Name: Dalton Risner
SCHOOL: Kansas State
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
JERSEY: No. 71
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 308 lbs
Pass Protection – Power rushers get nowhere against Risner, as he consistently drops anchor and fights off bull rushes. Can occasionally lean a tiny bit in pass protection, as I saw him push-pulled once against Texas (Charles Omenihu) and once against Mississippi State (Montez Sweat, snatch move). Mostly flat-backed and under control as a pass protector, shutting out Jordan Brailford and winning all but one rep against Sweat. Mirrors inside moves extremely well and is careful not to overset. Speed rushers will be somewhat of a concern unless his footwork improves, hasn’t seen many pure speed guys in college, but was exceptional at pushing blitzing defensive backs and linebackers up the arc.
POA Run Blocking – Mauling mentality. Fights for position at the point of attack and will seal off rush lanes inside as needed. On the edge, doesn’t settle for stalemates and hinge blocks, instead widening his opponent to the boundary to create a bigger lane inside. In most cases creates movement that does more than just occupy a defender. Can get a little top-heavy as a vertical blocker and overextend. Has a lot of the proper tools for zone schemes, but needs to improve footwork and gain more ground to scoop his opponent on the first step. Ran mostly inside zone and gap/power principles at Kansas State.
Functional Strength – Doesn’t look like the biggest offensive lineman, but functional strength is top notch. Creates unbelievable amount of torque to ragdoll defenders and open up lanes. Bullies everyone from defensive tackles to defensive backs. Leg drive is constant. Will be interesting to see how he handles 0-1 techniques if he does move to the interior in the NFL.
Pass Pro Footwork – Easily the biggest area of weakness in his game. I don’t know how he thrived in college while consistently false-stepping in his pass set, but he did. False steps with his set foot (outside foot) and will actually slide his post foot first, nearly clicking his heels together as he sets up the arc. Does a good job avoiding crossing his legs, but shuffle slide will have to become a more efficient movement if he stays at tackle. Mostly vertical sets at Kansas State, will need some work on consistently establishing half-man on 45-degree sets to be an NFL tackle.
Strike Timing/Placement – Exceptional with his hand usage in every way. Does an excellent job of timing his strikes as a pass protector, using one-arm stabs and quality punches to the chest of his opponent to stun rushers. Re-sets his hands consistently to mirror defender’s movements and maintain control while keeping his feet active. Gets his hands inside to shut down bull rushers completely. In the run game, works hard to control opponents’ frames and will wrench them around with unbelievable grip strength.
Leverage – Always leveraged with his hands, but pad level overall can be inconsistent. Makes up for high hips with incredibly leveraged and efficient hand work, coming up under the pads of his opponent to lift and negate their power. Can roll off contact at times because of being too upright. When his pad level is right, results are devastating. Can expose some surface area with upright pass sets, but does such a good job defending his frame with his hand usage that the tendency is rarely a concern on tape.
Space Blocking – Adept puller who explodes out of his stance and gets on his horse to eliminate the MDM (most dangerous man). Arrives to targets generally under control and shows strong mitts to latch and seal off rush lanes. Can get through gaps and down to the second and third levels as a puller. Also does an excellent job coming to balance in space before mirroring defenders trying to slip around him and finishing. Identifies over-aggressive EMLOS as a puller, will adjust his angle and kick them up the field.
Competitive Toughness – Unbelievable tenacity and nastiness in the trenches. Plays every snap as hard as he possibly can, often looking to finish and consistently talking trash after the play. Brings an edge to the offensive line that coaches will love. 3-time team captain. From what I could find, believe he only missed one game in his college career. Played through injuries to both shoulders and a high ankle sprain as a RS Junior.
Mental Processing – Has some of the best mental processing I’ve ever scouted in an offensive lineman. Ability to adjust on the fly as a run blocker and pass protector is uncanny. Picks up late pressure, passes off stunts, picks up twists, all with incredible ease. Timing and technique are flawless in this regard. Understanding of proper spacing and depth from his right guard is elite. Communicates to his unit post-play on things they’ll need to adjust to. Started 13 games at center his redshirt freshman year, and due to smarts and communication ability, that might be where teams want him in the NFL.
Athleticism/Size – Doesn’t have the length most NFL teams will want on the outside, but carries very little bad way and shows the functional strength to start right away on the interior. Athletic mover in space who was asked to execute a lot of tough assignments due to his movement skills.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Usage/Strikes
WORST TRAIT – Footwork
RED FLAGS – Had left shoulder surgery after the 2017 regular season. Will be a 24 year-old rookie.
Dalton Risner has been one of the better offensive linemen in college football for a long time now, largely due to his masterful hand technique and punishing demeanor. Extremely physical and aggressive, Risner has started three straight seasons at right tackle for Kansas State, locking down every type of rusher and hardly ever losing a 1v1 matchup. In the run game, he brings power and technique, while also being able to get out in space and make high degree of difficulty blocks on a per game basis.
Yes, Risner doesn’t see elite competition off the edge in the SEC, but he locked up Montez Sweat pretty good when the two met in September. I think Risner’s pass set issues and lack of length (more of a concern for the NFL, not me) will be negated somewhat by moving inside, where his functonal strength and brawler’s mentality will also be welcome. Versatility, smarts, communication ability and pro-ready technique will be strong selling points for a player who should be a top 60 lock this spring.
Pass Sets – Doesn’t necessarily show a great deal of reach in his pass sets to gain depth and drop off the LOS but does cover a notable amount of space, will steepen angles off the edge and has enough length to ride defenders past the peak without crossing over feet and compromising.
Length/Extension –Doesn’t quite play with the same level of length on the edge as you’d expect from his measures. Range is modest given his anatomical reach but plays with tremendous punch power to stun and is rarely caught with hands unprepared for a strike to negate upfield push.
Balance –Will end some plays on the ground after delivering blow and rolling through contact, uproots defenders but won’t always bring the feet. Composed through first contact but has modest mobility to reset his base and sustain posture.
Hand Technique –Usage of hands at first contact and afterwards are tremendous. Shows good understanding of how to reset the hands and toss defenders off their base. Good transitions from punch/stab to clamping his hand fit and then discarding the defender and eliminating from the play.
Power at POA –Reliable people mover who shows well when tasked with driving out of his stance and creating bubbles at the point of attack. Love his ability to envelope defenders and absorb bodies at the point of attack, shows sticky hands and overwhelming forward push to sustain his fit.
Football IQ – Highly polished technician, has done well to make the most of his physical skills. Plays best in phone booth to out-leverage defenders with his hands and create favorable angles in space. Remains calm under duress to flip his hips and carry rushers.
Functional Athleticism –Short area quickness can be compromised in some instances due to mind moving faster than his feet. Effective puller, takes good angles to swing around a pin block and clear out space. Breaks down well enough in space to pick off second level defenders.
Anchor Ability –Natural strength is excellent, shows a strong ability to absorb power challenges thanks to well timed hand strikes and core/lower body power alike. Not easily walked back into the lap of his passer and is reliable in efforts against speed to power conversion as well.
Flexibility –Hip hinge is adequate in his pass sets, but not necessarily a true strength. Hip disassociation is only modest, meaning he can produce some of the dreaded “swinging gate” vs. explosive first steps. Anchor and hip drop vs. power are excellent, however.
Competitive Toughness –Chippy blocker. Love the edge that he plays with and ability to push bodies around. Functional strength is top-shelf and he’s got plenty of power and shows easy application. Effort level and hustle from behind the play flash in all the right ways to get involved and spring a block.
BEST TRAIT – Power at POA
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – West Virginia (2018)
WORST FILM – Mississippi State (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Dalton Risner is a prospect that will draw evaluations across the entire offensive front. Risner played Center in 2015 before starting his final three seasons at Tackle. Risner possesses requisite length to play Tackle in the NFL and would be a most attractive fit in a WCO style passing offense that implements gap/power concepts to make the most of his power at the point of attack. Risner could easily step inside and play on the interior but regardless: a Day 1 starter.
Run Blocking – Fires off the ball with intent and does well to uncoil his hips, fit his hands and accelerate his feet to dominate as a drive blocker. Is a true people mover that looks to bury opponents. Knows how to take advantage of leverage points and eliminate defenders from the play.
Pass Blocking – Was a highly succesful pass blocker in college but there are some technical improvements needed with his pass sets. Doesn’t get enough depth or width on his kick slide on account of a false step that puts his outside and inside foot out of sequence and robs him of initial mobility. Features outstanding timing and power with his hands and a stout anchor.
Blocking in Space – Knows how to anticipate pursuit and take great angles to connect on the second level. Has a good hit rate and does well to breakdown in space and play under control. Highly effective pulling and leading into gaps.
Power – Has tremendous power throughout his frame. Knows how to land his punch, uncoil his hips and accelerate his feet to get opponents moving backward. Will not get overmatched by bull rushers and his anchor is stout. Grip strength is outstanding and he sustains blocks well. Loves to finish blocks and work through the whistle.
IQ – Game slows down for him. Alert in pass pro to recognize pressure packages and shut them down. Timing with combos and arriving to his landmarks in space are precise. Committed to establishing his frame in concert with the play concept. Plays with great leverage and technique with his hands. 4-year starter at multiple positions. Makes great adjustments on the fly and is a vocal communicator with his teammates.
Feet – Must clean up technical issues with his kick slide. Has enough foot quickness to spring and cut off vertical push up the arc. There is some hesitation sliding back inside. Does well to accelerate his feet through contact.
Hands – Refined technician with his hands. Does well to locate punch inside and set the clamps. Rarely gets swiped and works hard to re-establish his hand fits when necessary. Punch is heavy, violent and well-timed. Plays with good extensions and keeps rushers at the end of his reach.
Balance – Operates under control with good leverage, bend and posture. Excellent control working in space and breaking down to connect with targets. Does well to leverage his hips and drop a late anchor when necessary.
Versatility – Has played center, guard and tackle in college across four seasons. Could play any of the five positions in a pinch but I like him best at right tackle. Has fairly polished skill set overall with upside in pass pro, the run game and getting out in space.
BEST TRAIT – Hands
WORST TRAIT – Pass Pro Footwork
RED FLAGS – None
Risner enters the NFL a four-year starter with experience at multiple positions but I like him best at right tackle in the NFL. While he’ll need to clean up his footwork in pass pro, Risner is otherwise polished with his technique, plays with superb body control, has excellent play strength throughout his frame and functions with an astute football IQ. He should be an early starter and high quality blocker for years to come.
PROS: Pass protection is as consistent and sturdy as they come. Positive technique in pass sets with good pace and explosiveness. Aware and experience, will allow defenders to overrun arc and easily ride them too deep into the backfield. Easily processes stunts and will power down against inside moves. Strong anchor, will give minimal ground even against linebackers blitzing from depth. Stonewalls bull rushes. Violent initial punch with incredible power in his upper body.
Mobility in slide protections will give him projections into a variety of schemes. Lateral quickness allows him to easily reach in the run game. Strong latch onto defenders allows him to drives them off the spot. Dominant on double teams, using his physicality and leg drive to move defensive lineman. Finds holes as a puller, reacting well and sifting through bodies. Flashes of dominance as a puller when he can build up speed and open gaps. Loose hips and mobility allow him to position his frame and force defensive ends through him. Immediately works to replace hands and run defensive lineman off as they attempt to block destruct.
CONS: Though Risner is generally able to drive defenders in the run game, he is susceptible to the late shed when defenders can work through counters. His effort is there to clean this up, but longer defensive lineman have had more success keeping Risner’s physicality at bay.
Steady and mobile in pass protection, but get the sense that he is not an elite athlete and will be a bit older upon entering the NFL. Like a plug and play right tackle at the next level who may take bumps and bruises as he adjusts to the athleticism of NFL edges.