Scouting Report

I was extremely impressed with Castonzos ability to mirror speed rushers on the outside and I think he is one of the more underrated prospects in the draft.

Positives: Impressive size, athleticism and long arms. He has a good frame that he will be able to add weight to once he gets to the NFL. He also has impressive lateral movement to mirror pass rushers off the edge, and that makes him a very good candidate to play LT in the NFL. He has a good kick slide, gets out of his stance well and is a very natural athlete when it comes to sliding and mirroring even the fastest pass rushers off the edge. He sustains blocks well and is very fundamentally sound as a pass blocker. He has a good wide base as a pass blocker, bends at the knees, regularly has good leverage, uses his long arms well to force defenders wide of the pocket and has enough athleticism, size and length to stop even the fastest guys off the edge. He is also an effective run blocker who flashes the ability to be a drive blocker in the NFL. He flashes the ability to get good leverage, he shows pretty consistent fundamentals as far as not leaning into his blocks, he sustains blocks well against defensive ends and shows the ability to down block on bigger, stronger defensive tackles to help create running room behind him. He also moves well for a large man and has no problems getting to the second level and engaging a linebacker when he gets there. He flashes the ability to cut block effectively and also flashes the ability to pull when asked to and looks comfortable on the move. He is also very intelligent and had a reported 3.5 GPA as a Biochemistry major and was a Rhodes Scholar candidate. Despite that, Castonzo shows some nastiness in the trenches which I really like, and he doesn’t stop driving or shoving his man until the whistle blows.

Negatives: Castonzo will struggle with leverage at times because of his height and when he plays too high his effectiveness drops significantly. He is susceptible to bull rushes for this reason and while he mirrors speed rushes very well if a defensive end gets under his pads they can drive him back at times. While he does a solid job of recovering when this happens he could stand to get stronger, especially in the lower body, to help prevent this from happening in the NFL. Castonzo is not an elite run blocker and his technique is not as sound in this phase of the game. He will at times lean too much into his blocks and get off balance, and struggles to sustain against larger defensive linemen. He won’t be an elite drive blocker in the NFL, but I think he definitely has room to improve as a run blocker. Castonzo is occasionally vulnerable to a good inside move as I have seen Brandon Jenkins beat him with a very good spin move to the inside and Da’Quan Bowers beat him to the inside once with a swim move.

Overall: Castonzo really impressed me in all the games I watched of him. Is he an elite athlete? No, but he is a good athlete and he mirrors speed rushes as well as any tackle in this draft. He had a fantastic game against Florida State where he was matched up with Brandon Jenkins, a defensive end who had 13.5 sacks last year as a sophomore, and took away every single one of his attempts to speed rush him and beat him around the outside. He did get beat twice, once when he attempted to cut block and slowed Jenkins down but the quarterback held onto the ball too long and was sacked, and again when Jenkins showed an impressive spin move to the inside and rushed the quarterback’s throw. To Castonzo’s credit though, Jenkins tried that spin move again and was driven to the ground as a result. I think Castonzo may end up as the best left tackle in this draft class depending on how Tyron Smith develops. Castonzo is definitely the safer selection when it comes to left tackles, and while his ceiling may not be quite as high his floor is much higher, and I don’t think he will bust unless he uncharacteristically struggles with injuries. I think he will have a very good, long career as a left tackle in the NFL.

Projection: Top 20. I would pick him in the top 15, maybe in the top 10 if I really needed a left tackle, but I can’t imagine Castonzo sliding past 22 in the draft. The Cowboys, Vikings, Lions, Giants, Chiefs and Colts are all very realistic landing spots for him, though I doubt he ends up on the Cowboys. But if you need a very reliable left tackle out of this draft you should try and land Castonzo.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 3.0
Pass Blocking: 4.5
Run Blocking: 3.0
Footwork: 4.0
Technique: 4.0
Mobility: 3.5
Mean Streak: 3.5

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

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