COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Maryland tackle Jaelyn Duncan (71) smiles during the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs versus Maryland Terrapins game on September 17, 2022 at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium in College Park, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Maryland tackle Jaelyn Duncan (71) smiles during the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs versus Maryland Terrapins game on September 17, 2022 at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium in College Park, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Maryland’s Jaelyn Duncan Blocks Like A Future NFL All-Pro

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I found myself smiling watching Jaelyn Duncan’s game film.

It was like that scene from that movie, The Blindside when all those college coaches were smiling and laughing watching Michael Oher drive block a defender out of the back of the endzone.

Duncan put on a clinic against Rutgers. I only had one negative note from that entire game. I wrote in my notes, “It only took me a few reps until I knew I was watching a franchise left tackle (LT).”

If you want to see what playing LT should look like, watch Duncan in that Rutgers game.

There were a couple of hiccups in the Iowa and University of Minnesota games, but anyone who can move like Duncan does at his size has a very bright future in the NFL.

Duncan moves like a tight-end

It was credible watching Duncan move around.

He moves around exceptionally well for a big man, and he can run.

He can run out to the sidelines, the second level, and even way downfield with ease.

I saw him run all the way downfield to block a defensive back twenty yards downfield twice.

He’s incredible to watch in space, he carries his weight exceptionally well and he makes it look too easy.

Offensive linemen should not be able to move the way Duncan moves.

Lightning-fast lateral foot speed

The name of the game in the NFL is lateral foot speed going up against the premiere pass rushers in the game, who tend to come off the offense’s left side.

Duncan kicks out in pass protection very quickly and gets his enormous-sized frame in position to block.

He kicked out and showed he could hop step extremely well to keep himself shielding.

It was fun to watch, and he showed it is in him to do.

Duncan needs to fine-tune that footwork

There is absolutely no excuse for why Duncan would be giving up pressure through the backdoor of the pocket, but he did both against the Hawkeyes and Gophers.

While he still looks like he is growing into the position (which is a scary thought), the NFL is the land of no excuses, and he will need to clean this up.

For whatever reason, Duncan showed the tendency on game film to stop sliding laterally, turn and run with the pass rusher instead.

The result was he opened the back gate, lost leverage, and gave up pressure a couple of times.

He did not surrender a sack in this three-game study (due to effort even in these situations), but he going to need good technique coaching and a post-it note in his locker to remind him to keep those feet sliding toward the back edge of the pocket.

#71 Jaelyn Duncan 6-foot-6, 320 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: First-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: TBD

Projected by 27.0% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of October 13, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Rutgers, Iowa, and Minnesota (click to watch games viewed to form this evaluation)

Level of competition: High

Note: He has allowed five sacks the past two seasons (pff.com)

NFL comparable: Michael Oher

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Chiseled blocker with rare athleticism who gets the job done both pass and run blocking. Good initial kick step and impressive ensuing hop steps to shield the perimeter. Has the ability to control the outside with ease. However, did show some inconsistencies when he choose to turn and run at the back door instead. Powerful upper body and arms. Good reach to maintain control most of the time. Excellent effort to compensate when he started to lose at the back door. Handled stunts, blitzes, and rushes to the inside. Average anchor and gave up ground when challenged hardcore. Excellent positional blocker who controls with leverage. Uses a combination of size, physical strength, and hand usage to often control the point. Aggressive down blocker inside. Phenomenal in space. Wow. Gets to the second level effortlessly. Didn’t always sustain long enough. Great pulling and getting outside on the edge. Elite level prospect.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. Does he consistently continue to slide laterally in pass pro (and not open the back door)?
  2. How does he look against edge rushers with speed?
  3. How does his ability to anchor look against bull rushes?
  4. Sustaining at the second level consistently?

Duncan is the best offensive tackle I’ve seen so far in this draft class.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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