With the 32nd overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints have selected Wisconsin offensive tackle, Ryan Ramczyk. Although more defense was the hope for many fans in this spot, there is little doubt the Saints needed to bolster the offensive line depth at some point in this draft and here is the help they need.
Here is a look at the newest Saint, from NFL.com:
Ramczyk (pronounced RAM-check) is a rare case of a Division III student-athlete making the jump to major college football. Even though he was an all-state pick from Wisconsin, he chose to turn down offers from FBS and FCS schools (one from Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst, who was at Pitt at the time) to attend a local technical college. After a year off, he decided to play at his hometown school, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Ramczyk was a two-time all-conference pick there at left tackle before deciding to transfer to play for Chryst at Wisconsin. He sat out the 2015 season as a transfer, excelling on the scout team. When the big lights came on in 2016, he starred for the Badgers, starting every game at left tackle and earning first-team All-Big Ten honors and Associated Press All-American accolades. A hip injury forced Ramczyk to have surgery after the team's bowl game.
STRENGTHSFires out of stance with pads tucked under bent knees. Accelerates into target. Punch and extend drive blocker with hip flip to lock in leverage. Pushes with flat back and duck-footed follow through to sustain and walk defender off his mark. Technician who has been taught the fundamentals. Good tape in both power and zone plays. Athletic, easy mover. Balance and body control are building blocks of his play. Initial footwork in run game is impressive. Urgent quickness in reach blocks and can get there most of the time. Smooth pass slides with hands that are always punch ready. Hands land with flat feet, great accuracy, force and timing. Keeps his chin tucked and back flat. Utilizes stiff inside hand to protect against spin moves. Keeps punch tucked near sides and his arms become door braces. Can re-set his hands if long-arm defenders get into his frame. In constant state of mirroring rusher and rarely breaks down early to lunge or lean around the edge. Excellent awareness against twists and blitzes.
WEAKNESSESHas linear frame with narrow shoulders and short arms for the position. Lack of a broad frame makes protecting his edge more challenging. Edge players with length land jabs to his frame to create separation. Will play too upright and straight-legged at times. Can't afford to be late out of stance as his first two kick slides don't gain much ground. Could have issues on redirect blocks against inside shots. Having arthroscopic surgery on torn labrum in hip and is expected to miss combine as well as pro day workouts due to recovery.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRound 1
SOURCES TELL US"He's really athletic and he's really smart. There are a lot of Wisconsin linemen who start in the league because they learn an NFL system and they are taught the right way. He played against Arden Key, Sam Hubbard and Taco Charlton. This guy is battle tested against three future first rounders." - NFC midwest scout
NFL COMPARISONJoe Staley
BOTTOM LINEExtremely confident tackle with the athleticism to stay on the left side and the technique to make an early impact as a starter. Ramczyk has the core strength and body control that should keep him connected to blocks in both the run and pass and he's proven to be scheme versatile with his playing style. Ramczyk is an early starter with the potential to become a good starting left tackle provided his medicals hold up.
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