Last week I previewed more than half of the offensive linemen we’ll see in Mobile in my Pt. 1 of my Senior Bowl OL Preview. It included some of the top names at the position, as well as several players you may not have heard of due to them playing at the Division II level or at one of the prestigious HBCUs.
In this article, we preview the final five tackles invited, including the first ever offensive lineman from the West Point Academy to participate in the All-Star game and another Division II prospect that could end up being one of the top guys taken in the class if he continues to check-off all the boxes.
Without further ado, the final five offensive tackles who will participate in the Senior Bowl:
Several intriguing "small school" OL prospects at the #SeniorBowl this year:
– Alex Cappa (Humboldt State)
– Timon Parris (Stony Brook)
– Brandon Parker (NC A&T)
– Desmond Harrison (West Georgia)
– Skyler Phillips (Idaho State)
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) December 1, 2017
Alex Cappa – Left Tackle – Humboldt State
One of the best finishers in this class. At 6’7” and 310 lbs, it’s easy for Cappa to play like a man among boys. He can hip-toss half of the defenders that line up across from him. Cappa plays with great hand technique and footwork in pass protection while also being able to run in space and execute any kind of cut block in the book. He is arguably one of the best finishers in the entire class and that trait will always keep teams interested.
You can say what you want about the level of talent he is playing against, however, the mindset of always trying to run your opponent into the ground cannot be coached. This is what will help Cappa separate himself in this class.
Biggest question mark is obviously the level of competition. Regardless of the level he played at, it seems he has worked to excel at his level and beyond. The Senior Bowl will answer a lot of questions surrounding his game. He is currently working with touted offensive line developer LeCharles Bentley.
Joseph Noteboom – Left Tackle – TCU
Coming in at 6’5” and 305 lbs., Noteboom has the prototypical build for an offensive tackle in the NFL. His physical tools being all too apparent, it’s unfortunate that his play between the lines leaves much to be desired. While watching Noteboom perform against some of the defenses in the Big 12, you’d expect to see some moments that stand out above the rest. Big time plays against defensive fronts that are known all too well for not being terribly intimidating and easy to take advantage of.
Despite this (fairly true) stereotype, Noteboom fails to dig out a niche for himself amongst the best players on the field. With a sluggish snap off the line, Noteboom struggles to cutoff backside ends which makes it hard for him to ever win a 1v1 battle in the run game. A lack of lateral agility would make any coach nervous to ever leave him out on an island, especially against speed rushers. He had several decent pass pro reps against OU’s Okoronkwo, but they usually came with some help from the guard or a chip from the running back.
With the immense talent along the defensive line that will be present in Mobile, it could be a very, very long week for Noteboom.
Huge win for Army today, gets them to 10. On their go ahead 2-point conversion to win the game- check out the blocking from #78 on the bottom of the screen- West Ashley HS grad Brett Toth. pic.twitter.com/B1mzBtFjuX
— Scott Eisberg (@SEisbergWCIV) December 24, 2017
Brett Toth – Right Tackle – Army
Toth unfortunately plays for a team that runs the triple option which makes him naturally hard to scout since he isn’t asked to do a whole lot in that style of offense. Offensive linemen are told to stay on tracks, which means he doesn’t necessarily hold sustained blocks all that often. Mostly asked to cutoff defenders on the front and cut block defenders on the back end. He does, however, have a nice spring off the line and his long strides allow him to get to the second level in a hurry.
Overall, Toth boasts one of the more athletic/lean builds in the class. Room for some more mass means there’s still untapped potential about what he can accomplish physically. He had a one of his better outings against Ohio State individually, but that game as a whole went about as well as you could hope. You can also bank on his conditioning to be stellar due to the sheer amount of plays they can stuff into any given drive.
The week at the Senior Bowl will go a long way in proving that he can still execute all other facets of an offensive tackle’s game, and not just the ones required for the triple option.
Martinas Rankin – Left Tackle – Mississippi State
Martinas Rankin claims one of my highest raw strength grades and may come out of the draft season with my Strongest Hands Award. It honestly would not surprise me in the slightest if he took off his gloves and he just had two iron clamps underneath. “How did he fit gloves over those things?”, is something I would probably ask. These vice-grips are Rankin’s biggest asset in pass protection as it allows him to keep defenders in his cone without needing to frantically mirror. This is convenient as Rankin doesn’t always keep his feet active until the whistle. He is occasionally caught flat-footed and this allows EDGE rushers to quickly bend and scoot past him. Otherwise, it’s almost always a wrap when he gets those mitts on you.
Rankin is an above-average athlete at the position where I’d give the nod to his lateral movement as his better trait over his straight-line speed. He possesses the ability to recover hastily when slightly knocked off his tracks but struggles when his inside is exploited. I believe he would be much more comfortable being kicked inside to a guard spot where I believe his skill-set could really flourish at the next level.
Timon Parris – Left Tackle – Stony Brook
Parris is a really intriguing prospect in that he’s got the build/frame scouts usually drool over and he’s still enough of a project where the potential is sky-high. He was originally a walk-on at Stony Brook where his head coach admitted they recruited him for his athletic abilities on the basketball court over his general talent as a football player. He actually didn’t pick up the game of football until his 8th grade year.
At 6’5” and a very lean 320 pounds, Parris puts those basketball feet to good use in his pass set as he is smooth as silk in his kick-slide. His lengthy reach helps keep defenders at at bay and make it a tall task to sneak around him. Parris receives extra kudos by being keeping aggression high through his pass pro reps where most tackles become lax and are content with just keeping the quarterback clean.
One of the areas I would love to see Parris clean up is his technique when he’s at the second level. He can get there in a hurry but fails to settle down, chop his feet, or come back under control in some capacity once he arrives. This usually leads to a whiff on the LB or another missed assignment.
Parris is one of a handful of prospects from the FCS or Division II level that will be present in Mobile and he has a very good shot at being the best of the bunch. If he is able to put it all together consistently, that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.