OT Jaxson Kirkland, Washington*

6’7” – 310 lbs.

Background:

Three-star recruit who originally committed to UCLA but ended up at Washington, where he redshirted, then started twenty-five games at right guard the following two seasons, sustaining a season-ending injury late in the second. Transitioned to left tackle prior to 2020 and spent the last two years there to conclude his collegiate career.

Positives:

Four-year starter with experience both outside and inside. Really looks the part of a pro offensive tackle, with an excellent combination of height and length; has adequate bulk and carries his weight well. Plays the game with physicality and works hard to engage/sustain through the whistle. Short-area quickness is good, showing the ability to make the reach blocks that are characteristic of Washington’s zone concepts. Keeps his legs churning after contact. Overall grip strength appears to be at least adequate, if not better. Works well on double-teams. Flexible with nice knee-bend in his pass sets. Lateral quickness is very good, which, combined with his length, allows him to protect the edge against speed. excellent extension with his arms to keep defenders out of his pads, showing a high level of activity with his punch and accurate reset. Keeps his head on a swivel and can deliver some crushing blows as a help blocker.

Negatives:

As is the case with most taller offensive tackles, can have some problems with his pad level. Can bend at the waist a little bit and fall off of some blocks. More of a tough/physical player than one with excellent functional strength; more of a zone-blocking fit than an inline/power one. Kickslide needs polish; tends to go wide immediately instead of using choppy footwork. Feet look like they’re a little bit too wide and even in his pass sets, undermining his anchor; can get overwhelmed at times at the point of attack. Plays with a hunched back on too many snaps. Probably too tall to slide back inside to guard and has more of a tackle skillset in any case.

Summary:

Has some technical issues to clean up with regard to his pass sets, kickslide, and balance, problems which are perhaps more concerning given that he’s a fifth-year senior, but offers the size, length, temperament, and athleticism teams running zone-blocking schemes look for in left tackles. If teams are confident their offensive line coach can iron out the kinks, has starting-caliber ability, so looks likely to come off the board some time on the second day as a developmental blindside protector.

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