Scouting reports on offensive linemen always strike me as dull and usually say the same thing in some sort of order. I'd have a hard time making it through one of those so I can't imagine any of you wanting to read that, either. So we'll do things a little different today. I spoke with a good friend of mine and BFTB's very own Jerome Watson about the consensus top offensive lineman in the draft, Laremy Tunsil. As of today I have Tunsil as the 4th best player. It's important to remember that while you're reading this. You can really like a player but have concerns and point out his flaws.
For the record, we only watched his 2015 games. He was suspended for the first 7 games due to violating NCAA rules. The hyperbole isn't at future all-pro Myles Jack levels, but you'll read respected analysts speak on Tunsil like he's flawless and is going to have a seamless transition to the NFL. While there's no doubt Tunsil is a top prospect, the real question is what is his real value and how much will he improve your team?
KP: Let's talk about him going against future top 5 pick Myles Garrett. You can tell pretty early when watching a player just how special he is. I think Tunsil is good. Borderline great, even. The transcendent label just doesn't apply with him, though.
Skinny: It was an overall solid tape. Underwhelming early, very good late. You said he's not transcendent, you're correct here. There was a lot of H-back/TE help this game. Why wouldn't they leave him 1 on 1 versus Garrett? Often had double, even triple, teams with him. Puzzled by this.
KP: Garrett is a monster and I'm guessing he's the 1 guy who they didn't want to let beat him. But who does that say more about? Let's talk about how easy this guy gets to his spots. Whether it's in his pass set or getting to the 2nd level. Look at 9:04 in the above video then 9:09 again. The depth he gets there then his ability to anchor vs Jarrett there is pretty damn impressive.
Skinny: His kick step is superb. His kick step is so good it buys him one more second to determine a defensive ends' counter move. 2:51 is a good example of that. Talk about him getting to the second level, look at 3:51. Gets there quick as hell. Where is the dog? Not interested in pile. There's a lot of standing around after the initial 2-3 seconds.
KP: Mannnn. This might be my biggest pet peeve with him. He's far from soft, he just doesn't seem like he cares. The result of the play is whatever to him. I don't want that. Is there a Tunsil in every class?
Skinny: You know he can. Look at 1:00. He escorted the DE 6 yards downfield. Eh. Tough one. You put him in that 2013 class and only Lane Johnson is better, right? He's more polished than Eric Fisher.
*a few minutes pass by*
Skinny: Thinking about it, you're right. I think there is a Tunsil in every draft.
KP: I'm telling you, Lane would punish you and plays through the whistle.
Skinny: Absolutely right.
KP: It takes you a gimme(a down block) to want to drive the defender into another gap but not on inside zone? Passssss.
Skinny: Bro you ain't never lied. I was wondering why he had so much more energy on down blocks. Didn't understand that. He had a down block this game where he just eclipsed the defender. He's consistent with this, though. You can always see his numbers. Then you have examples of him not finishing smaller linebackers. He's fine with just contacting them.
KP: If there's no negative besides the lack of finishing, would you be pro or no Tunsil at 3?
Skinny: Tough to flat out say no because he can go but you can't take him with Ram, Buck or LaQ there.
KP: Seeing the recent trends of offensive lineman early in the draft and how they haven't positively affected their offense day 1 makes me pause greatly. There's going to be struggle. Let's talk about his game from the other top tier pass rusher he played, Carl Lawson.
KP: I watched LSU before I watched this game and coming into this Auburn cut up I wanted to see less leaning on defenders and more driving. More finishing. I Saw a couple more examples early on of him leaning early on. Then 1:31 comes and he climbs to the 2nd level and buries the LB. Beautiful.
Skinny: This is the definition of nastiness. This is what you want. Finishing through the whistle. Everything done at full speed. No buzz steps(think small quick steps as you're attacking/running your feet in place) needed at the second level. Can locate at top speed. Impressive.
Skinny: One thing that stood out against A&M was his work on counter plays. He's very good on counter plays and creates an alley for the kick out. He always gives them space. Look at 1:10 in the video. They trust him to get all the way to the backside linebacker and he gets there in a hurry too.
KP: First off you can tell how he understands his assignment. Second off I love how he busted his butt to get there. Love that effort. Then we skip ahead to 3:46 and it's an obvious passing down. False start. Don't anticipate, react.
Skinny: Rewind a little bit to 3:13 and you see him anticipating. He doesn't get beat in this manner a lot but I'm not going to act like it didn't happen here. At 4:24 is the LB that made the tackle his man? Why not make contact there? I'm so confused.
KP: I thought it was. It looks like a variation of split zone and he's climbing to the 2nd level. This is fresh off me complimenting him on understanding an assignment and here he is overrunning the 1st threat he sees. This is weird and it's impossible for me to explain why he did this. This very next play, it's a rollout the other way but his feet are way too wide and the defender beats him to the inside. What worries you about Tunsil in pass protection?
Skinny: At 5:34 Lawson is in a "wide 9" technique. Think this is where Tunsil is at his weakest if the pass rusher he's facing has an arsenal of moves. He's suspect to a quick jab step upfield and lost to a club move here.
KP: Yikes. That's not a good rep. He got beat by that exact move against Arkansas. That's another example of him leaning ever so slightly where he needs to be patient for a split second longer.
Skinny: 9:38 is another example of Lawson in a wide 9 and setting up moves, getting the best of him.
KP: I hate that I'm even talking like this but this is a good example of what will happen when his set foot(outside foot) isn't on the ground and he hasn't gotten into his set. He gets bull-rushed and loses ground. There are occasions where he's so quick he's still in the air. It's another part of his game that's hard to explain but he loses because of it here. What else are you seeing this game?
Skinny: It may be nitpicking but his demeanor after penalties much change. If I'm taking him at 3, 9:56 and 11:09 is what I need to see 90% of the time.
KP: Those 2 plays are him wanting to put the defender in the dirt. Love that. Why we aren't seeing that more often is a question that I'd love for someone to answer for me. There was plenty of good this game, but the red flags are real. The play before 11:09 he's content on just making contact and his guy makes the stop. The next play I'm guessing the defensive end told Tunsil that the dress his mother wore to church was hideous and he made him pay. That's my issue with Tunsil. Why does it take an insult for you to want to punish a guy? Why can't we see that will to finish every snap? Because it's not consistent I wouldn't take him at 3. Tunsil is going to be quite good in the NFL, but that's an issue and not one I want in my offensive linemen. "Can you score, or can you take the ball away?" Tunsil cannot. We haven't even touched on recent investments that the Chargers have made at the tackle position. What else are we missing on Tunsil?
Skinny: He has top notch mirror ability and top tier hand placement. Nothing but a mention of him not being the best player on his team. Lol.
KP: Early on I was concerned with him having outside hands but he did improve. *Eye roll emoji* Here you go. And with that, I think we're done here.