2022 NFL Draft

3 OTs to Watch for the 2022 NFL Draft

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We’re inching closer to the college football season and the 2022 NFL Draft season. Let’s dig-out some diamonds in the rough from the list of prospects.

The 2022 NFL Draft isn’t as top-heavy at the tackle position as the ’21 class but it does have Evan Neal, who’s a sure bet to be selected in the top half of the first round. Behind Neal, the class contains plenty of prospects bursting with potential.

Zion Nelson, Charles Cross, and Rasheed Walker come to mind. After taking a deep dive, here are three more tackles that could work their way into the first-round discussion with a solid 2021 season.

Jaelyn Duncan – Maryland, 6’ 6” 315

Jaelyn Duncan is going on year three as the starting left tackle for the Terrapins. His 2019 performance lacked some to be desired but he took a huge step forward in 2020, dropping his sacks-allowed total from 7 to 1, albeit in half the snaps.

Still, Duncan has displayed all of the tools needed to have success at the NFL level. He just needs to show them more consistently. He’s got good flexibility and mirror ability and keeps a wide, low base in his pass set. Duncan partners that with great recovery balance and decent length.

He’s been blessed with strong hands and great natural power – that’s sure to help him out in the run game. He’ll need to slow down his climb a little and stop passing by work. Too often, we saw second-level defenders slip past Duncan completely untouched.

If Jaelyn Duncan can take another step forward this year, he has the potential to be one of the top pass-blocking left tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He possesses all the tools to accomplish that.

Luke Tenuta – Virginia Tech, 6’ 7” 315

Not really on the radar for the 2022 NFL Draft, Luke Tenuta may be on the verge of a breakout season. Tenuta won the starting RT role during the 2019 season. He’s next in line at left tackle after the departure of first-rounder Christian Darrisaw. I’m confident that Tenuta is prepared to fill his shoes.

He boasts a big, athletic frame and great feet. Tenuta is quick to get depth in his pass-set and is a natural knee bender. He’s also got great length, allowing him to reach defenders, both in space and on the edge.

While Tenuta has pro-caliber feet, his hands still need work. He struggles to finish blocks and is far from the traditional mauler. He also struggles to re-set his hands as a pass blocker. Tenuta occasionally looks lost when he’s asked to pick up stunts or move the pocket, though he’s done well in one-on-one situations.

Luke Tenuta has the natural traits to develop into a very solid pass-blocker at the next level and the spotlight will be on him this season.

Cordell Volson – North Dakota St, 6’ 7” 310

Playing second-fiddle to Dillon Radunz, Cordell Volson has been stuck at right tackle for the Bison since he walked on campus. He’ll slide over to left tackle for the 2021 season. It’s a position Volson profiles perfectly to.

Volson displays a great balance of anchor and athleticism. He’s got a prototypical frame and has allowed just 9 pressures and 0 sacks during his NDSU career. Volson has above average feet, leading to a solid pass set and good mirroring ability

There are some technical issues to work on. Volson’s initial punch lacks pop and he subsequently lunges and dips his head on contact. He also struggles to finish blocks in the run-game but he can improve his hands with reps and solid coaching.

But you can’t coach size or athleticism, and Volson has plenty of both. He has a chance to be even better than Radunz. With a solid 2021 season, Cordell Volson could see a meteoric rise for the 2022 NFL Draft, possibly into day-one consideration.

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[…] highlighted OTs yesterday. Now its time to take a stab at interior defensive linemen. This is an interesting 2022 NFL Draft […]

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