2023 NFL Combine Profile: Juice Scruggs, Offensive Line

Penn State may be bringing back one of its top offensive linemen in 2023 with the return of Olu Fashanu, but the offensive line will be losing a veteran starter with plenty of experience with the departure of Juice Scruggs. Scruggs has opted to take his shot at the NFL and will be heading to the NFL combine with a lot to prove to the NFL Scouting community.

Scruggs is a prospect in need of a good showing at the combine in order to climb the big board a bit ahead of the NFL draft. But with his proven versatility at multiple offensive line positions and good all-around skills, there could be much to like about Scruggs as a draft prospect. But he may have to shine a bit at the combine in order to improve his draft projections.

Here is a look at Penn State offensive lineman Juice Scruggs as he prepares to show what he has to offer at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.


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Juice Scruggs was a four-star addition to Penn State’s Class of 2018, which was headlined by plenty of star power including [autotag]Micah Parsons[/autotag], [autotag]Jahan Dotson[/autotag], [autotag]Odafe Oweh[/autotag], and [autotag]Pat Freiermuth[/autotag] and fellow draft class prospects PJ Mustipher and [autotag]Jake Pinegar[/autotag]. This was also the same recruiting class that brought in quarterback [autotag]Will Levis[/autotag], who eventually transferred to Kentucky and quickly rose in the quarterback draft rankings once he did.

Scruggs became a fixture on the Penn State offensive line in 2021 as a junior, but he had a rough season on tape. Scruggs allowed too many hurries on Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and a pair of sacks while splitting time at right guard and center. In 2022, Scruggs moved primarily to the center position, which is where he would most likely be playing at the next level. Scruggs improved in his protection of the quarterback at the center position in 2022, although he did allow some pressure a little bit more than scouts would have liked to see.


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While Juice Scruggs may not excel in any one particular category for an NFL offensive lineman, he is sturdy and consistent enough across the board with his strength and hand movement to make for a nice addition to provide some quality depth on the offensive line for any NFL roster. Scruggs is praised his reaction time off the snap and his versatility to play on either side of the football or at the center position gives him value on any roster in need of offensive line bodies.

Scouts will have a difficult time finding any particular area in Scruggs’ game that needs dramatic improvement as he is a pretty well-rounded prospect in this year’s draft class of offensive linemen.


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So what keeps Juice Scruggs lagging behind the top-level linemen in this year’s draft class? Nothing that can’t be coached out of him it would seem.

While his hand movement is above average, Scruggs may need to get feistier with his hands in order to fend off NFL defensive linemen who are skilled at shedding blocks off the edge and the initial block on the line. Scruggs has also been noted on not moving his feet enough when in protection, instead relying on his upper body strength. In order to be a successful NFL offensive lineman, Scruggs will need to leverage his body more below the belt more consistently.

Where Scruggs sits among draft prospects

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When it comes to offensive guards, Juice Scruggs is far down the pecking order on the big boards at the position in this year;’s draft class. With so many top-level guards available and with no particular area that pops off the film for Scruggs, it stands to reason why he would be far down the offensive guard rankings heading into this year’s draft.

Scruggs may be way down the list when it comes to offensive guards, but he is a bit higher on the board for the center position. Although there are a number of players who will rank higher among centers, Scruggs is close to a top-10 center in this year’s draft class. But that doesn’t sounds like he will be a lock to be drafted in this year’s draft unless he really stands out at the combine and Penn State’s pro day.

Draft outlook

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As things stand right now, Juice Scruggs has a realistic chance of not being drafted in this year’s NFL draft. Scruggs is a solid all-around offensive lineman that could be a nice addition to any NFL roster, but without any particular exceptional skill to impress scouts, Scruggs will likely remain on the radar as a potential late-round draft pick or an undrafted free agent.

In the 2021 NFL draft, Penn State had offensive linemen go back-to-back in the seventh round with Michael Menet and Will Fries being selected with the 19th and 20th picks, respectively in the final round of the draft (and Shaka toney went one pick prior to give Penn State three consecutive draft picks in the final round). Last year saw Rasheed Walker also go in the seventh round of the draft.

Penn State hasn’t had an offensive lineman go earlier than the seventh round since Connor McGovern went in the third round to the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. history may not be on the side of Scruggs, but all of that can change with a solid performance at the combine.

Other Penn State players at the 2023 NFL Combine

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire