I am not entirely sure why Chris Faulk decided to forgo his senior season in Baton Rouge. His 2012 season was injury-plagued, and it has cost him a great deal in terms of his draft stock.
If Faulk went back to LSU and proved he was healthy, the offensive tackle prospect likely would have been a first-round pick in 2014.
While we can question this decision all we want, Faulk's talent is there. He just needs to prove he can stay healthy for the duration of the season.
Let's take a look at five things you need to know about the talented offensive tackle prospects.
Full Name: Christopher Brook Faulk (January 21, 1990).
Hometown: Slidell, Louisiana
High School: Northshore High School in Slidell, Louisiana
Major: General Studies
According to Rivals.com, Faulk was the No. 4 ranked offensive tackle recruit in the nation back in 2009. He chose to stay home in Louisiana rather than accept scholarship offers from Michigan and Nebraska, among other collegiate powerhouses.
Despite being so highly recruited, a substandard 2.5 GPA coupled with below-average test scores likely limited interest in Faulk from other top programs around the nation (via Scout.com).
2010 (Freshman): 11 games, two starts and 26 total knockdowns
2011 (Sophomore): 14 games, 13 tackles, 73.5 knockdowns
2012 (Junior): Injured in first game vs. North Texas
Louisiana State finished second in the SEC in rushing offense during Faulk's junior campaign at 202 yards per outing. However, it finished just sixth in that category this past season (via CFB Stats).
Three of the Tigers four top ball carrier remained the same from 2011 to 2012 with Michael Ford and Jeremy Hill touching the ball the most. This seems to indicate that Faulk had a tremendous impact in run blocking.
In addition, quarterback play took a major step back in 2012 from what we saw with Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee in 2011. While Zach Mettenberger was just a true sophomore this past season, it was pretty easy to tell that protection just wasn't there for the young quarterback.
All this indicates is that Faulk was a difference maker along the Tigers offensive line in his two seasons with the team. I am sure teams took this into account during the draft process.
All offensive tackle statistics provided by LSU
Weight: 331 pounds
Arm Length: 34 1/4"
Hand Size: 9 5/8"
Bench Press: 25 reps at 225
Chris Faulk participated in only the bench press workout at the combine after he missed nearly all of his junior season with a torn ACL (via CBS Sports).
Faulk's 25 reps at the combine ranked him in the latter half among offensive line prospects at the combine.
The talented offensive tackle was only able to workout in positional drills during his pro day (via NFL.com).
Not much has changed since Faulk declared for the draft. He didn't have the opportunity to impress scouts with what seems to be a solid set of skills.
All combined numbers and measurements provided by NFL.com
According to his skill sets and what we have heard from the scouting community, Chris Faulk would have likely been a high-round pick if he had returned to school for his senior season and stayed healthy.
Our very own Alex Dunlap suggests this much in his scouting report on the talented offensive tackle:
Chris Faulk has the type of talent that justifies a late Day 2 pick, and if he is available past the late-third round, it appears that one team will be getting themselves a bargain.
Just imagine if Faulk had been able to stay healthy. We would likely be looking at a late day one or early day two pick.
Why declare then?
It seems as if Faulk didn't want to risk further injury, and as a result falling completely out of the 2014 NFL draft. In that case, red flags should be waved from every war room in the NFL. Though, it's still important to note that he possesses much more talent than any mid-round offensive tackle prospect in the draft.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has Faulk as the 13th ranked offensive tackle and 128th ranked overall player in the draft in his final big board. This is about where I value the talented young player.
As I have mentioned a few times in this article, those nagging injury concerns and his questionable decision to declare for the draft have left a few experts scratching their heads.
Former NFL scout and current draft guru Dan Shonka, a great guy by the way, mocked Faulk to the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round last week.
That's the situation I see best suited for him. He won't be asked to come in and start immediately. Instead, the LSU produce can sit and gain more experience. The talent is there, he just needs to fix issues with technique and prove he can be healthy.
If so, some team will be getting a mid-round steal.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. He was hired prior to the 2011 season and couldn't be happier working with a great group of individuals here. In addition, Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
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