Name: Cesar Ruiz
Weight: 319 lbs
Cesar Ruiz continues his football path of being a top prospect among his peers. He was recruited to the University of Michigan out of the IMG Academy where he was ranked #1 at his position, and top 100 in the nation among all major recruiting databases. He broke into the starting line as a true freshman where he started at RG. Through his SO and JR seasons he started 26 of 26 games at C.
Wow, can this guy ever move for 6’4 319 pounds.. Ruiz was tasked with pulling from the C position on numerous plays and showed the ability to get out as the lead blocker in a variety of play calls. He has a strong punch when he plays, with consistent technique; his hands are inside with his elbows tight. Ruiz is able to prevent bull rushes by sinking into his lower body and appears to have a strong anchor. His combination of athleticism and power makes him a fit in just about any scheme. For a guy his size, he shows good bend through his ankles and knees, which projects well for improving technique at the next level. Snaps are consistent in shotgun, which is crucial for the Ravens.
Best Trait: Mobility.
While he has plenty of reps where he maintains his technique, it still did look inconsistent as a whole. On his 2018 tape, he was guilty of not using his hands on many occasions, but that was cleaned up a bit in his 2019 tape and appeared to be an offseason focus. He tends to lean into blocks with his shoulder instead of initiating contact with his hands. It’s hard to make conclusions without knowing Michigan’s coaching approach, but there were plays where Ruiz would drop his head before the snap and his LG and RG would make defensive alignment calls. He could probably shave off 5-10 pounds of bad weight, which should only make him stronger and quicker.
Worst Trait: Inconsistent hand usage.
Ruiz is the type of C that thrives in the Ravens’ blended scheme of power, zone and duo play-calling. He has the mobility to get out in space, combo block and pull, but he also has the power to clear out gap designed runs and drive block.
The Ravens picture at C is confusing with Bradley Bozeman playing well at LG, Patrick Mekari’s emergence and Matt Skura’s injury. However, if the Ravens see the need for a C, Ruiz would be an ideal fit.
Nick Mangold – Ruiz has a great blend of size and mobility like Mangold did when he came out of Ohio State. He also has the same strong record of durability that Mangold displayed early in his career.
Ruiz does have some technical aspects to clean up, but his combination of size, power and mobility are enough to give him sky high potential. His jump from 2018 to 2019 on film gives you a lot of hope that he can continue to progress. All of that combined with his scheme diversity bump his grade up.