T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh
Clemmings had a very good senior year for Pittsburgh, enough to make him fly up some draft rankings in a year where the offensive tackle talent isn’t as good as it has been in the past. Even as a right tackle though, he has a few things which should concern teams.
This is a player with just two years experience as a tackle, as he had played defensive end for three years at Pitt before he shifted to the offense. He spent the next two years working on his game and while he has come a long way, he still has a long way to go.
While Clemmings is a solid run-blocker, he struggles as a pass-protector, especially with hand-placement. At times, he gets out-maneuvered by defenders who start outside but then cut back in and he’s too stiff in the hips to recover well.
He needs a lot more reps against NFL-level talent before he’s really ready for prime time. He could be a very good tackle, but if he’s taken too high a team might not be able to be patient. And for all his upside, he may not ever be as good as his potential shows he might be.
Clemmings has that potential – but a lot of guys have that and don’t make the cut. It could take Clemmings three or four seasons to really get comfortable at the position in the NFL, and that’s unacceptable for a first round pick, as some have touted him.
Much safer to take him in the back half of the second or later.
Next: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington