The NFL is always on the lookout for offensive linemen with the potential to be starting offensive tackles in the pros. The skill set needed to be a starting OT in the NFL is hard to come by, and teams are willing to take any chance to get a good starter.
Washington State right tackle Abraham Lucas has been steadily rising up draft boards following a solid red-shirt senior season for the Cougars. Last year he allowed just 9 pressures with one QB hit and no sacks. He had a good showing at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl, where his athleticism and comfort as a pass protector stood out. He then had a great performance at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
Since then, Lucas has been one of the busiest prospects on the official visit circuit as teams look to get a handle on this ascending prospect.
As it so happens, the New York Giants need a right tackle, and they definitely need to improve their pass protection. Could Lucas provide a good value if the Giants don’t draft a tackle in the first round?
Prospect: Abraham Lucas (72)
Games Watched: vs. USC (2021), vs. Arizona State (2021), vs. BYU (2021), vs. Oregon (2021)
Career Games Played: 38
2021 Games Played: 12
Best: Athleticism, length, movement skills, pass protection, zone blocking, pulling, play demeanor
Worst: Play strength, man-gap blocking, leverage consistency
Projection: A developmental offensive tackle who can push for a starting job early in a zone blocking scheme
(Lucas is Washington State RT number 72)
Washington State’s Abraham Lucas has a good combination of length, athleticism, technique, and play demeanor to play the offensive tackle position at the NFL level.
Lucas is a long, athletic offensive tackle prospect with a prototypical 6-foot 6 ⅜ inch, 315-pound frame. He also boasts near-prototypical 33 ⅞ inch arms and big 10 ½ inch hands. Lucas is a smooth mover in both pass protection and run blocking and has adequate play strength for the position.
He has good quickness and lateral agility, allowing him to easily mirror speed rushers off the edge. Lucas is an unhurried pass protector who is able to calmly match speed off the edge as well as deal with stunts, twists, and late pressure from blitzers. He never seems to panic in pass protection and has enough athleticism to recover if he is initially beaten.
Lucas plays with a wide base and has enough play strength to absorb most bullrushes as long as he maintains leverage – though he might need to take a step or two backwards in order to re-anchor against power.
Lucas is a solid run blocker in zone schemes. He has great athleticism for outside zone blocking schemes and does a good job of blocking with good leverage. Lucas does a good job of creating motion along the line of scrimmage in outside zone plays, stressing defenses laterally and creating cut-back opportunities. He is also very good at working up to the second level and is generally accurate when blocking linebackers. Likewise, his athleticism allows him to get (and stay) in front of plays as a blocker for screen plays and as a pulling tackle.
While Lucas has adequate play strength when he plays with good leverage, his strength can be found wanting when he doesn’t maintain leverage. Unfortunately, he doesn’t consistently maintain leverage at this point. He is a knee bender, but can allow his knees to straighten at times, causing his pads to rise or for him to lunge at defenders.
Lucas can also be inconsistent in his hand usage. He needs to be more aggressive in firing his punch at defenders and do a better job of consistently winning inside leverage. He has the grip and core strength to control defenders, but could open himself up to holding calls at the NFL level if he lets his hands drift outside.
Overall Grade: 7.6
Abraham Lucas projects as a developmental tackle at the NFL level, but he has the upside to push for a starting job early in his career in the right offensive scheme.
Lucas has all the tools necessary to start at the NFL level with good size, good length, and great athleticism. He comes into the NFL as a reliable pass protector with the ability to account for speed off the edge – though he needs to develop greater consistency. Just how steep his learning curve is will largely depend on where he is drafted.
Lucas will be able to get on the field fastest at right tackle (where he spent his college career), and in an offense that makes heavy use of outside zone blocking schemes. He is an athletic blocker who should be put in position to use his movement skills to his advantage. On the flip side of that, Lucas shouldn’t be asked to constantly block downhill and expected to maul defenders. He is a capable zone blocker, but isn’t a “people mover” who can blow defenders off the line of scrimmage.
Even so, teams might want to give Lucas time to build greater play strength to stand up to NFL power as a pass protector and run blocker. His play strength is currently very dependent on his technique and leverage, and that can create opportunities for NFL caliber defenders.
That said, if he can develop consistent technique and a greater strength base, Lucas has significant upside. It’s also possible that Lucas could start immediately in the NFL if he shows enough in the off-season program and training camp. His team might have to ride out some rookie bumps, but he is already a good pass protector, which is the most important skill in the modern NFL.