Our own Kent Lee Platte recently went over some draft scenarios for the Lions, and I’ll be putting together a seven-round mock for the front office.
Let’s jump right in to round one of seven.
Sep 13, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers offensive linesman T.J. Clemmings (68) takes a drink on the sidelines in the fourth quarter in a game against the FIU Golden Panthers at FIU Stadium. Pitt won 42-25. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
When watching Clemmings on tape, one thing that really jumps out at you is how gifted of an athlete he is. He’s a converted defensive end who’s played just two full seasons at offensive tackle for the Panthers. He may be considered raw, but his footwork is very consistent
Clemmings was asked to lead block on several wide receiver screens for Pitt. It’s not often that you’ll see a 300 pound tackle flawlessly follow through on such a difficult block downfield, but that’s exactly what he is capable of.
Either the ACC is full of incredibly weak defenses, or T.J. Clemmings is the strongest 305 pound tackle I’ve ever seen. In the run game, Clemmings is a road grader that will latch onto his assignments and turn them away from the play with ease.
Clemmings looks like a natural talent at OT, but he does struggle at times in pass protection. Though he does a solid job at mirroring his opponents’ moves, he tends to get a little too high with his hand placement.
The fact that he’s raw may be considered a negative or a weakness to some teams, and his pass protection technique needs work. There were times where Clemmings was knocked flat on his back in pass pro. He can take poor angles and his lateral agility is questionable at times, causing him to sway off balance.
How He Fits
Despite exclusively lining up as a right tackle for Pitt., many project Clemmings to transition into a left tackle at the NFL level due to his slim frame. Regardless of where he plays, Clemmings will need to pack on a few pounds if he wants a career in the NFL. I believe he can play anywhere on the line — aside from center — if he’s big enough, because he certainly has the strength to do so.
Currently, I have T.J. Clemmings penciled in as a first round pick and my #3 ranked OT behind Andrus Peat and La’el Collins. If he’s available at 23rd overall for Detroit, they would be crazy not to pull the trigger. The Lions need all the help they can get on their offensive line, and they’ll need to focus on drafting younger bodies early and often in the trenches.
For other videos on T.J. Clemmings visit Draft Breakdown.
Next: Round 2