6’5” – 320 lbs. – 5.10e
Redshirted in 2010, then started four games at left guard in 2011. Started seven games at left tackle in 2012 before injuring his right leg and missing the remainder of the season, then started all thirteen games in 2013. Adequate height for a pro tackle, with a thick, muscular build; would also make for a prototypical guard size-wise. Plays with a nasty, physical demeanor. Competes through the whistle; gets a little bit chippy after the play at times. Projects as a quality run blocker at the next level; aggressiveness, athleticism, power, and technique are all positives. Extraordinary range in the run game; can execute hook blocks with ease. Capable of chipping a defensive lineman and reaching a second-level defender; dominates linebackers and defensive backs. Not just an obstruction downfield, but someone who can engage opponents with his hands. Generates pop on contact; keeps his feet churning once engaged, which allows him to drive defenders off the ball. Pancakes plenty of defenders. Good work ethic in the weight room. Leverage is a bit better as a pass protector than as a run blocker; can bend his knees, bends his knees when protecting, but has a tendency to get a bit upright in the run game. Looks comfortable mirroring; lateral agility is adequate, with a quick punch. A bit more powerful when it comes to drive-blocking than in terms of anchoring versus power. Has some experience executing cut blocks. Versatile; has played left tackle and left guard, could potentially project to the right side, and looks like a good fit for any type of blocking scheme. Height and length measurements will be important to confirm, as 6’5” is on the short side for a pro offensive tackle; like former Hawkeyes blindside protector Riley Reiff before him, may receive some interest as a conversation candidate, especially if his arms measure shorter than average for the position. Surgically-repaired right leg will require further medical investigation at the Combine. Not quite the refined pass-protector teams seek in a pro left tackle, but is capable of getting the job done; regardless of whether or not he remains on the left side upon reaching the pros, should be able to stick somewhere on the line thanks to his outstanding run blocking. A likely first-round pick whose best fit may come at guard, but is worth trying at tackle.
Games watched: Michigan St. (’13), Ohio St. (’13), Wisconsin (’13)
6’6” – 315 lbs. – 5.30e
Started eight games at left tackle as a sophomore, then transitioned to right guard in 2013, where he started ten games. Tall with long arms; built more like a tackle than a guard. Carries his weight well. Gets good arm extension on his blocks. Capable of generating push when he wins the leverage battle. Quick puncher who resets his hands quickly. Much better hand-use against rushers than as a run blocker. Creates pop on initial contact and keeps his feet churning, although he has a tendency to lower his head. Mobile enough to pull to either side on rushing downs; could potentially fit into a zone-blocking scheme. Effective double-team blocker. Can anchor against power in pass protection. Experience on both sides of the line and at both guard and tackle should appeal to teams seeking a swing reserve. May be too tall to play guard, as he doesn’t bend his knees particularly well and seems to have some trouble with leverage; a bit of a waist-bender. Temperamentally more of an offensive tackle. Doesn’t play with consistent balance or coordination; ends up on the ground too frequently. Mediocre lateral agility casts doubt on his ability to play on the outside at the next level. Has some problems with his awareness in pass protection, even on routine assignments. Hands find their way outside too often, generally when he’s attempting to compensate for being late to a spot. Struggles to sustain blocks. Durability could be a concern; injured his knee in high school, sustained a concussion in 2012, and broke his ankle in 2013. The type of prospect whose size, length, and experience at multiple positions at a major program should draw interest from pro teams on the third day of the draft, but who is something of a positional ‘tweener; is built like an offensive tackle, but moves like more of a guard and consequently may never develop into a starter at either spot. Some of his flaws may be masked more effectively on the inside, but plays more like a tackle, with a corresponding frame. Played his first season as an offensive guard in 2013; could dramatically improve his stock with further technical refinements, greater consistency, and a healthy year as a senior.
Games watched: Arizona (’13), Stanford (’13), Utah (’13)
6’4” – 318 lbs. – 5.15e
Started one game at left tackle in 2011, along with the following eight games at right tackle. Worked as a reserve guard in 2012, then started all fourteen games at right tackle in 2013. Knee-bender who gets adequate depth on his kickslide, with the athleticism and lateral agility to defend against opposing speed rushers; movement skills are used to compensate for his lack of ideal length. Great speed; has impressive range as a blocker, with the ability to get out in front of screens or pull in the run game. Can make blocks at the second level. Upside is still considerable given his movement skills, intelligence, and relative lack of experience. Has started one game at left tackle and spent time at guard, neither of which is completely out of the realm of possibility as an ultimate destination given further development. Overall size and bulk are only adequate for an offensive tackle; Combine measurements will be important in confirming his listed height. Would really benefit from a pro strength program. More of a finesse blocker than a mauler; lacks a nasty disposition and can be overwhelmed by power. Wall-off blocker who doesn’t generate push in the run game; doesn’t offer much to teams with power running schemes. Ends up on the ground more often than a nearly 320-pound offensive tackle should; below-average anchor given his frame. Technique in pass protection could use work; athleticism is used to mask a choppy kickslide. More reactive than anticipatory versus stunts and blitzes. Also tends to abandon his fundamentals against wide speed rushes. Inconsistent on a play-to-play basis. Doesn’t sustain blocks well. A bit of a positional ‘tweener; not quite long enough to easily protect the edge, not strong enough to create movement at guard. Has a long way to go, but could end up outperforming his draft position, as he has been restricted to the right side by his more highly-touted teammate, Cameron Erving. Will likely have to begin his career as a swing reserve, but has the potential to break into a starting lineup given time to improve his strength and technique. A low-floor, high-ceiling option for zone-blocking teams on the draft’s third day.
Games watched: Clemson (’13), Florida (’13), North Carolina St. (’13)
6’5” – 291 lbs. – 5.25e
Missed 2011 with an injury, then started four games at left tackle in 2012 before moving to the right side upon Justin Pugh’s return. Started all thirteen games at left tackle in 2013. Has a fairly thick build; should arrive at the Combine weighing a bit more than the figure listed by Syracuse’s athletic site. However, arm length may be a bit shorter than his desirable for the position. A hard worker who plays through the whistle and, when combined with his adequate athleticism, has the range to secure blocks out at the second level in the run game, although he is not consistent in terms of getting his hands on second-level defenders. Will fall off of some blocks in the run game because he bends at the waist and possesses below-average grip strength, but is generally able to turn defenders out of the hole before doing so. Needs to do a better job of keeping his head up into contact on a consistent basis to prevent defenders from crossing his face. Not a dominant drive-blocker, but keeps his feet churning and can create a bit of push, especially when down-blocking and attacking a defensive tackle’s outside shoulder. Has experience executing inside pulls and cut blocks and therefore makes the most sense as a zone blocker, where his athleticism would be highlighted and his inability to dominate defenders at the point of attack would be masked. As a pass protector, gets good arm extension and is capable of sticking with his man through multiple moves, but doesn’t cover as much ground in his kickslide as would be suggested by his athleticism. Consequently, looks much more comfortable when he is afforded the opportunity to delegate the outermost rusher to a tight end or back, which allows him to anchor against an interior rusher instead. Mentally, seems to have a pretty good grasp of who he should be blocking when defenses bring extra rushers. Quality of anchor is dependent on initial positioning; can be ragdolled around when he is caught of position, but is capable of withstanding a defender’s bull rush when he beats his man to the spot. Prior experience playing in a pro-style, run-heavy offense under head coach Doug Marrone prior to Marrone’s departure to join the Buffalo Bills in the same capacity should help him convince teams that he’s one of the more pro-ready linemen in the draft, although it’s debatable whether or not he’ll be able to stick outside at the next level. Wouldn’t generate the type of push that top guards do, but wouldn’t have to answer questions about whether he is long and athletic enough to mirror pro speed rushers on the outside.
Games watched: Minnesota (’13), Northwestern (’13), Penn St. (’13)
6’5” – 300 lbs. – 5.20e
Overall height and weight are adequate for a pro offensive tackle, although Combine measurements will be important to confirm the veracity of the figures listed on A&M’s website. Demonstrates controlled footwork on his kickslide, but remains a bit deliberate in his movements and could get set with a bit more urgency. Nonetheless, does a good job mirroring against speed and possesses the anchor to handle power on most occasions. Bends at the knees and exhibits proper balance and weight distribution. Capable of recovering and repositioning even after beat off the snap. Has the grip strength to sustain blocks for extended periods of time. Asked to pull with some frequency and flashes the athleticism to get out in front of the play, but is more of an obstacle at this point than someone who consistently engages defenders in that capacity. Somewhat susceptible to spin moves. Will get rocked by power from time to time, although he rarely ends up on the ground. Awareness can become an issue at times against overloads, can get sucked inside and leave an edge rusher unblocked, even when the inside man could be passed off to the right guard. Effective wall-off blocker with some range. Doesn’t overpower defenders with his initial punch. Would benefit from time in an NFL strength program; as of now, is a more finesse player than he is a mauler who can generate push in the run game. With additional gains, should increase effectiveness, as his technique is sound with regards to balance, footwork, and positioning; avoids overextending, keeps legs churning after contact, and is athletic enough to make it out to the second level. However, may never develop into a feared player in the run game, as he lacks the killer instinct and aggressive temperament to finish defenders with pancake blocks. Has benefited from Johnny Manziel’s ability to elude rushers, but is nonetheless long, athletic, and refined enough to succeed on the left side. Best pro comparison may be former SEC left tackle and Green Bay Packers 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod. Experience at guard and both tackle spots will enhance his draft value. A successful season on the left side in 2014, combined with gains to weight and strength before next year’s Combine should solidify a spot in the first round next May.
Games watched: Alabama (’13), Arkansas (’13), Auburn (’13)
6’5” – 315 lbs. – 5.20e
Tall, long-limbed left tackle who carries his weight well. Gets good extension with his arms to keep blockers at bay. Strong grip allows him to sustain his blocks once engaged. Has a powerful initial punch which can overwhelm smaller defenders; capable of knocking down defenders on chip blocks. As a run blocker, keeps his feet churning on contact and can generate some push, even though he tends to have some trouble staying low; for this reason, full potential in the run game remains unrealized, but is nonetheless already an effective player. However, doesn’t consistently seek to dominate defenders; more powerful than nasty. Fairly athletic for his size, but has some trouble beating speed rushers to the edge and is often forced to try and push them wide of the quarterback rather than mirroring them in protection. Capable of chipping a defensive lineman and reaching a second-level player for an additional block. Inconsistent kick-slide; tends to lumber a bit and labors to set up wide, but flashes the ability to do so, albeit on an inconsistent basis. Tends to end up on the ground a bit more often than expected, although the problem tends to be his balance rather than an inability to anchor against power, an area where he looks comfortable. Can be a bit of a waist-bender. Instincts as a left tackle are still developing, likely because 2013 was his first season at the position; can be overwhelmed by additional rushers and can be observed double-teaming an inside rusher when he would be best-served picking up an outside rusher and delegating the inside man to the left guard. Has an interesting blend of finesse and power traits which, combined with his impressive size and underrated athletic ability, should interest teams as a high-upside project. Floor is relatively high as well, considering his prior experience as a guard, offering him a fallback option which would more effectively mask some of the technique/awareness issues evident when he plays on the outside. Probably not much of a zone option except at guard; in an inline, power scheme, would be better-suited to the right side or inside but might eventually be able to survive on the blindside and could very well be drafted with the intention of grooming him for that role.
Games watched: Alabama (’13), Arkansas (’13), Georgia (’13)