Name: Lucas Niang
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
JERSEY: No. 77
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 328 lbs
PROS: Does an excellent job of fighting to stay square in pass protection, and shifting his lower body to force defensive lineman to work through his frame. Ideal size and length combination for the next level. Has extremely patient hands and a violent punch, bringing strong initial pop in pass protection. Plays with solid pad level and uses the length in his arms to the maximum extent. Consistently maintains his half-man relationship no matter the angle of the pass rusher.
Necessary anchor against the bull rush, while also having the power to regain control of block and begin to drive. Forces edge rushers around the hoop with distance to the quarterback. Explosive and bursty out of stance and always first to proper depth in his pass sets, forces defensive lineman to take a deep and rounded path to the quarterback. Sustains leverage through counters from defensive lineman; will rapidly replace hands inside. Results have been excellent and steady so far as a pass protector. Conscious and aware of quarterback leaving the pocket, and will avoid holding penalties while fighting to cut-off pursuit. Processes outside stunts or blitzes from depth.
Nimble despite his large frame, and a well-conditioned athlete due to the uptempo style of TCU’s offense. Play speed doesn’t waver even later in drives, becoming stronger throughout the game. Has the mobility to lead out in front and enough quickness to play in space. Fluid puller who wastes minimal motion. Has shown ability on reach blocks, positioning his hips in the hole and able to drive after initial punch. Excellent body positioning when run play goes away to eliminate any potential pursuit. Heavy-footed and can really drive defensive lineman when able to sustain engagement. Plus lateral mover who brings his strong base with him. Sudden and forceful on cut blocks, especially for his size.
CONS: Explosiveness out of his stances causes him to lift his feet too high off the ground in his pass sets. While he gets to depth well, he will need development on making his pass set seamless and more efficient. He can get knocked off center when attempting to maul in the run game, though his heavy feet generally allow him to maintain his balance. Hasn’t shown the ability on reach blocks against blitzes or hard penetrators, and will get caught trailing quicker defensive lineman. Limits his potential on outside or wide zone plays. Good athlete, but not in the elite mold.
Has struggled with processing inside stunts and powering down onto them, which likely stems from the small issues with his footwork. Though he has the size and play strength, he won’t dominate double teams or combo blocks like you would expect. Hasn’t been seen finishing blocks with regularity. Has been given some extra help against elite pass rushers.