John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
A lifelong Jayhawk fan and converted Tight End/Defensive End, Tanner Hawkinson could add depth behind the Colts two starting OTs.
In a number of these previews I've talked about the added value players get when they can play multiple positions, especially on the Offensive line where teams normally only have seven or eight guys active on gameday. It's even better when teams don't have to guess whether guys can play two or more positions, because they've done it in college already. Tanner Hawkinson from Kansas won't have to make teams wonder.
Hawkinson was a four year starter for the Jayhawks, starting all 48 games he played in that time. He played mostly Left Tackle (2009, 10, and 12), but played Right Tackle as a Junior. He was named to the All-Big 12 Second team as a Senior, and was named to the First Team Freshman All-America team back in 2009. His 48 games started, as well as started consecutively, are Kansas records. Durability is clearly not an issue with Hawkinson.
Being a converted Tight End, he's not the biggest guy, not even weighing 300 pounds, which is a rarity in today's NFL. It seems he has issues with guys bull-rushing him, just because he's not quite as strong as some of his peers. With time in the weight room he can obviously put on the weight, but the technique issues will need to be worked on in sync with the weight training. Can obviously be done, but will take some work.
The Colts are obviously set now with starters at Tackle after Gosder Cherilus was signed yesterday in Free Agency, but adding depth, especially a guy that has played on both sides of the line, can be invaluable. With Winston Justice still on the roster it may be a tough sell, but taking a flier on a guy in the 7th round isn't always a bad thing.
Frame has filled out during his career, should continue to do so early in his NFL career. Still possesses foot quickness to lead off-tackle runs, be effective on zone blocks, and reach/negate second-level targets. Lateral movement in pass protection is adequate to cut off the corner, has the length to push rushers around the pocket.
Lacks adequate strength. Can be bullied into the quarterback by powerful linemen and lacks the upper body to hold off defenders once they get the advantage inside. Stops his feet in pass pro at times, causing him to bend at the waist.
STRENGTHS: Former tight end who has maintained his quickness despite adding nearly 70 pounds over his collegiate career. Good patience as a pass blocker. Eases off the snap and waits for the defensive end to come to him, showing his understanding of the arc and blocking angles.
WEAKNESSES: A better football player than athlete, at this time, and therefore may be viewed as lacking upside. Doesn't possess ideal flexibility to adjust to moving targets when run-blocking at the second level. A bit of a technician who struggles a bit with power, especially when he tires and allows his pad level to rise.
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