Usually when a player is a successful and long-time starter at a position in the SEC, and wins a National Championship playing at that position, we can usually assume they’ll play that same position in the NFL.
But occasionally their skill set is a better fit at another position in the NFL, and that’s where the art of projection comes in.
Georgia left tackle Jamaree Salyer has played a lot of games for the National Champion Bulldogs as their left tackle. However, his build and athletic traits suggest that a move inside is in order to succeed at the NFL level.
That’s not great news for Salyer, as guards tend to be drafted later and are paid worse. However, that could be good news for a team like the New York Giants.
Salyer is a stout and powerful player, but he doesn’t have the build, nor movement skills, of an NFL tackle. As it so happens, the Giants have a number of holes to fill on their offensive line, and they have a number of Salyer’s former teammates on their roster. Could Salyer plug a hole on the offense while opening holes for the Giants?
Prospect: Jamaree Salyer (69)
Games Watched: vs. Clemson (2021), vs. South Carolina (2021), vs. Auburn (2021), vs. Alabama (2021 - SEC Championship)
Red Flags: Foot (2021)
Games Played: 44, 11 starts in 2021
Best: Strength, power, footwork, versatility
Projection: A starting guard in a power-based scheme
(Salyer is LT number 69)
Georgia’s Jamaree Salyer is a stout, powerful, versatile, and dependable offensive line prospect.
Salyer has started and played in 44 games for Georgia, lining up at left tackle as well as left and right guard for the Bulldogs. Salyer has a stout build at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds with evident power and thickness in his upper and lower halves.
He makes good use of his natural leverage as well as good knee and hip flexibility to maximize his impressive power. Salyer easily sits into his stance and consistently plays with good hips and pad level. Between his pad level and natural stature, Salyer is almost always the “low man”, which allows him to control most one-on-one match-ups.
Salyer has adequate initial quickness at the tackle position which allows him to match most collegiate pass rushers in pass protection. His play strength and heavy hands allow him to control pass rushers and can, at times, send speed rushers flying to the ground. He does a good job of anchoring against bullrushes, as well as chopping his feet to absorb speed-to-power moves.
Salyer’s power is evident in run blocking and he is a natural people-mover. He has enough athleticism to execute inside zone blocks as well as man-gap concepts and he consistently creates motion along the line of scrimmage. Salyer is able to work off double teams and is a bully at the second level.
While most of Salyer’s starts are at left tackle, he will likely have to move inside to guard at the NFL level. He has adequate athleticism to provide depth at the tackle positions, but might not be able to keep up with NFL caliber pass rushers on an every down basis. He may also find himself at a length disadvantage compared to pass rushers who are more athletic, longer, or both. That limited athleticism may also impact his effectiveness on outside zone schemes or on screen plays. He is quick in a short area, but quickly slows down when asked to run any sort of distance.
Salyer generally shows good awareness and competitive toughness can also get caught just standing around in some cases.
Overall Grade: 7.2
Jamaree Salyer projects as a starting guard in an offense which emphasizes power in its blocking scheme. While Salyer has limited athleticism outside of his initial quickness, he has power in spades. That initial quickness and a surprising fluidity in his movements is enough for him to be effective in a short area, and a transition inside to guard would emphasize his strengths while masking his weaknesses.
There’s an element of risk any time a prospect is projected to change positions, but that risk is mitigated by Salyer’s experience inside. He moved inside several times over the course of his career in Georgia and acquitted himself well. Salyer should have enough athleticism to match up against all but the most athletic interior rushers and plenty of power to handle bullrushes. He should also be an asset to any run game that isn’t based on outside zone principles. And while Salyer may need to move inside to secure a starting job in the NFL, he can probably still provide emergency depth at tackle if the necessity arises.
Salyer isn’t a truly scheme diverse player and teams that prize athletic blockers highly will likely look elsewhere. However, teams that are looking for linemen to fill out a power run game while being effective pass protectors will want to take note.