2021 NFL Draft Profile #8: James Empey | BYU Center

James aligns at Center for the BYU Cougars. #66 on the field, he's listed at 6'4, 305 lbs and is a Redshirt Junior.


  • I genuinely disliked his tape so much


  • Poor hand placement and weak/nonexistent punch
  • Struggled to move any defender, lacked upper and lower body strength
  • Played with poor pad level and rarely ran his feet on blocks
  • Poor mobility both laterally on reach blocks and vertically to climb the 2nd level
  • Unaware in pass protection and missed assignment on blitzers
  • Allowed defenders into his chest far too easily
  • Showed no ability to re-anchor and give up ground slowly
  • Allowed easy penetration into the backfield on a consistent basis

On this zone block, James is trying to cross face of the DT, but executes poorly. He never gets a hand onto the DT, instead relying on his shoulder to do the work. This won't work at any level of football. He was a liability in the run game.

Empey takes over the block of the RG here, but lets his guy go too easily. He never really punches him, offering little resistance. He also moves his feet so slowly and never gets between his man and the QB.

Once the LG stops helping Empey, he is screwed. The DT gets into his chest too easily and drives him backwards with ease. Empey is not able to re-anchor, get low and give up ground slowly. Wilson was lucky to not get sacked here.

Round Projection

The Draft Network: Sixth Round

Pro Football Network: Sixth Round

Texans Unfiltered: UDFA

Fit with Houston Texans

To be brutally honest, I do not want Empey on my team. I just don't see any traits to project future success in the NFL. Also, he doesn't have amazing physical attributes that get you excited about his potential. Dare I say it, we'd be better sticking with Nick Martin and Zach Fulton. I can't believe I just typed that sentence.

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