As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Ryan Hayes.
2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ryan Hayes (OT – Michigan)
6’7″ – 305 lbs.
Started the first two weeks of his freshman season at left tackle before serving as a backup the remainder of the year, then started another two games at left tackle (his only two appearances) before locking down the full-time blindside job as a junior, reprising that role as a senior and finishing his career with thirty starts at the position. Allowed just four career sacks, none this past season.
Big left tackle from a highly-regarded program, with plenty of starting experience and improved play as a senior. Plays the game with nastiness and physicality. Fires out of his stance reasonably low, especially for his size. Able to grind down opponents in a phone booth and generate push. Shows enough short-area quickness to chip one opponent and still engage a second player; was often asked to execute this type of assignment. Understanding of positioning in the run game is solid. Has a strong grip to put the clamps on an opponent and sustain through the whistle. Takes opportunities to finish off opponents. Didn’t allow a sack this past year. Active with his hands has a powerful punch and can knock defenders off-balance; upper-body strength is impressive overall. Anchor strength is at least adequate. Was rarely penalized in college (six career flags, never more than two in a season).
Hasn’t started a game at any other offensive line positions, and has only played right tackle in a reserve role back in 2019. It’s possible teams will ask him to develop his lower-body strength a little bit more. Overall athleticism is closer to average. Doesn’t cover a lot of space with his kickslide, and pass sets look hunched; was able to get the job done in college, but there are too many snaps in which he’s winning ugly. Because of his lack of lateral agility, often tries to disrupt opposing pass-rushers as they’re turning the corner. Can get grabby and will have to improve hand placement to avoid penalties at the next level; lapses into a catch-and-ride approach at times.
A big, tough offensive lineman with a powerful upper body and two years of experience in one of the most highly-regarded programs in the country for offensive linemen, but he is a somewhat limited athlete who needs to clean up his pass sets and hand placement. Will most likely be asked to play on the right side at the pro level or potentially as a swing reserve; may be a little bit too tall to play on the inside.
Projection: Round 5