Improvement in the NFL is a moving target. Every team is trying to get better every year so every team needs to get the most out of all of their free agent dollars and each of their draft picks. That is especially true of the New York Giants, who have won 12 games in the last three years.
And while that obviously means hitting on the top draft picks which form the core of the roster, it also means properly evaluating and developing players down the draft board as well. Michigan left tackle Jon Runyan Jr., could be just such a player. He has 24 starts at left tackle (and one at right tackle), but he was moved inside to guard for the East - West Shrine Bowl and that is likely where his NFL future is.
Prospect: Jon Runyan Jr., OL, Michigan
Games Watched: vs. Florida (‘18), vs Ohio Stat (‘18), vs. Iowa (‘18)
Red Flags: None
Games Played: 33 (25 starts)
Best: Run blocking, competitive toughness, space play
Worst: Hand usage, pass protection against speed
Projection: Transition to guard as a possible starter, backup OT
Jon Runyan Jr — son of former NFL left tackle Jon Runyan — is a big, strong offensive line prospect who received pro-style coaching at Michigan. Runyan Jr. has a solid get-off, reacting quickly to the snap of the ball. He is at his best in the run game, where he plays with good hip and pad level, establishing leverage and using his strong lower body to drive defenders. He is quick to work off of double teams to the second level, where he seems to relish laying hits on linebackers and defensive backs. Runyan is also a capable blocker in space, frequently used as a blocker on screen plays.
Runyan struggles in pass protection on the edge, particularly when faced with athletic or technically polished rushers. He has a tendency to lose his knee and hip flexion over the course of pass protection reps and he needs to be more aggressive using his punch on defenders, as well as work harder to achieve inside leverage with his hands. Runyan also struggles with awareness of stunts and blitzes, failing to get off blocks and pick up free rushers.
Overall Grade: 5.9 - Has the traits to make a roster as a back-up lineman and special teams player. [Grading Scale]
Runyan is a candidate to transition to guard at the next level, otherwise he is a reserve tackle at the NFL level. Teams will like his competitive toughness and run blocking ability, but issues with technique and in pass protection will hold him back on the edge. He has experience at guard, and could have starter upside inside if he is able to be more aggressive with his hand usage. Moving inside would allow him to better use his power without having to cover as much space, which could help improve his hand usage.