The Detroit Lions got themselves a steal in the fifth round. Still, they need to figure out where to play their rookie offensive lineman.
Seeing former Oregon Ducks offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby fall in the 2018 NFL Draft was a shock. Fortunately, the Detroit Lions were the team to snatch him up.
Crosby finished his senior season with 13 starts at left tackle and was named the PAC 12 Offensive Lineman of the year. Since 2014, he’s had an addition four starts at left tackle and another 19 at right tackle.
When it comes to run blocking, Crosby is just downright nasty. The dude is a mortar when it comes to creating holes in the run game. Pass blocking is exceptionally sound as well. He surrendered only three pressures in 2017, including zero sacks.
Length (35 1/4″ arms, 6-5 height) and size (309 weight) scream tackle. His demeanor, competitiveness and strength have helped him win the majority of his one-on-one matchups.
Athleticism isn’t something Crosby possesses a whole lot of. Lack of ideal foot speed and inexperience in true passing sets puts him behind the eight-ball as far as what’s required of NFL tackles.
Evaluators project a slide inside to guard, which I’m not totally oppose to. Although his play frequently resembles a guard, Crosby has the frame and body type to continue playing tackle. The Senior Bowl was evidence that he can handle playing out on the edge.
The Lions were in the market for a swing tackle prior to selecting Crosby in the fifth round. There’s enough interior offensive lineman depth to feel comfortable believing he’ll be taking reps at the position needing the most help, tackle.
For the short-term, Detroit can use Crosby as the backup to both tackle spots. Down the road, he could replace Rick Wagner as the starting right tackle.
If things don’t workout, bump him inside. T.J. Lang is getting older and Crosby could potentially take his place at right guard.
Honing in on Tyrell Crosby’s technique and learning protections as a tackle is the best direction to take his rookie season. I’m confident he’ll perform at a high level and I’d bet the Detroit Lions will utilize him at tackle.