The 2020 NFL Draft is filled with great prospects at offensive tackle, to the point where teams could very well be finding starting-caliber players into the third round and beyond. One of those players is Auburn senior Jack Driscoll, who has moved onto many radars after a good Combine performance.
Driscoll graduated from Massachusets with a bachelor’s in hospitality and tourism, and transferred to Auburn to pursue his master’s. He started nine games as freshman for the minutemen and has started every game since.
On tape, Driscoll does appear to have decent athleticism, and he surprised at the NFL Combine. His 5.02 40-yard dash ranked fourth among all lineman, and his 114″ broad jump was fifth-best. He’s not a freak athlete, but he is agile enough to be a starting tackle in the NFL. He can mirror speed rushers well and moves well at the second level in the run game.
Because of his experience, Driscoll has a good understanding of the OT position. He reads rushers well and isn’t often surprised. He reacts quickly to stunts and fakes and knows where to look in the run game.
Driscoll possesses nimble feet that help him to quickly get out of his stance and into his pass sets, even against speed rushers. He had little trouble with Alabama’s Terrell Lewis, a potential first-round pick.
Jack Driscoll has played a lot of football, and he’s played it well. In each season of his career, Driscoll’s Pro Football Focus pass-block grade improved, all the way to 86.3 in 2019. Over 829 pass-block snaps at Auburn, Driscoll allowed only one sack, two hits, and 19 hurries.
Can overset at times
This was particularly prevalent against LSU in 2019. When he knows his opponent is quick, Driscoll can tend to get into his pass set too quickly, leaving himself open to an inside counter. He’s athletic enough to the point where he doesn’t need to have a major advantage off the snap. This is a simple fix that can help him reduce a lot of his pressures.
Whether he’s trying to move defenders in the run game, or matching up with a power end, Jack Driscoll’s lack of strength is apparent. He stands 6’5″ 306lbs, so he’s already thinner than you’d like, but it’s possible to be thin but still strong. Driscoll lacks a good anchor and is not a people-mover. He needs to add mass and strength to his frame before he sees time in the pros.
As mentioned earlier, Driscoll knows how to get in position in the run game, but he’s unable to generate push. If he’s able to simply prevent the defender from gaining any ground, it’s a win for Driscoll. Pass blocking will always be more important than run blocking, but if Driscoll can’t do it against college competition, how will he be able to in the NFL? His lack of strength again is his biggest weakness (no pun intended), and must be addressed before he starts.
Jack Driscoll has good height for a tackle, but his arms are only 33″ long. This only exasperates his issue with strength, as once defenders get their hands into Driscoll’s chest and lock their arms, it’s almost impossible for him to avoid being driven back. This could mean he is forced to move inside to guard in the NFL, but given how desperate teams are for solid tackles, he should get a chance to prove himself on the outside first. Worst-case scenario he is a long-term guard with the ability to play tackle in an emergency.
Driscoll is athletic but he lacks elite explosiveness. This hurts him in the run game as he can’t generate the immediate power he needs to blow defenders off the line. This is something that can be mitigated if he can fix his other issues, as there are plenty of successful lineman who don’t have the greatest first step.
Bottom Line on Jack Driscoll
Jack Driscoll has some faults in his game, but he was able to overcome them to have a very good college career, in the SEC no less. He will be pushed down the board due to the sheer amount of OL talent in this class, but in the third or fourth round, some team is going to be very happy he fell into their lap. Will he be a Pro Bowler? Probably not. But he should end up as a consistent if unspectacular pass protector, which every team wants.
Read about more O-linemen stealing the show at the NFL Combine.