Following in the footsteps of Zack Martin surely isn’t easy, but that’s exactly what Ronnie Stanley has made it look like. After starting at right tackle in 2013, Stanley transitioned to the blindside after Martin was selected in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys. Stanley quickly made a name for himself and emerged as one of the best offensive tackles in the country. His signature performance of last season was getting the best of future top 10 selection, Leonard Williams. He would’ve been a lock in the first round, but Stanley chose to stick around in South Bend for his senior season.
Name: Ronnie Stanley
College: Notre Dame
Projection: Top 10
Comparison: D’Brickashaw Ferguson
- Run blocking
- Pass protection
- Closing pass rush angles
- Upper body strength
- Driving defender away from BC
- 2nd level blocking
- Picking up blockers not initially engaged with
In terms of draft stock, Ronnie Stanley is right there with Laremy Tunsil, though I give the edge to Tunsil. Still, that is great company Stanley provides himself with. When I talk about Ronnie Stanley, I can’t help but describe him as a “brick wall”.
I love what I see from Stanley as a run blocker. He does an excellent job of driving and pushing defenders away from the ball carrier’s running lane. That can be attributed to his tremendous upper body strength that he possesses, along with his good footwork. Stanley also does a good job at getting to the 2nd level and blocking in that vicinity of the field.
Even though he’s a better run blocker than pass blocker, his athleticism could be improved. The biggest flaw in his game is picking up secondary pass rushers. When the defense uses complex blitz packages, Stanley tends to get overwhelmed and confused. When a pass rusher doesn’t initially engage him, Stanley stands around and fails to engage other blitzers. He needs better awareness.
Stanley brings a well-rounded game to the table, and there’s no doubt that he’ll be a top 10 selection in this year’s draft – he could even sneak into the top 5. It looks like Tunsil is the consensus #1 tackle, but Stanley could surpass him if he outperforms him in the combine. Either way, Stanley looks like a sturdy, franchise left tackle for years to come.