Pass Sets - Hips appeared more restrictive in 2019, could be a byproduct of hip injury he played with this season. Guilty of some false steps out of his stance and his base is deconstructed when he feels he's lost leverage on blocks. He's got plenty of physical mobility to further enhance sets.
Length/Extension - Plenty of reach to make an impact at first contact. Thought he showed good development and improvement in his strike timing during 2019 season. Hand strength and functional power to stay attached on lateral blocks allows for effective reset of the LOS outside the tackle box.
Balance - Thought he got caught in some instances of overextending himself but he flashes a dynamic base to reset and snap himself back into position when put into recovery mode. His deep sets still appear a little clunky and power rushes can catch him leaning outside with power.
Hand Technique - Placement has shown notable improvement over final season and a half. Really cut down on strikes landing outside the breastplate and has applied a little extra pop in his hands. His grip strength is excellent to latch onto bodies once he's got a hand fit.
Power at POA - Awesome ability to push people around and create space for his rushers in the run game. Road grader who compliments his power with surprising grace in lateral string-out blocks or when firing directly off the ball and immediately establishing contact.
Football IQ - Active/effective in passing off twists, stunts and blitzes — doesn't typically get busted having to bail out late and shows good awareness of the numbers game and avoids being pulled out of position via pre-snap looks. Appreciate the run game footwork in action.
Functional Athleticism - Pretty stunning to see how well he moves. He's a big fella but has little issue firing out to win with quickness at the snap or climb to the second level and break down on a block. Really impressive application of strength when blocking on the move.
Anchor Ability - Really dense torso and lower half, he provides a good deal of natural strength and the body control to sit down and recover when he's put on his heels. Chase Young got him one time with speed to power but otherwise he's difficult to straight bully.
Flexibility - Natural mobility is very good and he's got good ability to hinge hips in angular sets (when healthy) and shows dynamic lower half to bend and play low/with power. He's not one to constantly fight against his own frame, rolls through contact well.
Competitive Toughness - Tenacity is notable and you'll see him up in a defender's grill through the end of the whistle. Played through hip injury in 2019 and helped team knock off Texas before undergoing surgery. Leads by example and gets strong reviews for leading by example.
Best Trait - Functional Athleticism
Worst Trait - Pass Sets
Best Film - Purdue (2019)
Worst Film - Ohio State (2018)
Red Flags - 2019 Hip INJ
Summary - Lucas Niang is a high-upside starter in the NFL. Niang's mobility would make him a great fit in a zone style system and his length and range as a pass blocker make him an attractive option for teams with deeper passing concepts. There is some refinement needed in Niang's footwork but he shows all the requisite physical skills to be a plus starter in the pros. Should find the field early and improve through first few seasons. Should be healthy for the 2020 season.