Scouting 2016: Offensive Tackle

Hello Broncos fans!

I am introducing a new column I will be writing weekly, in which I scout the top 3 at every position in the 2016 draft. I know this is looking way ahead, but if you are a draft geek like me, it is still good to get a feel for what next offseason has in store. I also would like to mention at this point that I will not be scouting kickers or punters, sorry Marshall Morgan.

I will be starting out with the 2016 draft position rankings. I will take each prospect, and watch a couple games. I will then write up a brief scouting report, and give them a score, out of 10, in 10 very important categories. Here’s an example. For a random, made up offensive tackle, the categories will be as follows:

  • Athletic Ability: 6/10
  • Pass Blocking Hand Placement: 8/10
  • Pass Blocking Footwork: 5/10
  • Run Blocking Hand Placement: 6/10
  • Run Blocking Footwork: 7/10
  • Character/Leadership: 9/10
  • Durability: 8/10
  • Strength: 9/10
  • Size: 7/10
  • Experience: 10/10

That player would receive a 7.5. A player with starter potential, who played regularly in college, but needs serious footwork improvements.

With this scoring system, an 8 or above is a possible rookie starter, 7-8 is a potential future starter, a 6-7 is a good rotational guy, a 5-6 is a fringe sub, and below a 5 is likely a camp body. Anything above a 9 is a superstar who could be the top player at there position in a few years. After I score everyone, I will then re rank the players, using my own system.

Without further adieu, here is the Offensive Tackle rankings:

  1. Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
  2. Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
  3. Taylor Decker, Ohio State

Laremy Tunsil, 6’5, 305

I must say I was not blown away with what I saw from Tunsil. Let’s start with the Mississippi State game.

Obviously against top flight competition. Tunsil reportedly played well enough, and Ole Miss won fairly easily. Here we see a play which both exhibits a strength and a weakness in Tunsil’s game. He exhibits heavy, sluggish footwork which allows the end to pressure the QB, but his hand placement’s good enough to keep the end back. I wonder if he can recover like that against NFL competition however. The athletic ability to kick out and pass block is clearly there however, as we see here. He does not exhibit his talents nearly enough.

Next I watched the 2014 Boise State game. His team struggled a bit against lesser competition. Once again, we see his footwork hurt him. Here he gets beat by the speed rush from a weaker player, and in his effort to recover, his feet get tied up and he gets pushed back into the quarterback. In all the tape I watched on him, he was never really a passionate run blocker either, as can be seen here. He makes a great block initially, but then gets up and starts ball watching while the play is still going. Unimpressive.


  • Long arms
  • Good height (6’5)
  • Very strong
  • Has ability to drive defenders out of lanes
  • Decent athlete
  • Elite use of hands, allows him to recover a lot of the time
  • Freshman starter


  • Shockingly bad footwork for a top guy
  • Lets end get outside shoulder
  • Relies on hands too often, need footwork in NFL
  • Looks apathetic at times as a run blocker
  • Broken leg in last year’s bowl game
  • Heavy feet
  • Only 305, which may limit his chances as a RT
  • Struggles to find linebackers at second level, lots of ‘whiffs’


  • Athletic Ability: 6/10
  • Pass Blocking Hand Placement: 10/10
  • Pass Blocking Footwork: 5/10
  • Run Blocking Hand Placement: 9/10
  • Run Blocking Footwork: 5/10
  • Character/Leadership: 7/10
  • Durability: 5/10
  • Strength: 10/10
  • Size: 8/10
  • Experience: 10/10

Final: 7.5. I see him as an overrated player, who could develop into a solid left tackle. You can’t be a rookie starter which feet like that however. Not number one rating material. It’s funny, I made up the example player before scouting Tunsil, but they are very similar players in a lot of ways.


Ronnie Stanley, 6’5, 315

Stanley was a guy many thought would have been the top prospect in 2015 if he didn’t return to the Irish for his senior year. The first thing I noticed, was his aggression as a pass blocker. He is left tackle number 78 by the way. He does not let the end get to him, but rather locks on and stonewalls him at the line. He also exhibits great footwork against top power edge rushers. Here we see Mario Edwards, a rookie this year, lay a monstrous pop on Stanley. You see his top half get forced back, but watch his lower half. Stanley maintains his balance at an elite level, and keeps his feet under him to keep Edwards back. That is one of the rare special plays you see watching lineman tape. If you want another example of his athleticism, watch the ease with which he kicks out to block this speed move. Amazing stuff.

We already know hes a plus pass rusher, but he also shows up as a run blocker. Here we see him get to the second level, and finish his block against the linebacker. That’s not something I saw consistently out of Tunsil. His functional strength is not that of Tunsil, but knocks are hard to find.


  • Elite footwork
  • Great Pass blocker
  • decent hand use, in both passing and running games
  • Stonewalled Leonard Williams last season
  • Superb athlete for his size
  • No major injury history
  • Will be a team captain senior year
  • Aggressive in passing and running games
  • Appears to have huge arms
  • Has size, experience to play both tackle spots


  • Doesn’t always finish his blocks.
  • Uses technique to cover less than elite upper body strength.


  • Athletic Ability: 10/10
  • Pass Blocking Hand Placement: 9/10
  • Pass Blocking Footwork: 10/10
  • Run Blocking Hand Placement: 8/10
  • Run Blocking Footwork: 9/10
  • Character/Leadership: 9/10
  • Durability: 10/10
  • Strength: 9/10
  • Size: 9/10
  • Experience: 10/10

Final: 9.3. Wow. It’s a shame he’ll be gone long before Denver could get him. He will be a day one star, and a top 5 LT for 10-15 years. Amazing player.


Taylor Decker, 6-7, 315

A big player, Decker gained a lot of steam after Ohio State’s championship run. He generally plays with decent technique, although his lack of top notch athleticism is present here. He lets the end beat him to the edge, and hurries the QB as a result.

When Decker meets a defender square on however, there’s no getting by him. He can completely stop an end in their tracks, and use his solid footwork and strength to not give up an inch. While he is no power blocker, he can set the edge very well, and help his team out greatly. Here we see Ohio State run a QB zone stretch, and Taylor Decker fills his role perfectly.


  • Great hand placement in pass blocking
  • Above average run blocking hand placement
  • Great lower body/core strength
  • Quick
  • Decent athlete
  • Great fit in a ZBS
  • Solid footwork
  • Plus pass blocker
  • Team captain next year
  • Great height, arm length


  • Needs work as a run blocker… doesn’t drive people out of a hole
  • Poor upper body strength
  • Needs some work on his pass blocking kick step at times
  • Never asked to be a power blocker, probably not a good fit as one
  • MCL sprain last season, although it did heal up quick
  • Due to a lack of ‘freak’ traits, could have a lower upside that some prospects


  • Athletic Ability: 7/10
  • Pass Blocking Hand Placement: 10/10
  • Pass Blocking Footwork: 7/10
  • Run Blocking Hand Placement: 9/10
  • Run Blocking Footwork: 8/10
  • Character/Leadership: 9/10
  • Durability: 7/10
  • Strength: 7/10
  • Size: 10/10
  • Experience: 10/10

Final Score: 8.4. Adequate NFL strength, and a pretty good athlete who has the tools to be an elite pass rusher, if he works out some footwork kinks. Should be a top 10 pick, and a day one starter, who will solidify his left tackle spot for 10 years. Needs to work on his run blocking however, and probably just limited to a zone scheme until he hits the weights a bit.


Thanks for reading! Please comment any questions/thoughts/concerns. I will also take any suggestions as to which group I should scout next week. Go Broncos!

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Leo Duke

My twitter's @Leo_Elway. 17 year old Broncos fan, representing in PA. Email me at, or shoot me a tweet if you have any football questions.