By Adam Aniba
This year's draft features multiple offensive lineman that have the flexibility to play multiple spots, along the o-line. Old Dominion University right tackle Nick Saldiveri, predominantly played on the outside, but when he filled in at guard the transition was smooth.
The ODU lineman was originally projected as a late 5th round prospect, but has seen his stock rise during the pre-draft evaluation process. Saldiveri has a chance to be an immediate starter at guard in the right situation.
6'6" 318 lbs | G/T | ODU
Draft Proj Late 3rd-4th Rd
Saldiveri grew up in Waxhaw, NC and was a star offensive tackle for Parkwood HS, where he also was on the Track & Field team in Shot Put Event. Saldiveri was a 1st-Team All-Southern Carolina Conference.
The Parkwood o-lineman received minimal attention during the college recruiting process and committed to Old Dominion University. Saldiveri redshirted in '18 as a true freshman, appearing in 3 games as a backup lineman.
As a sophomore in '19, Saldiveri started 11 games at right tackle , missing 1 game due to injury,
The following season in '21, Saldiveri started all 11 games. Although he started at right tackle in every game, he moved inside to right guard on a few occasions. He became the first ODU lineman in history to score a touchdown after a fumble recovery, which proved to be the difference in a bowl-eligibility clinching win vs Charlotte (11/27/21).
In '21, he received Conference USA Honorable Mention and received Third-team All-Conference USA honors.
Last season Saldiveri started 11 games (10 at RT & 1 at RG). The ODU lineman helped lead the way for a school record, in which RB Blake Watson set a program single-game rushing record with 259 yards and 3 touchdowns vs Coastal Carolina. Watson was only the second player in ODU history to rush for 1,000 yards.
His efforts led to a 2nd-Team All-Sun Belt selection and an invite to the '23 Senior Bowl.
During Senior Bowl practices, Saldiveri took reps at tackle, center and at right guard. It was the first time the o-lineman lined up at center in his playing career.
Green Bay Packers Assistant Offensive Line Coach Ryan Mahaffey coached Saldiveri during the Senior Bowl. He had the following to say about the ODU lineman playing multiple positions, along the o-line.
"He's got the mental bandwidth to be able to handle that, the multiplicity to play a lot of different positions. He's also done a great job of bringing enthusiasm each and every single day."
High football IQ, doesn't make the same mistake twice
Looks natural when asked to pull as a guard, dropping the hammer in the run game
Natural knee bender who looks fluid when explodes out of his stance
Sound technique in pass protection
Impressive lateral quickness and displays a meanstreak when seeking out contact
Hand placement requires refinement, too often blocking on the outside of the defenders pads
Lack of arm length (33" arms) limits his ceiling as an NFL OT
Kick slide looks labored and sluggish at times
Too often allowed defenders to get under his pads in the run game
Although a decent run blocker, will need show more consistency in short yardage situations
Saldiveri is an experienced offensive lineman, taking 1,736 snaps during his career at Old Dominion. Although he was an effective right tackle, guard seems to be his ideal spot on the next level.
On the few occasions that the Monarchs lineman slid inside, he looked like a natural and was productive. ODU ran a lot of RPO, which should be a consideration for a team seeking to add this high upside interior lineman.
Saldiveri has been compared to Tampa Bay Bucs 2022 2nd round offensive lineman Luke Goedeke. The ODU lineman will need to work on his leverage in the run game, in order be in that tier of NFL lineman though.
Ideally Saldiveri will be drafted by a team with an uptempo offense, which features a lot of pre-snap movement.
Although he'll deal with an adjustment period, due to the level of competition he faced, Saldiveri has the ceiling to be an excellent NFL guard in the right fit.
*Games Watched- 9/2/22 vs Va Tech, 9/17 vs Virginia, 10/1 vs Liberty, 10/15 vs Coastal Carolina, 11/5 vs Marshall & 11/19 App. State
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