In 2013, Laremy Tunsil showed up at Ole Miss as the top-rated offensive tackle in the country. Three years later, he leaves as the top-rated tackle in the 2016 draft class.
Living up to expectations is something the freakishly athletic Tunsil has done his entire career. Just a few weeks into his freshman season, he was starting at left tackle in college football's toughest defensive conference. He followed that up with a sophomore season that ended in All-SEC and second-team All-American awards. That season also ended with a broken leg in the Peach Bowl, but Tunsil shook off both the injury and an NCAA suspension to dominate the back half of his junior year. Through those three seasons, he allowed just three sacks.
Tunsil was all set to be the top overall pick to the Titans, but a trade to the Rams dislodged him and could drop him out of the top five. Someone is sure as hell getting a bargain.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||40-yard dash||Bench press||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|6'5||310||34.25 in||N/A*||34 reps||28.5 in||111 in|
*Tunsil skipped the 40 at both the Combine and the Ole Miss pro day.
He's crazy athletic.
Dudes that weigh over 300 pounds should not be able to move like this:
This drill is technically meant to gauge the footwork of the guy doing the mirroring, but my god look how quickly Tunsil changes direction.
Tunsil's feet tho!! pic.twitter.com/pI6TYXQEWL— SEC Chad (@SEC_Chad) February 26, 2016
Don't worry, that athleticism translates to the field. He's spectacular sprinting to the second level or getting out in space on tunnel screens. And oh yea, he ain't too shabby with the rock in his hands either.
He's pretty strong too.
Tunsil skipped the bench at the Combine, but his 34 reps at the Ole Miss pro day would have tied for first in Indy, regardless of position.
He's already proven himself against NFL-level talent.
When Ole Miss played A&M midway through last season, Tunsil had been collecting rust for seven weeks, the result of a drawn-out NCAA investigation (more on that below). His welcome back present? SEC sack leader Myles Garrett, who will be a first-round draft pick next year. No worries, Tunsil stonewalled Garrett on all but a couple of snaps.
You can watch every one of those snaps if you want.
Last season alone, Tunsil faced Garrett (the No. 1 rated DE prospect in the 2018 class), Auburn's Carl Lawson (No. 2 in the 2018 class), LSU's Arden Key (No. 4 in the 2019 class) and Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah (No. 6 in this year's class). According to Pro Football Focus, Tunsil gave up just five quarterback hurries and not a single sack against all of them combined.
What's that you say? Tunsil benefited from the short drop backs in Ole Miss' rapid-fire spread?
In the 2015 FBS season, Ole Miss' Laremy Tunsil had the highest pass-blocking efficiency among draft-eligible OTs on seven-step drops.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 26, 2016
Yes, he can also run block.
Some way or another, the draft media has decided that Tunsil struggles in the ground game. The only thing I can figure is that people see his foot speed and litheness and peg him as a finesse guy.
People often associate athletic big men with being soft, but that couldn't be any further from the truth with Tunsil.
You can see his power and aggressiveness on film, without a doubt. I saw this several times in each game when Tunsil would sift up to a linebacker and then block him either off the screen or damn close to it. That's power.
However, you just can't sustain blocks like that on little guys without a lot of athleticism, no matter how much you bench press. After a while, it was clear that if he locked onto a guy on the second level, that dude was going for a ride not of his own choosing.
Pro Football Focus, which watched and graded all 599 snaps of Tunsil's sophomore and junior seasons (as opposed to most draft experts, who's overbearing workload limits them to the highlight reels from a few games) says his "run-game production was equally (if not more) impressive than his performances in pass protection."
But the most convincing argument for Tunsil's dominance in run blocking comes from dramatic improvement in Ole Miss' ground game after his return last season. Against the four Power 5 opponents the Rebels faced without last Tunsil, they averaged 88 rushing yards per game and 2.69 yards per carry. Against the six Power 5 opponents with Tunsil, the numbers jumped to 202 yards per game and 5.33 yards per carry.
He had a little run-in with the ole NCAA.
During the summer before his junior year, Tunsil and his stepdad were each arrested after an altercation at their family home (Tunsil claims the incident started when his stepdad pushed his mom). Charges against both men were eventually dropped, but the bitter stepdad started mouthing off about illegal contact with agents and other violations. The NCAA listened, and an investigation eventually turned up a host of improper benefits, including a loaner car and free lodging. He ended up sitting out a seven-game suspension.
Neither is Tunsil.
Tunsil legitimately laughed when someone asked him about his NCAA suspension and if it matters now. Pretty great. pic.twitter.com/fHcqiVuPME— Bennett Hipp (@BennettHipp) February 24, 2016