I have never been a scout or a NFL General Manager, but I am willing to watch a ton of football. By watching about 200 snaps of each prospect, we can really get a feel for a player and then know what we are talking about a bit better. It is no exact science, but the NFL hasn't quite figured out drafting either, so we are going to do the best we can.To read more about the 2016 NFL Draft Project, Click Here.
Laremy Tunsil, LT, Ole Miss - 6'5, 305 - Junior - #78
Just a few days since word surfaced about a 6-second Hall of Fame presentation on behalf of the QB Brett Favre, I am tempted to make this an incredibly quick profile for a player who does not need many words to decide whether he is a great prospect or not. Perhaps, I should just say, "He is Laremy Tunsil" and go sit down.
Now, for the benefit of those who have never heard of Laremy Tunsil, let's actually give a fair profile of the player who is probably the best football player in this draft. A 5-star recruit and a player who was suspended this year for 7 games for receiving improper benefits - joining AJ Green and Todd Gurley as other SEC stars to miss action for this - he is the prototypical left tackle. He is an amazing athlete who has great feet, awesome recovery quickness, long arms, and the strength that is often missing with the most athletic tackles who appear to be big tight ends.
There was a time in the fall when someone mentioned to me that Ole Miss might put 3 players in the Top 5 of the draft with LaQuon Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche as well as Tunsil. Now, the smoke is clearing and I don't think that is in play anymore, but this particular prospect could very easily go as the first pick in the draft. He is 21 years old and looks every bit as promising - if not more so - as a young Tyron Smith.
What I liked:He is fantastic in nearly aspect of playing tackle. When he returned from his suspension in 2015, Laremy Tunsil was asked to take on the potential top pick of the 2017 draft, Myles Garrett of Texas A&M. He did so with wonderful ease and Garrett's only plays of note were made when Ole Miss got cute and asked Tunsil to do something else. Head to head, Tunsil was fine all night long. Then, he faced Emmanuel Ogbah from Oklahoma State in the bowl game and the results were even more impressive as Ogbah switched sides at times to try the other tackle out. Tunsil doesn't lose. In fact, he really doesn't ever have to recover because he is squared up perfectly at nearly every moment. His sternum is perfectly in the middle of the rusher at all times. Then, on run plays, he finishes all snaps with ferocity and gets to the 2nd level and clears out linebackers like it is nothing. In my years of doing this, I can't recall a tackle that has been this good. Almost nothing remarkable happens on the left flank for the Rebs because Tunsil has it all locked down.
What I did not like:In the 4 games I watched from the 2015 season, I did not see him make a mistake except for a false start against LSU. One false start in well over 200 snaps. Beyond that, he suffered a broken leg against TCU in the bowl game of 2014 when he was rolled up on from behind and has dealt with a few other minor issues with injury. Also, the suspension might make some ask character questions. Loaner cars seem like rather small potatoes in the NFL, but it might be an issue to some, I admit. But, there is not much not to like here.
Summary and Potential Fit For the Cowboys: He is a franchise player at left tackle which I think we saw in these playoffs is a pretty big deal. If Tunsil is there to help shut down the pass rush of the Panthers or the Broncos, the playoffs might have gone differently. He is what every team needs and he is young and appears to be the type of guy that might be elite for a solid decade straight. In his matchups against the SEC's best, he won with ease and alledgedly gave up 2 sacks in 3 seasons (which I never was able to find). Would the Cowboys be tempted to do something at #4? That would require trying to figure out if he or Tyron Smith could slide over to right tackle which neither would want to do, but imagine an offensive line with All-Pro capability at all 5 positions. But, rest your head. He is gone in the Top 3, I believe.