Josh Ball Could Be a High-Ceiling Offensive Tackle Option for the Chiefs

Marshall's Josh Ball has the tools to become a reliable starting offensive tackle in the NFL. Should the Kansas City Chiefs commit to developing him?
Author:
Publish date:

Josh Ball - OT, Marshall

By the numbers:

6'7", 308 pounds. 35" arms per pro day measurements.

2020: Eight-game starter. All-Conference USA first-team selection.

Positives:

Josh Ball heads to the pros with NFL athleticism and an impressive frame. He's tall with long arms and quick feet, frequently giving him an advantage at the point of attack. He has good recovery speed and is flexible, allowing him to neutralize quicker edge-rushing prospects. Ball moves well in space and posted respectable explosion and agility numbers at his pro day. 

In pass protection, Ball is sound. He maintains a good pad level and explodes off the line of scrimmage with strong and accurate hands. He has good core strength and combines that with his hand usage to keep his chest clean and the opposition at bay. Ball is able to get into vertical sets quickly and can handle speed rushers up the arc, matching their moves and forcing them to reroute. 

Negatives:

As a run blocker, Ball has a lot of room for improvement. He's far from a road-grader and takes inconsistent angles at the second level. He sometimes lacks awareness in regards to his direct assignment. He needs to remain low while on the move, as it can help him create more momentum and truly do some damage in space. Ball's hips occasionally have a hard time keeping up with his feet when trying to open and close.

In order to get the most out of his frame, Ball needs to strengthen his lower body. He doesn't generate as much power from it as he can, often relying on his upper body instead. With a more firm base, he'll be able to set a consistently stout anchor when combined with a low pad level. It will also make him even more explosive. Ball likely needs a year to develop his game and adjust to the NFL, especially after a competition jump from Marshall. 

How Ball fits with the Chiefs:

The Chiefs cut tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz this offseason but re-signed Mike Remmers to a one-year deal. Lucas Niang is set to make his debut at right tackle, and the addition of Orlando Brown Jr. via trade renders the team's pursuit of a starting left tackle a completed task. Ball fits in with what the Chiefs value in a tackle (arm length and the ability to thrive in vertical sets) and could be a great developmental option for them. If Niang were ever to move to guard or Brown only stayed with the team for a couple of years, Ball could then take over. 

Final Thoughts:

Ball is a plus athlete with great length and room to add weight to help fill out the bottom half of his frame. He boasts quality building blocks in pass protection but needs some time to refine the rest of his game. With that said, he's a premier Day 3 tackle target. If teams can get to the bottom of his 2018 dismissal from Florida State, they can feel confident in a prospect with starting potential. Ball grades out as a fourth-round pick. 

Read More: Arrowhead Report's 100 Players in 100 Days: A Kansas City Chiefs Draft Guide.