Tyler Larsen, OC, Utah State (HT: 6'4"; WT: 313 lbs)
|6040||313||31 1/2"||9 1/4"|
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- Described by the Utah State Athletic Department as "the leader of an offensive line that has combined for 110 career starts to rank as the fourth-most experienced offensive line in the nation."
- Possesses an incredibly strong initial punch and appears to have terrific strength through the upper body.
- Quicker than he is fast. Is proficient at handling second-level defenders when uncovered on inside-zone calls.
- Has shown the ability to be an excellent pulling option, generally handling edge threats in free space with the same good use of leverage and angles that can be seen in his second-level prominence.
- Clearly a smart, veteran presence with a clear understanding of assignments.
- Tied for the second-best combine showing on the bench press, managing a very impressive 36 reps of 225 pounds.
- Usually doesn't appear dominant, but generally gets his assignment executed.
- Has strong hands and usually operates with above-average hand placement in run-blocking situations.
- Was a first-team all-conference player for three straight seasons.
- Slides naturally into pass protection situations and generally gives himself a great shot at seeing what the defense is bringing in time to react.
- Comes from a football family with a brother (Cody) currently in the NFL.
- Lacks refined technique or adherence to fundamentals in numerous aspects of his play.
- Unlikely to project well as a guard option due to current lack of athleticism and power to handle NFL-level 3-techniques in one-on-one-situations.
- Does not have quick feet and can appear sluggish in lower-body movements.
- Struggles to stay on his feet when drive-blocking defenders in the run game.
- Shows a tendency to let down linemen shed his blocks after initial contact by not controlling his forward momentum.
- Displays a lack of explosion off the snap in run situations that seems to be more reactionary than beneficially patient.
- Lacks impressive agility—straight-line, lateral and vertical.
- Does not have the strength in leg drive to consistently get defenders off their spot in head-up situations.
- Allows far too much penetration and clogging of zone lanes when disruptive interior presences rip under his chest plate and cross his face.
- More of a "catcher" than a "mauler."
- Has short arms.
- Lack of length can often leave a wide-open door for back-side stunting defenders on double-A-gap overloads.
- Struggles with pad level and general positioning once engaged.
- Did not run the 40-yard dash at the combine.
- Failed to impress or make many positive blips on the radar through a week of 2014 Senior Bowl practices.
- Does not bend well and lacks flexibility.
- Does not always play to the whistle and lacks a good motor.
- Lack of explosion evident in third-worst vertical leap at the combine.
- Lack of lateral agility evident in his fifth-worst three-cone time among offensive linemen participating in Indianapolis.
Personal Notes (via Utah State Athletic Department)
- Son of LeRoy and Barbara Larsen.
- Has three brothers and two sisters.
- Brother, Cody, played defensive tackle at Southern Utah and is a member of the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL.
- Married USU softball player Samantha Miller in May 2013.
- Majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
Tyler Larsen was a terrific player for Utah State with a decorated history of awards for both his on-field performance and his dedication in the classroom.
His 51 career starts for the Utah State Aggies show his dependability at the college level and he hasn't had any significant injury issues since his freshman season in 2009.
In evaluating Larsen, however, the lack of elite physical attributes is worrisome. Outside of a terrific bench-press showing in Indianapolis—aided by short arms—Larsen simply hasn't shown much outside of being a very efficient player over a long period in the two non-BCS conferences Utah State was a part of.
Most worrisome is Larsen's lack of motor and his tendency to give up on plays. He appears to be a prospect who does not make up for his athletic shortcomings with hustle and determination.
Evaluators have a great fear of players who have an "off switch," especially when they are not dominant even when the switch is turned on.
The NFL team that drafts Larsen will do so understanding that he will not come in as the immediate dependable interior cog he was against inferior competition at Utah State.
Draft Projection: 6th-7th Round