6’5” – 315 lbs. – 5.10e
Redshirted his first season, then stepped into the starting lineup for all thirteen games the next season before becoming the full-time starter at left tackle as a sophomore, a role he has held since. Plays left tackle for the Irish. Tall with long limbs and a thick build; looks the part of a pro tackle. Top-end speed is well above-average. Looks very good leading the way on screens. Mobile enough to get to the second level and engage defenders, although his technique can suffer, leading him to lunge. Keeps his legs churning after contact and can control defenders when he successfully attacks the outside shoulder. Often asked to block down and help seal a defensive tackle inside. Capable of chipping one defender and recovering fast enough to engage another. Lacks a killer instinct; is not a dominant drive blocker who drives defenders into the dirt, but works hard through the whistle and does generate a little bit of movement. Balance is not consistent on a snap-to-snap basis. As a pass protector, is nimble enough to get to the edge and defend against the speed rush, steering opponents beyond the quarterback. Has a strong lower body which allows him to anchor against power. Generally exhibits good hand placement. Handles counters well and can sustain blocks once he’s locked on. Makes few mistakes in blitz pickup. Doesn’t always take advantage of his length; can be a little bit of a leaner rather than extending his arms. Needs to remember his footwork more consistently; will get lazy when he has to cover a lot of ground. May not always make it look pretty, but is generally pretty consistent as a pass protector; consequently, has been asked to match up against some of college football’s top pass rushers without much help. Durability and experience on both sides of the line are attractive qualities. Has a prototypical combination of length and bulk, with enough athleticism to stick at left tackle, but may have become a little bit overrated due to his tools and three years as a starting tackle for one of college football’s premier programs. Snap-to-snap consistency is an issue, mostly because of problems with balance and technique. Isn’t a road-grader in the run game, and has struggled against the likes of Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, raising concerns about his viability versus top pro pass-rushers. Most of his problems can be fixed with quality coaching, but he’s arguably already received that from Brian Kelly’s staff. Nonetheless, some team will likely feel confident gambling on him in the first round.
Games watched: Clemson (’15), Southern California (’15), Texas (’15)