OL Ryan Bates, Penn St.*

6’4” – 302 lbs. – N/A
Redshirted, then started for the entire 2016 season, playing both left guard and left tackle. Was limited to eight starts the following year due to a neck injury, all of which came at left tackle, then started at twelve games at tackle as a junior (nine on the left side, three on the right) before declaring for the draft. Has good-looking pass sets, bending at the knees and with clean footwork on his kick slide to get depth and protect the edge. Has the lateral quickness to square up opponents and mirror them. Does a good job of keeping his back straight on more direct rushes, although he can sometimes be forced to abandon his technique and try to push speed rushers wide of the arc because of his lack of length. Effective hand-fighter who does a good job of limiting his opponents’ freedom of action. Despite being considered likely to slide back inside to guard, still needs work on his anchor, as he can drop it late after the pocket has already been collapsed. Tends to let pass-rushers get into his body a little bit too easily and could be more proactive about throwing punches at the chest plate and keeping his hands high and inside to control his opponent. Lack of length can cause him to slip off of some blocks. A pretty versatile run-blocker. Able to seal the edge when blocking down on the outside shoulder. Plays with leverage and keeps his feet churning after contact to generate push. Good work rate through the whistle. Also capable of pulling to the right side of the line and squaring up opponents to engage and turn out of the hole on rushing attempts in that direction. Has enough short-area quickness to help down-block on one defender before climbing to the second level and getting in the way of a linebacker. Will have to get used to taking more snaps out of a three-point stance. More tough than nasty, and may struggle to win in a phone booth against bigger defensive tackles. Doesn’t always get full extension on opponents. Not quite as long as teams want in a tackle or as powerful as teams want in a guard, but is still one of the better swing linemen in the draft, combining sound technique with snap-to-snap consistency. Looks likely to come off the boards in the mid-rounds.

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