Tyler Larsen 2014 NFL Draft Profile

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

If the Jaguars decide to pass on a center until Day 3 of the NFL Draft, Utah State's Tyler Larsen could be an interesting option.

Where Tyler Larsen Wins

Larsen is one of the stronger centers in this class, but most of this strength comes from his upper half. On a lot of run blocks, it looks like he is off-balance and leaning into defenders, yet he generates movements and executes blocks regardless, which is all you can ask for. He is best at down-blocks where he can use his strength right off the snap.

Where Larsen really shines is in pass protection. He gets his hands and head up immediately after the snap and shows good awareness for his assignment. When lined up with nose tackles head up on him, he is very quick with getting engaged with the nose tackle first and getting his hands inside their frames. His upper body strength shows here again as he is able to lock out defensive tackles and manipulate their movements. He does not always flash lower body strength in run blocking but in pass protection, his anchor is adequate.

Where Tyler Larsen Needs To Improve

While Larsen shows the ability to generate movement in the run game, he does have issues actually sustaining blocks. He comes off the ball high and is very top heavy, forcing him to lose his balance and fall off blocks too often. On long developing run plays and zone blocks where he is asked to cross a defensive tackle's face, I think his results will be wildly inconsistent and unpredictable.

His athleticism is okay, but nothing more than that. He does not have the recovery ability to be able to make up for the mistakes he makes in the run game. He is not a center who you will want to put in space very often and is largely ineffective when asked to block in space on screens.

Overall Impression

Larsen appears to be a good example of a player who "is what he is". I highly doubt he will be able to improve either his athleticism or his balance issues, so his development is limited. He has a lot of starting caliber traits, particularly in pass protection, but he is simply too inconsistent with his results. He has the talent to start, but may always be the guy you're looking to upgrade.

Grade: 6.45, Day 3.

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