There is a chance Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil will be the first selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, but should the Minnesota Vikings go get him?
Every year, there seems to be an offensive tackle that is in consideration for the first pick in the draft. That’s because protecting the quarterback is one of the most important things for an offense in today’s NFL. That’s why a guy like Ole Miss’ Laremy Tunsil is under such an intense microscope.
Of course, Tunsil has the skills to succeed at the NFL level. He has amazing footwork and great flexibility to adjust to different pass rush moves and shows the intelligence to identify the differences. Teams can rely on him when put at left tackle to be an anchor and neutralize even the most effective pass rushers, taking them out of the game.
Still, teams that are looking to pick Tunsil will need to be very sure about his physical ability to play. Throughout his entire career, he has sustained injuries (knee, bicep, ankle, fibula) that have either caused him to miss playing time or limited his effectiveness. He also has a history of problems with suspensions and the legal system that could turn some teams off.
Here are Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil’s numbers from the events at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine according to NFL.com:
Laremy Tunsil compares to:
- CBS Sports: Trent Williams, Redskins
- NFL.com: Tyron Smith, Cowboys
Fit for the Minnesota Vikings:
The Vikings are giving Matt Kalil $11 million and have grabbed some insurance at offensive tackle in free agency. Still, with Kalil becoming a free agent next year, having a great option to replace him if the two can’t agree to a long-term deal might be a smart move to ensure the future of the offensive line.
Rolling the dice on a guy like Tunsil might not be the best idea for a team at the top of the 2016 NFL Draft. Even though he has a ton of potential and could be a long-term answer at left tackle, those injury concerns are enough to push him down in the draft for me. Yet, there will be a team desperate enough to protect their quarterback that they will pick him very early, but it won’t be the Minnesota Vikings.