Owen Marecic Scouting Report


I absolutely love Stanford fullback/linebacker (he truly started at both positions last year at Stanford, but he is definitely a fullback in the NFL) Owen Marecic. He will never put up flashy stats in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be the most dominant fullback in the NFL.

Immediately after seeing Marecic’s numbers from the 2009 season (under 150 all purpose yards), I got the impression that he was a blocking fullback. He’s not much of a runner. Though he has power, he has a lot of bulk and really lacks speed for that reason. However, his toughness makes him somewhat valuable near the goal line.

Marecic is also not much of a receiver. He has decent hands, but he’s not much of an athlete and he lacks quickness as a route runner. Being a receiver just isn’t a big asset to his game.

Last off-season, when I saw Marecic play games from the 2009 season, I immediately fell in love with him. I saw domination as a run blocker to the point that I started to have a lesser opinion of Toby Gerhart. Marecic opened up endless holes for him to run through, and Gerhart’s job was easy. I’ve never seen any player dominate as a run blocker like Marecic. His toughness is incredible (he legitimately starts at two positions; he’s not like a corner that may run some routes on the side, such as Aqib Talib. He starts at fullback and middle linebacker, and is on the field during almost every play in the game. He’s also the first player in years to score a touchdown on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball in the same game), his strength and stamina are ridiculous, his fundamentals are perfect, and he plays with a terrifying mean streak. I’ve never seen a fullback drive defenders off the ball and open up holes like Marecic. Any man that Marecic touches is a complete non factor for the duration of the play. His run blocking ability singlehandedly made Stanford’s running backs productive over the years, whether he’s blocking for Toby Gerhart or Stepfan Taylor.

I’ve already shared my opinion on Marecic. That’s done. I’ll spend the rest of the article trying to logically prove how much of an impact he had on Stanford’s running game.

Let me start out with Stanford’s running backs. Of course, Toby Gerhart was a good player, but it’s worth noting that little known back Stepfan Taylor got 1137 rushing yards in 2010, maintaining a 5.1 yards per carry. For two different running backs on the same team to put up arguably the best numbers of all running backs in their conference in consecutive years (Taylor was probably second to LaMichael James, maybe third Shane Vereen), the run blocking usually plays a huge role.

So let’s look at Stanford’s offensive line. The offensive line is widely considered to be one of the best in the nation. That offensive line allowed the fewest sacks of any team in the FBS (excluding Air Force, but they literally attempted 12 passes per game during the season). One may logically attribute Stanford’s success running the ball to this offensive line. However, last year, 0 Stanford offensive linemen were drafted, and I’d say there is only about a ten percent chance that any of their offensive linemen will be drafted before the sixth round this year. Why? None of them were very good run blockers. Otherwise they would have been drafted.

To add further evidence that Stanford’s offensive line wasn’t very good at run blocking; literally one starting offensive linemen from the past two years was listed over 300lbs (right guard David DeCastro, who is listed at 303lbs). How often is it that an undersized offensive line, such as Stanford’s, is outstanding at run blocking? Not often. Usually, offensive linemen that small are athletic wall blockers that are very effective as pass blockers, but very poor as run blockers. Stanford is no exception. Derek Hall, Andrew Phillips, Jonathan Martin, and Chase Beeler all match this description.

Marecic is also an effective linebacker with good instincts, effectiveness in coverage, and hard hitting ability. However, I don’t see him to be much more than a seventh round prospect as a linebacker at the NFL level, and I doubt he’ll play much linebacker at the NFL. I’m never paid much attention to him as a linebacker.

Ultimately, Stanford has been a great team running the ball the last few years. If it was because of their offensive line, I personally guarantee that they would have had at least one lineman that was drafted in the first two or three rounds in the draft, especially considering the line’s production as pass blockers. But none of the Stanford offensive line is great at run blocking. So how do these running backs maintain success? It’s because of Owen Marecic! Even in a dying position, Owen Marecic can be essential to a team’s success running the ball.

NFL Comparison: I’d say Chuck Bednarik because of the whole, two way player thing, but I’ve never seen Bednarik play a down of football in my life. I’ll go with Madison Hedgecock.

Grade: 76 (worthy of a mid-third round pick)

Projection: 50 (won’t be drafted until late in the fifth round)

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