Skip to main content

2017 Combine Preview: Tackle

The pending free agency of right tackle Riley Reiff could leave a void up front in Detroit, and make the tackle position an area of need this spring.

Taylor Decker is entrenched at left tackle after a very good rookie campaign. Corey Robinson did a pretty good job in spot starts replacing an injured Reiff this past season, but is he ready for the gig full-time?

Cornelius Lucas, who just completed his third season with the club, has 35 games and six starts under his belt, and is a restricted free agent.   

Joe Dahl, who the Lions selected in the fifth round last season, has position versatility – he's listed on the roster as an offensive lineman – and could get a look at tackle.

Lions GM Bob Quinn took three offensive linemen in his first five picks last season. Could he opt to bolster the position even further in draft No. 2?

With the NFL Scouting Combine fast approaching, here's a look at some of the tackles to keep an eye on during the week in Indianapolis:


School: Wisconsin

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 314

View photos of the prospects participating in the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.

Best trait: Technician. The former Division III transfer starred for the Badgers in his one season on the team, starting every game at left tackle and earning first-team All-Big Ten honors and Associated Press All-American accolades. He has good feet, balance, core strength and great hands.

Concern: He hasn't played a lot of big-time football, and also had arthroscopic surgery on a hip injury after the season. He is expected to miss the Combine and Pro Day workouts.

The skinny: He learned the NFL system at Wisconsin, and is a smart player. He has a good frame and the proper technique to become a starter right away, as long as his medicals come out alright.


School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 326

Best trait: Durability. Robinson started every game at left tackle during his time in Tuscaloosa (43 games). We're talking about Alabama here, so that's an important statistic. He was the Outland Trophy winner as the nation's top interior lineman on offense or defense. He recorded a team-high 37 pancake blocks in 2016.

Concern: He was arrested with a teammate with marijuana and a stolen handgun in their vehicle, so the background check and interview process will be important. He's also not the fleetest of foot.

The skinny: Robinson helped open holes for 28 100-yard rushers during his career at Alabama. He's big, thick and athletic, and performed against some of the best the SEC has to offer the last three years.


School: Utah

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 300

Best trait: Athleticism. He's a super athlete, who is light on his feet for a 300-pounder. The top junior-college prospect at one point had a nice 2016 in Utah, earning first-team All-Pac 12 accolades.

Concern: He can struggle sometimes against big, powerful rushers. He needs an NFL weight-training regimen to release his full potential.

The skinny: He's a great example of someone who turned his life around. He was suspended or kicked out of five schools as a teenager for issues involving drugs, fights and vandalism. He spent nearly two years away from football after high school in garage door repair. He's a super athlete with great feet, and will only get better the stronger he gets. Players can always add strength. Athleticism and quickness at 300 pounds is God given.


School: Florida State

Ht/Wt: 6-7, 311

Best trait: Long arms. Johnson has elite length for the position, and knows how to leverage it. He made 31 consecutive starts and earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy from ACC coaches the last two seasons.

Concern: He's not the most balanced or athletic edge blocker in this class. He needs to work on his footwork.

The skinny: He has a great frame and good tools to work with, but needs good coaching and the right fit to reach his true potential in the NFL.


School: Western Michigan

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 330

Best trait: Position versatility. Moton started every game over the past four years for WMU. He lined up at right tackle for all 25 games in 2013 and 2014, moved to right guard in 2015, and then back to right tackle this past season, earning first-team All-MAC and All-American honors. He has a massive frame that fits both at right tackle and at guard.

Concern: His size was his greatest asset, not so much his hands and foot quickness.

The skinny: He's a powerful man and might ultimately play guard in the NFL, but that's the great thing about him, he's good enough at both spots to garner a look.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content