*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Petit-Frere Projected to First or Second RoundUpdated Nov. 29, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
A year ago, WalterFootball.com was among the few media outlets that projected Alabama left tackle Alex Leatherwood to the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. We continued to project Leatherwood in the first round throughout the leadup to the draft and had him going to the Raiders in our final mock drafts. This year, a similar prospect seems to not be getting media attention from a heavy hitter, yet he still has early-round potential according to NFL teams: Ohio State left tackle Nick Petit-Frere.
During Ohio State games this season, broadcasters have talked about how senior Thayer Munford has moved inside to guard to help the Buckeyes this season, but they fail to mention how the talent of Petit-Frere pushed Munford inside to guard. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Petit-Frere has good size, athleticism and quickness. He has been a rock solid protector for quarterback C.J. Stroud this season, and NFL scouts have noticed.
“He’s a mid- to late first-rounder,” said an AFC director of college scouting.
A NFC director of player personnel said their team graded Petit-Frere to be an early pick, “Our scouts have grades of ‘a solid starter’ and ‘starter with some limitation’ grades, so that means he’s an early-rounder.”
Another AFC director of college scouting was not as high, “He’s long. He’s not all there yet, but has upside. More of a second than a first in my opinion, but I could see someone taking him in the first.”
In the 2021 regular-season finale, Petit-Frere had some problems with Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. Both players had wins in their one-on-ones, but Hutchinson notched some huge sacks versus Petit-Frere. Hutchinson deserves the majority of the credit, as he is a future top-10 pick and is a dynamic edge rusher. Petit-Frere’s performance versus Hutchison illustrated the issues that Petit-Frere has to work on, but he also showed he has the talent to start in the NFL.
With Petit-Frere’s athletic upside, he could be riser in the leadup to the 2022 NFL Draft with strong performances at the combine and his pro day. Starting left tackles are always in demand, and team need could also help Petit-Frere. With NFL teams looking for a lot of tackle upgrades, Petit-Frere is a prospect to watch as the 2022 NFL Draft nears.