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Jeremiah Poutasi's NFL Draft Profile

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Jeremiah Poutasi took a risk declaring early for the draft. What is Poutasi's outlook with three days to go until the NFL Draft?

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is just days away. On April 30th the first round kicks off, and the lives of a few former Utes will change forever. While Eric Rowe and Nate Orchard have been getting the most publicity, former Utah left tackle Jeremiah Poutasi has been quietly flying under the radar after declaring a year early. Let's take a look at the chatter around the league on Poutasi, and what are his draft prospects looking like heading into the draft.

Standing 6-5 and weighing 335 lbs. Poutasi is a mountain of a man. A second team All-Pac-12 selection this past year, Poutasi started in each of his three seasons as a Ute, starting 35 games and playing in 36 of 37 total games during his Utah career. Poutasi began his career on the right side at tackle before switching to left tackle the past two seasons. His experience playing on the right side of the line could very well come in handy as he is projected to play on the right side by NFL scouts.

Poutasi has a lot of great qualities that NFL scouts look for when evaluating offensive lineman. Physically, he is a specimen. His size is a must have for NFL teams looking for potential starters on the offensive line.

Poutasi has a lot of great qualities that NFL scouts look for when evaluating offensive lineman. Physically, he is a specimen. His size is a must have for NFL teams looking for potential starters on the offensive line. Poutasi has an ability that can't be taught in eating up space with his large frame. He has broad shoulders and a thick lower half, which he uses to to his advantage at the point of attack.

Poutasi has all the natural tools an NFL offensive lineman needs. He has quick feet for someone of his size, giving him very good lateral movement and great body control. He also has a large wingspan, which helps in leverage and also helps in corralling blitzing members of the defense. In the run game Poutasi shows good power when he is able to get up field on his blocks.

In 2014 Poutasi allowed 9.5 quarterback hits/sack down from 27 in 2013. This improvement does not go unnoticed to NFL scouts, showing his ability to learn and progress as a player. Dennis Erickson remarked during spring ball last year, that Poutasi had the potential to turn into the best offensive lineman he's ever coached. That didn't end up happening last year, but serves as further evidence supporting Poutasi has all the tools necessary to develop into a stalwart on an NFL offensive line.

Despite all of Poutasi's great physical tools, there is a reason he is flying under the radar going into the draft. Only 20 years old, Poutasi is still very young for a prospective NFL player. His developed skills don't quite measure up to his natural talent at this point in his career. Poutasi's technique is questionable at times and he doesn't always play with great leverage despite his large frame. He plays with weak hands against pass rushers, struggling particularly with speed rushers. His concentration seems lacking at times as he often struggles to finish his blocks.

Though Poutasi has started exclusively at the tackle position in college, many NFL scouts envision him as a guard at the next level. The thought among NFL brass is that Poutasi might not be quick enough to successfully transition to the tackle position in the NFL. The guard position is more physical and requires less finesse than the tackle position which would fit Poutasi's strengths. It's possible however that as Poutasi develops he could become a starter at right tackle, but probably won't play on the quarterback's blind side at the NFL level.

Overall Poutasi is a very raw prospect who could have vastly improved his draft stock had he stayed in school for his senior season. That being said, Poutasi says he has no regrets about declaring early. His size and natural ability is unquestioned and teams will be willing to give him a shot in the mid to later rounds. Expect to see Poutasi come off the board sometime in the fifth or sixth round of the draft.