Monday, April 29, 2013

Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Wolverine

Paramus (NJ) Catholic offensive tackle
Juwann Bushell-Beatty (image via Rivals)
Paramus (NJ) Catholic offensive tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty committed to Michigan on Monday.  He picked the Wolverines over offers from Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Massachusetts, Miami, Michigan State, Rutgers, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Bushell-Beatty stands 6'7" and 310 lbs.

ESPN: 4-star, 83 grade, #10 OT, #120 overall
Rivals: 3-star, #29 OT
Scout: 3-star, #45 OT
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #17 OT, #215 overall

Bushell-Beatty was offered in February, just a couple weeks after National Signing Day.  He visited Penn State and Boston College in the meantime, and he also stopped by Ohio State on the same trip in which he visited Michigan.  After that midwest trip, he declared Michigan his leader; many presumed that he would commit to the Wolverines, but Michigan hasn't recruited New Jersey very successfully over the past few seasons.

When watching Bushell-Beatty's highlights, they started off well.  I think he shows some pretty impressive footwork for such a large guy, and he moves his feet very well in both the pass and run game.  He shows a nice kick set, keeps a wide base, and stays well balanced while sitting back in his pass set.  He also flashes the ability to show a good punch and control a rusher's inside number.  He has a thick lower body, which should allow him to develop a strong power base and anchor well against inside pass rushes.

I also thought his highlight-worthy plays ran out fairly quickly.  Regarding his pass blocking, Bushell-Beatty sometimes opens up his hips and outside foot too early, which could make him susceptible to defensive ends spiking inside.  While he shows a good hand punch at times, it's not consistent enough and he needs to work on keeping his hands inside.  In the run game, he shows decent footwork but he tends to stand up too high; despite his heft, he doesn't appear to have the strength to drive defensive linemen off the ball.  At times he gets stoned by players who are smaller than him, partly because of pad level but also partly due to some apparent lack of functional strength.  He needs to play lower and get in the weight room.  And while several of Michigan's recent offensive line recruits look like solid overall athletes, Bushell-Beatty is a little less so and will have to work on his balance and flexibility.

I think Bushell-Beatty projects best as a left tackle at the next level, because he has a pretty good feel for pass protection.  His run blocking needs the most work, in my opinion, so offensive guard and right tackle are a bigger leap.  He has a good deal of mass and probably doesn't need to add weight (if he is indeed 310 lbs.), but he will need to turn some of that current weight into muscle.  I do not think he has the athleticism to be a great offensive lineman, but there is some potential for him to be a starter at some point, a guy like Mark Huyge.

Bushell-Beatty is the eighth commitment in the class of 2014 and the second offensive lineman, joining Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake's Mason Cole.  If the recruiting class remains at the size of 16, then I would expect Michigan to take three total linemen; the third could be a guy at any of the offensive line positions, because I think Michigan has built enough depth at every spot to take the "best player available."  Meanwhile, Bushell-Beatty's teammate is cornerback Jabrill Peppers, widely considered to be the best cornerback prospect in the country.  Michigan has not pulled in a player from Paramus (NJ) Catholic before, and he is the first from the Garden State since Anthony Lalota in the 2009 class.  However, Michigan did have a short run of success recruiting the state in the 2000s with guys like J.B. Fitzgerald, Victor Hobson, and Brandon Smith.

TTB Rating: 68 (ratings explanation)

Highlights can be found on Hudl.


  1. Thunder,

    Thanks for the write-up! How do you compare JBB with Denzel Ward? Seems like you preder Denzel Ward comparing with your comments, IIRC.

    1. Ward is a better natural athlete, so I do like Ward more. Both are somewhat projects, in my opinion, so I'd take the guy who's a more fluid athlete. I think Ward has a ton of potential. I'm not saying he WILL be this good, but he's the type of kid (like Eric Fisher) who could disappear for a couple years while his body matures and he learns technique, then he pops back up on the radar as a high NFL draft pick. Bushell-Beatty has a lower ceiling.

    2. Then what about LTT? In your opinion Who has a higher ceiling? LTT or JBB?

    3. I think Tuley-Tillman has a higher ceiling.

  2. If I'm not mistaken, JBB is fairly new to football and has only played 1 year of varsity HS football. With regard to your opinion of his ceiling, how much is related to deficiencies in technique that can be corrected as opposed to inherent athletic ability?

    1. No offense, Anonymous, but I have an entire paragraph devoted to his strengths and an entire separate paragraph devoted to his weaknesses, followed by a summary of how I project him forward. I don't think there's much that I can add here that I haven't said in those three paragraphs.

  3. It's interesting to read analysis on a kid this big pointing to him as a left or blindside tackle rather than a right tackle. Especially on a kid as thick as this one.

    Bushnell-Beatty looks to me like he's kind of always tipping over a little regardless of which way he's heading. I don't think it's a good weight bad, weight thing or even an overweight thing, it just looks to me like a young kid with just a massive body is having some problems controlling his inertia.

    Again, offensive line is something I don't know about, but as big and thick as this kid is when he matures and gets used to carrying all that mass around, he might have a chance to be block out the sun huge and the occasional cave in half your line kind of blocker.

    A theme is beginning to develop around here ..... bigger is better.