Last week, I wrote about Alex Leatherwood, Dillon Radunz, and Brady Christensen as offensive tackles who are getting day two grades but also possess day one traits. In a poll, Christensen narrowly beat out Leatherwood as the best option for the LA Rams out of the three, though Radunz still got 24% of the vote. In the comments, a recommendation was made to include Jalen Mayfield, Spencer Brown, and Teven Jenkins in the conversation, so today I want to briefly adhere to that request.
These assumed day two tackles do possess some first round traits and maybe one of them even hears his name called this Thursday.
Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Premier measurement: 36 reps on the bench tied for first among tackles
Else: 6’5, 317 lbs, 5.01 40-yard dash, 32.5” vertical, 106” broad, 7.72 three-cone, 4.66 shuttle
I like measurements, but I want to make it clear that I don’t think physical traits account for a large portion of a prospect’s grade. I’m not sure what other people think about that, but we know that Les Snead doesn’t overrated measurements. At least, he doesn’t rate them as highly as most general managers. I just remind myself that plenty of the greatest athletes in the world weren’t good enough to start on high school football teams.
But plenty of the best NFL players are also world-class athletes.
Jenkins is one of the strongest men among strong men. He jumps higher and runs faster than most linemen, but his three-cone and short shuttle were average or below.
If you prefer film, here’s some breakdown footage of Jenkins:
He moves people completely out of the way in the running game, which opens up huge holes for running backs to go through. In his pass blocking, he has a good anchor and is rarely overpowered. His strength and physicality are elite for this class.
At right tackle, Jenkins is a great run blocker. His strength plays into this, as he is able to dominate most of his matchups. He can win his matchup to create a hole, then he is able to move on to the second level decently well to help spring long runs. Jenkins is ready for the NFL as a run blocker right now.
His movement ability isn’t the greatest. Jenkins has a tough time mirroring defenders at times, which means they can beat him, especially when they change direction on him. He is effective at getting to the second level as a run blocker, but doesn’t get their as quickly as other prospects.
He isn’t very proven as a pass blocker. As mentioned, he has trouble staying in front of pass rushers if they are agile.
Jenkins is older than most early draft picks, at 23, and his arm length of just under 33” is considered a concern to some. He’s been getting mocked in the late first round by some people and could definitely by gone by pick 57.
Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
Premier trait: Film
You pretty much can’t say that Mayfield has any first round traits as a physical specimen. The size is ideal at 6’5, 326 lbs, but he’s kind of slow, he doesn’t jump high, his eight-foot broad jump is one of the worst of the year, his arms aren’t long enough.
And yet, he’s one of the top tackles in the country.
If you prefer film:
Good athlete given his size, moves well in space and possesses good agility
Lateral mobility on film is one of his biggest strengths, he can do whatever he is asked to do on a given play
Extremely competitive and held his own against some of the best pass rushers in the Big Ten over the last few years, including Chase Young
His burst off of the snap is impressive
Has a nice blend of power and quickness and he started to put it together in limited action during 2020 season
Mayfield is a violent finisher and he will make that known in a blocking matchup where he has a power advantage
Still relatively green as a prospect with only 15 career starts
Did not test great at his pro day, including a 5.31 40-yard dash time
Shorter arms than many teams would like to see in potential starters at tackle in the NFL, but still lengthy enough to play on the edge
Timing with his hands and punches could use some work, comes in late at times
Could use some better consistency as a run blocker
May need to improve upper body strength
Mayfield could also be a late first round pick or a late second round pick or even a third round pick. There’s no consensus on most of the 2021 tackles.
Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa
Premier trait: Massive and athletic
Brown is 6’8, 311 lbs (that’s skinny though), and his 4.94 40-yard dash is one of the fastest of the year among tackles. He might also be the only tackle prospect this year to break 7 seconds in the three-cone, posting a 6.96. And the 34” arms means that he doesn’t get the same criticisms about length as Mayfield and Jenkins.
The issue that Brown faces, as many prospects this year do, is that he wasn’t playing against the best college football players since he spent his career at Northern Iowa. One place he could prove himself was at the Senior Bowl, and we know that the Rams like players who impress that week. Brown started off slow, but got better as the week progressed:
“Spencer Brown trended up throughout the Senior Bowl’s National Team practices, which is always what you want to see. He had a bit of a rocky start and needed to adjust to improve his leverage against lower opponents. Brown managed to do that through Wednesday and Thursday. He improved his composure and was more consistent with his hands, and his tremendous athletic traits started to shine through as a result. Brown successfully validated his upside at the Senior Bowl. He didn’t take over, but he did the next best thing — he grew.”
Brown has only had a small taste of first round talk and he’s going to be talked about as a third or fourth round pick by most analysts. With so much of his draft stock being wrapped in his projection, Brown could either be a team’s starting left tackle in three years or he could be Northern Iowa’s assistant offensive line coach. The Rams aren’t looking for a left tackle right now, which is exactly why a player like Brown might be able to fit into their third round plans and post-Andrew Whitworth future.
Brown is one of the only players in the draft who has similar size and length to Whitworth, himself once rated as a second or third round prospect.
This poll is closed