2017 NFL Combine: Offensive Tackles to Watch
Can Cam Robinson, Ryan Ramczyk and others prove that the offensive tackles are better than people believe at the 2017 NFL Combine?
In past years, the offensive tackle class has been the strongest group in the NFL Draft. That made their workouts at the NFL Combine must-watch TV. That is not the case in 2017, which is quite interesting and contrasting to the dire need many teams have at the position moving forward.
The tackle class is a group that all have their flaws, and will need to be groomed into impactful starting roles. From Cam Robinson to Garrett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk—all of these tackles are going to be put under the microscope at the 2017 NFL Combine. Their measurements, movement skills and interviews are all going to be important in a class with so many question marks.
These three will likely be the head of the class, and will draw even more scrutiny since none of them are truly worthy of a top-10 selection at this point in time. They will need to show strides towards their flaws, and do very well at their interviews to improve their stock at all. Even in a down year, it is still worth watching the tackles.
All eyes turning to the NFL Combine, here are offensive tackles you need to watch at Lucas Oil Stadium.
5. Garrett Bolles, Utah
After just one season at the FBS level, Garrett Bolles is making the jump to the NFL Draft, and will be one of the top tackle prospects in the draft and at the NFL Combine. Bolles came out in the right year, capitalizing on a weak class and will more than likely be a 1st round pick in this draft.
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Bolles is going to measure very well, standing 6-5 and weighing in around 300 pounds with a trim frame and long arms. His athleticism should shine at the combine, as he flashes arguably the best feet in the tackle class.
Boles should do well in all the athletic drills, running well in the 40-yard dash and performing extremely well in the short shuttle and 3-cone drill. His quick feet and easy change of direction will stand out, especially in this class.
He will have a lot to show in on-field drills, especially when showing improvement in his pass blocking footwork. He struggles to keep his hips square, and will often open them too early. He is also going to have a lot to talk about in the interview room, proving to teams that he is past his past struggles.
2. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
Another one-year starter, Ryan Ramczyk is a former D-III athlete that worked his way up to FBS football and now to the NFL Combine and 2017 NFL Draft. He made the jump to Wisconsin, a school known for producing NFL-caliber talent on the offensive line.
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Ramczyk will measure like a true NFL tackle, boasting a 6-6, 310-plus-pound frame with long arms and a muscular build. Medicals are going to be very important for him, coming off hip surgery that ended his 2016 campaign.
He is a very athletic tackle, and should run very well in the athletic drills. He might not run the fastest 40-yard dash time, but should perform quite well in the shuttle and 3-cone drill. He fires off the line and is very smooth and fluid in his movements. He should test at the top of the class in these drills.
On field drills will be important for him, showing that he is more than just a road-grader. He needs to show that he can get good movement off his kick step and get his butt down to anchor. He will not face live action, but he needs to show the improved fundamentals to impress teams.
1. Cam Robinson, Alabama
Arguably the top tackle in the class, Cam Robinson is no stranger to the hype. The former Alabama star recruit has been highly scrutinized since his high school days. He is going to be the most watched tackle at the NFL Combine, both on and off the field.
Robinson is going to have to answer a lot of questions in the interview rooms—especially after his arrest last year. He also needs to prove to scouts that he is fully motivated and willing to take on the role as a premier left tackle at the next level.
He is going to measure like a left tackle at 6-6, 320-plus pounds and long arms. He packs a punch in his massive frame. that being said, he is likely not going to test all that well. He moves well, but not in the elite category. He changes direction well, but may struggle to sink his hips in the 3-cone drill.
When it comes to on-field, Robinson is going to need to show improved fundamentals in his kick-step and his overall pass blocking technique. It is a known that he needs to improve there, and if he is putting in the work it should show. He is going to look dominant in run drills because he is the most dominant run blocker in the entire draft class. If he shows the needed work and improvements, he could cement himself as the top tackle.