If I said the Dolphins would land Laremy Tunsil with the 13th overall pick, all of Draft Twitter would call me a hack. My reputation as a sports writer would be greatly impaired and anything I said from then on would be falling on deaf ears.
Unfortunately for Tunsil, a very incriminating video caused his draft stock to take a hit. As Tunsil kept tumbling farther and farther down the draft and the Miami Dolphins pick was approaching I had to temper my expectations. I told my friends, I told myself the Dolphins can’t possibly draft him because,
A. someone else will either trade up or stay put and draft him.
B. the Dolphins will never pick a first round draft choice with any drug history after the Dion Jordan debacle.
But then the impossible happened. Roger Goodell said the words, “the Miami Dolphins select Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss, offensive lineman.” I was shocked, I am still shocked. How did we trade down all the way to pick 13 and select an elite prospect of huge present and future need?
Tunsil’s elite skills didn’t all of a sudden go up in smoke with a viral video taken two years ago. Most scouts had him as their number 1 or number 2 ranked prospect. I am not ready to put the Golden Hall of Fame Jacket on any prospect, but if he stays clean and injury free for most of his career, then the sky’s the limit for this kid.
He is a smooth strong athlete who plays the offensive tackle position. There are plenty of tackles who are athletic but are not skilled enough to make it in the NFL. Tunsil has the athleticism and the skills to play at an elite level in the NFL.
On this play Tunsil is going against Myles Garrett. Garrett is likely to go top ten in next year’s draft, and has a good chance of going number one overall. Garrett is lightning quick off the edge. Tunsil handled him all game long, because of his flawless kick step.
He doesn’t over commit to getting too deep. It almost seems like Tunsil is only focused on his steps and the rest will take care of itself. His kick step is a thing of beauty. Once Tunsil gets to his contact point he puts the clamps on Garrett and controls Garrett to the ground.
Tunsil is a smooth athlete, you can see this on this play where he gets into the flat and runs like a tight end to get to the second level defender, Tunsil then lays down a great block for the screen man. A lot of linemen look like lumbering giants when they run in space. Tunsil really looks light on his feet.
The knock on Tunsil is he isn’t a mauler, but he does his job. He doesn’t maul often but he gets the job done in the run game because of his athleticism. He is able to get in position and shield the defender from the ball carrier. Tunsil is very effective at using this to his advantage.
Some are concerned that he may struggle in the NFL against stronger defenders in the run game, but he will be able to use his athleticism to jump set or quickly step into the body, eating up any space for the strong defender to load up power. On this play, Tunsil shows the ability to turn the defender and shield him from the run lane.
Tunsil is basically a coach’s film demonstration. If I were an O-line coach in high school, I would just show Tunsil Film on a loop. This clip not only shows his amazing kick step, but it also show his perfect punch and hand placement. Tunsil has great punch timing and hand placement because his arms are always loaded and up by his chest.
He doesn’t get sloppy and drop his hands; they are always ready to strike. When they do strike they are violent. Tunsil shows a quick and powerful punch to the chest of Garrett on this play. Once Tunsil gets his hands on Garrett’s chest, he applies the clamps and it is over for Garrett.
On this play Tunsil fires off the snap and quickly finds the defender in the second level. Tunsil’s quickness is too much for the linebacker and the linebacker has no choice but to get washed out of the play.
This is one of my favorite Tunsil moments. The play before this, Tunsil starts blocking his defensive responsibility with one hand. I don’t know the reason behind it, and I hope he doesn’t try this in the NFL but it was impressive.
He does the same trick on this play except he doesn’t just block the pass rusher; Tunsil launches the pass rusher out of the scene. This certainly demonstrates his strength in his upper body.
I have seen on a couple of plays where the defender beats Tunsil with a quick inside move, It isn’t often but needs to be addressed. This is what happens on this play.
Tunsil’s effort/intensity has been brought up but I haven’t really seen it enough to be concerned. There are plays where he does his job but doesn’t sic or completely attack the defender, but there are plenty of plays he shows himself playing through the whistle.
This is an example of one of those plays. Tunsil latches onto his defensive responsibility and holds on even until the whistle was blown.
Tunsil went up against Emmanuel Ogbah who was a second round pick in the 2016 draft. Tunsil completely mirrors every move Ogbah makes on this play and eventually controls Ogbah once he gets his hands on him.
Tunsil shows that he is a smooth athlete on this play. He is running out to the flat and then upfield to block. Tunsil looks like he is a tight end running a route.
There has been some news made about Tunsil’s Wonderlic test results. Apparently Tunsil scored on the low end of the score. But this does not show up on the field. Tunsil shows good intelligence on this transfer block where two defenders stunt. Tunsil assists on the inside stunt and transfers over and pushes the outside defender off his pass rushing path.
This film review was done by Matthew Knowles. Follow him on Twitter: @blueflamespcl
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