2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: T.J. Clemmings

  • Very athletic
  • Natural power
  • Can blast open holes as a run-blocker
  • Good leverage in the ground game
  • Flashes heavy hands
  • Agility
  • Sustains blocks
  • Physical
  • Can display a mean streak
  • Has quickness to the second level
  • Scheme flexibility; able to work in a man or zone scheme
  • Ability to stay on his feet
  • Anchors well
  • Durable
  • Experienced
  • Intelligent
  • Good character, work ethic
  • Quick feet
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Struggles with speed rushers
  • Raw
  • Needs development
  • Reaches after pass-rushers

  • Summary: Early in the draft process, some prominent TV draft analysts projected Clemmings to be the top offensive tackle in the 2015 NFL Draft. In speaking with NFL teams, they never had Clemmings rated that high and view him much differently. They like Clemmings, but feel he is more of a developmental project.

    The need for Clemmings’ development is understandable as 2014 was only his second season playing on the offensive line. Clemmings was a defensive end to start out his collegiate career and moved to right tackle as a junior. Clemmings started 13 games at right tackle in 2013. Clemmings played well in 2014 for Pittsburgh. He is a good athlete who can be a force as a run-blocker. Clemmings needs to improve his technique in pass protection as he can be slow to react to speed rushers.

    That issue became very apparent at the Senior Bowl when Clemmings really struggled in practice during the pass-rushing one-on-ones. Speed rushers were running by him, and that seemed to cause him to snowball and struggle in pass blocking against bull rushers he normally stops. In the ground game though, Clemmings blocked well and opened up holes.

    Entering the NFL, Clemmings strength is his run blocking. He can bulldoze defensive linemen out of their gap and open holes in the ground game. He shows real power to ride them down the field and sustain his blocks through the whistle. Clemmings also is a good athlete with quickness. That’s were the left tackle projections come from, but he needs a lot of work before being ready for that. Clemmings is a good run-blocker, but needs a lot of work in pass protection.

    Some have talked about moving Clemmings to left tackle, but he should develop on the right side first. General managers with two teams told WalterFootball.com they graded Clemmings as a third-round pick, but believe a team that likes him enough to draft him would do it in Round 2. Another general manager said they have a second-day grade on Clemmings, while yet another GM said they have a fourth-round grade on Clemmings. On average, sources feel that Clemmings should develop as a guard or right tackle.

    In the 2015 NFL Draft, Clemmings looks most likely to be a second- or third-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Derek Newton. Clemmings and Newton are similar in that they can be tough run-blockers who struggle with speed rushers. Newton has turned into a quality right tackle for the Texans after being a seventh-round pick out of Arkansas State in 2011. Like Newton, Clemmings needs some development and shouldn’t be thrown to the wolves right away. Newton (6-6, 313) is bigger than Clemmings, but Clemmings is faster with quicker feet and is a better athlete.

    NFL Matches: Carolina, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Oakland, New York Giants, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, San Diego

    Late in the first round and early in the second round, there are a number of options for Clemmings. The Panthers need to upgrade their offensive tackles, and Clemmings could be a fit for them in the first round. Carolina could easily miss out on the top offensive tackles and Clemmings could be the best available.

    The Bucs need a left tackle of the future, another tackle, and a guard to pair with Logan Mankins. Clemmings would be a great fit for Tampa Bay at pick No. 34 as he could step in at guard or right tackle to be an instant starter. Given time, the Buccaneers may develop him into a starting left tackle.

    Tennessee has a need right tackle. If Clemmings is the best player available at No. 33, he could be the selection for the Titans. The Raiders also have bigger needs, but Donald Penn is no spring chicken so Clemmings could be groomed on the bench to replace Penn in 2016.

    The Giants are looking to improve their offensive line, and Clemmings could be a fit for them in Round 2 if they don’t take an offensive lineman in the first round. Cleveland could use more talent on the inside and at right tackle. Clemmings would be a nice value for the Browns in Round 2.

    The Chiefs and Chargers also need a lot of help on their offensive lines. They both could consider Clemmings in the second round if he made it to either’s pick.

    The Rams seem like a very logical landing spot for Clemmings. St. Louis must keep Nick Foles healthy to have any shot at making a run at the playoffs in the rugged NFC West. Joe Barksdale could be upgraded at right tackle, and Davin Joseph isn’t a long-term starter at right guard. In the second round, Clemmings looks like a potential fit for the Rams and could form a nice bookend with Greg Robinson.


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