2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Laken Tomlinson

  • Powerful run-blocker
  • Gets movement in the ground game
  • Can handle heavy nose tackles
  • Powerful drive-blocker
  • Has heavy hands
  • Ability to sustain blocks
  • Physical
  • Can display a mean streak
  • Improved technique with hand placement
  • Reliable in short yardage
  • Quick firing to the second level
  • Scheme flexibility, ability to work in a man or zone scheme
  • Ability to stay on his feet
  • Improved pass-protector in college
  • Anchors well against bull rushers
  • Durable
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Had some pass-protection issues
  • Can struggle in space
  • Needs to improve ability to block speed rushers

  • Summary: Tomlinson was one of the best blockers in the ACC ove the past few years. Duke has enjoyed back-to-back bowl seasons, and a consistent offense was the main reason. Tomlinson was the Blue Devils’ best offensive lineman and a force at the point of attack.

    Tomlinson got a late start in football after growing up in Jamaica, but he became a standout in high school at Lane Tech in Chicago, Illinois. Even though Tomlinson didn’t play all that long, he won a starting spot at Duke and started every game he played in for the Blue Devils.

    Tomlinson showed in 2013 that he was a prospect for the next level as Duke had a lot of success running behind him. He had some issues in pass protection when facing speed rushers, but he showed some real power at the point of attack. Sources said they were unimpressed with how Tomlison played early in 2014, but in the final half of the year, the senior was much better and was a tough blocker.

    At the Senior Bowl, Tomlison kept the good streak going as he had a strong week of practice. Tomlison’s run blocking is ahead of his pass protection, but he showed the ability for improvement and held his own in the pass-rushing one-on-ones.

    Entering the NFL, Tomlinson’s run blocking is ahead of his pass blocking. He is very strong and a people-mover at the point of attack. Tomlinson can power his way through defenders and push them out of their gap. He also is quick to fire to the second level and can pack a punch when he gets there. Tomlinson has the power to function in a man-blocking scheme and is athletic enough to play in a zone scheme.

    Tomlinson needs to improve his pass protection for the NFL. He can struggle in space and may need help from the center when taking on speed rushers, especially when teams move ends to the inside in passing situations.

    For the NFL, Tomlinson looks like a right guard, where he could develop into potential 10-year starter. WalterFootball.com has heard from sources that Florida State’s Josue Matias and Alabama’s Arie Kouandjio are grading out as the top guards (not including LSU left tackle La’el Collins) with Tomlinson grading as a likely third-rounder who should fall lower than early in the fourth round.

    Player Comparison: Kelechi Osemele. Tomlinson looks like a poor man’s version of Osemele. Tomlinson’s game is somewhat similar to Osemele in that they are both powerful run-blockers who can move people at the point of attack. Osemele entered the NFL further along as a pass-protector, and Tomlinson will have to make strides in that department in order to be as good of a guard as Osemele. Osemele was a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and Tomlinson is also a likely second-day pick.

    NFL Matches: Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Cleveland, San Francisco, Kansas City, San Diego, Denver

    There are a lot of teams that could consider guard help in the second day of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Bucs need a starter to pair with Logan Mankins, and Tomlinson could start for Tampa Bay quickly. Taking Tomlinson early in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft could make sense for Tampa Bay.

    The Jaguars could make sense for Tomlinson. Their offensive line was dreadful in 2014, so he could be an improvement at guard. Zane Beadles and Brandon Linder were disappointments.

    The Giants are looking to improve their offensive line, and Tomlinson could be a fit for them in Round 3. He could be an upgrade over John Jerry and J.D. Walton. Taking Tomlinson would allow the Giants to move Weston Richburg to his natural position of center.

    Cleveland could use more talent at right guard. Tomlinson could form a nice duo with Joel Bitonio for the Browns. The 49ers are probably losing Mike Iupati in free agency, and if they don’t like their in-house options like Brandon Thomas, they could consider Tomlinson.

    The Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos also need a lot of help on their offensive lines. All three organizations are in the position of needing interior help. Tomlinson could interest any of these AFC West teams.


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