The Best Tackle in the upcoming NFL Draft you haven’t heard of
So going into the off-season, the premier tackles being discussed are Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, and Taylor Decker. While these projected first rounders have been stealing the spot light, there are some exceptional tackles not getting the attention they deserve, one of which being Germain Ifedi from Texas A&M. He stands at 6’5”, 325 lbs and looks every bit of it.
Just based off of the initial eye test, what is captivating is how fast he moves off the line of scrimmage.
Although there may not be any “good” false starts in the game of football, this one is more forgivable. It’s evident that he knew what the snap count was and he was attempting to time the quarterback’s cadence with his first step.
Above is a blatant example of him trying to get an advantage on his defender to execute a reach block by jumping the snap. In tape, jumping the snap should be regarded as a negative trait, however, there is an argument that this is something to be commended for. This is an easy fix for an NFL coach to break this habit, so there isn’t anything too concerning about this. Ifedi displays elite quick twitch muscles, which is something that is nearly impossible to teach.
Ifedi is also gifted with some of the best feet out of all the big men in this upcoming draft. He moves impressively well with a combination of grace, speed, and patience.
This play is absolutely perfect by number 74. The ball was snapped and Ifedi is the first one off the line of scrimmage. He keeps his light, yet grounded, feet moving. Then, he proceeds to narrowly navigate his way to the second level while maintaining an athletic stance. Finally, in one motion, he turns his hips and simultaneously extends his arms in order to take the linebacker out of the play. Ifedi’s strong suit is his ability to pass block, but if there is a team out there that is in dire need of a mauler, this Texas A&M product may be their answer.
As mentioned, pass blocking is an aspect of his game that he is supremely talented at. He consistently keeps a solid base without giving up too much ground. His power stems from his back as he utilizes his colossal arm length to create distance between him and the defender. The placement of where his arms are is also praiseworthy. He stalls the defender by having his left arm on the inside shoulder and having the other hand controlling the defender’s chest. His massive hands are a tough bind to get out of, and this type of motion.
Many words come to mind when describing Ifedi including quick, strong, and light-footed. But to summarize him in one word, it would be coachable. The reason he is high up on my board is because of his remarkable improvement from the previous year. His kick step looks better, he looks more fluid in lateral movements, and just started making use of his long arms to his advantage. This gif was from his 2014 season against South Carolina. Watching tape from his previous season, he was relatively inconsistent in all facets of the game. He’d get exploited like this throughout the game.
This season, he developed a great awareness and rarely let pass rushers get the best of him. He is very raw, but the strides he has made from the previous season is a testament to believe that he has the potential to develop into a marquee tackle.
This piece was written by Andrew Baldinger, please follow him on Twitter @FootBaldinger