daniel House breaks down his strengths and weaknesses as a player.
Updated: June 1, 2017 10:25 a.m.
By: Daniel House
.gifs courtesy of ACCDN
.gifs courtesy of ACCDN
Miami guard Danny isidora slipped through the cracks of the NFL Draft and the Vikings added value by selecting him in the fifth round. Isidora has the chance to mold into a future starting product at right guard. He has great size, but his light feet and agility make him even more attractive as a player. Isidora reacts extremely well when he pulls and gets to the second level. He is instinctive to engage with defenders and his light feet allow him to change direction quickly and maintain leverage.
I was most impressed with him as a pass protector. He diagnoses stunts and twists well and makes the necessary adjustments to pick them up. This was a problem last year for the Vikings at right guard. The right guard must be able to recognize changes in defensive fronts to prevent additional inside pressure on the quarterback. This put a huge strain on every other player among the Vikings offensive line last year.
Isidora’s Pro Football Focus third down pass-blocking efficiency rating was 99.4, second among guards in this draft class. In addition, according to PFF, Isidora didn't allow a pressure in 9 of the 13 games he played in 2016. He only surrendered 9 sacks in 1,376 snaps. This further illustrates his ability to diagnose defensive fronts and use his agile skill-set to settle into his stance. His footwork needs work, but his hand technique really separates him from other guards. Isidora is a very fluid player for a guy with his size and frame. If you saw any photos or video of him during OTAs, you can see he is an absolute tank. However, his light feet and agility really allow him to make a difference.
In the clip below, Isidora is pulling, but settles into his stance and picks up the defensive end to prevent pressure. His footwork was very good to break down and engage with his hands and feet in sync. Isidora has excellent timing between his inside punch and footwork. Everything moves in one fluid motion as he sets his anchor and delivers a punch to get leverage. He needs to work on staying balanced because he has a tendency to play too tall. Defensive lineman often exploited this weakness. I want to see him maintain his low base throughout the play.
The two clips below show Isidora's ability to open holes as he uses his strong motor and strength to wash the defensive tackle out of the play. When Isidora wins off the snap, he uses his hand placement, light feet, and strong anchor to dominate the play. There were times I wasn't happy with the way Isidora came off the snap. Oftentimes, he was slow and most of the time it was the reason why he lost. He had the tendency to take plays off, but these two highlights show what he can do when the motor is constantly running. He drives through defenders and completely takes them out of plays. His strong hands and placement allow him to gain a huge advantage over defensive lineman who are less skilled in this respect.
Isidora is extremely patient as a blocker and plays methodically with above average awareness. Every game I watched he rarely made mental mistakes and displayed his intelligence. When he pulls off of blocks, he will always find someone else in the second level. Isidora isn’t a player who executes his assignment and quits on the play. He is always searching for another defender to block after he accomplishes his task. He isn't an offensive lineman who won't play reactive. He often let's his above average instincts take over. However, sometimes he can be overreactive, which gets him into trouble.
Probably the most underrated aspect of Danny Isidora is his toughness. He started 39 straight games at right guard since 2014. There were concerns about a foot injury he sustained before the draft process, but his 40-yard dash time (5.03) erased any doubt he wasn’t healthy.
Isidora provides an instant upgrade as depth in his first season with the Vikings. In fact, it wouldn't shock me if Isidora performs well enough to be the starter at right guard in 2018. He will have a year to adjust to the rigors of the NFL before being thrown into the fire. Isidora's size, athleticism, light feet, and intelligence make him an attractive prospect for the future. I mainly want to see him clean up his footwork and balance problems, along with the inconsistent motor issues.
If he can be more consistent as an overall player, Isidora is a potential starter that could provide longevity for the Vikings.