It was a dramatic night for Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil, who fell all the way to No. 13 before being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 NFL draft.
Tunsil's drop in the draft for an old video of him goofing around with a gas mask and a smokable substance aside, the Dolphins may have picked up the steal of the draft. Tunsil had the cleanest tape of any prospect in this draft. From run-blocking to pass protection to picking up stunts and zone pressures, there's nobody better in 2016, and few better in recent years. As long as that video isn't indicative of any further issues, Tunsil is a huge addition to an offense in need of blocking help. He gave up no sacks and no quarterback hits in 2015 for Ole Miss. Tyron Smith is a good comparison.
Strengths: Tunsil has the best kick-step of any tackle in this class, bar none. Dances quickly backward and creates a natural arc with excellent body coordination, and will mirror edge rushers through that arc with quick feet and an upper body that consistently keeps to the target. He adjusts well to counters and power moves, as well as to rushers trying to sneak through the back of the pocket. Has no issue setting wider for 9-tech rushers. Keeps his hands and head on a swivel. He’s very tough to beat laterally and will punch and armbar opponents to keep them out of the circle. Clears his lower body seamlessly in his dropbacks so he can physically dominate from the legs up. Maintains a wide base to keep his leverage even when he’s bent back. Powerful run blocker who gets his hands on a defender’s chest and can walk him around the field. Throws a shuddering punch at the point of attack, forcing defenders to recover.
Pinches to the tackle on inside zone run plays with authority and brings an attitude when he’s down-blocking. Gets to the second level very quickly and zeroes in on targets in space; will maintain contact through the play and keeps defenders from slipping off when he drives them back. Reads the action well pre-snap, with demonstrated examples of his ability to go where the play goes. Gets downfield quickly and smoothly to block on screens and maintains his technique and power on the move. Edge-rushers who come at him with nothing but speed won’t get very far. Creates leverage consistently out of two- and three-point stances. Very active player at all times—avoids getting stuck where he can be beaten. Dominated multiple edge-rushers with top-level talent; his Sugar Bowl game where he shut down Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah was especially impressive.
Weaknesses: Will occasionally hesitate and over-diagnose at the snap, letting quicker rushers through—though he does have the recovery speed to make up for it. Might be better-suited to a heavy passing attack; would need to add a bit of bulk to run power as a base offense. At times, will over-extend and run past the play design, especially when he’s tasked to be a second-level blocker. Limited snap time due to injuries and suspension could be a concern.