TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: Alabama Offensive Lineman JC Latham (65) pass blocks during the College Football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the South Florida Bulls on September 16, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 16: Alabama Offensive Lineman JC Latham (65) pass blocks during the College Football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the South Florida Bulls on September 16, 2023 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

JC Latham Earns First Round Game Film Grade

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TUSCALOOSA, AL – SEPTEMBER 02: Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman JC Latham (65) blocks during a college football game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on September 02, 2023 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alabama right tackle JC Latham put on a clinic of dominance in 2023 in seven games of film.

While I had a third-round grade on this Alabama offensive lineman after studying six games of his 2022 game film, that changed this past season.

In what ways did he improve?

Latham played with more urgency, improved technique, and was better at sustaining run blocks.

Could he regress after he lands in the NFL?

Sure, anything is possible, but I believe that happening is unlikely due to the consistency Latham showed in 2023.

Latham kicked a– this past season to put it bluntly. He has everything an NFL team looks for in the right tackle position.

Pass Pro

That’s short for ‘pass protection,’ and Latham excels in this area of the game. That’s good news in today’s ‘pass-happy’ NFL, where 32/32 NFL teams pass the football more than they run it.

Not only is nobody going through Latham, but he’s tough to get around too

Latham did a solid job maintaining his balance with a nice wide base as he slid out towards the backdoor (back edge) of the pocket.

Latham moves well for his size and he’s uber-competitive. So, even when he starts getting beat, his effort compensates, and he still gets it done.

Run blocking

He handles business.

Latham is an excellent positional blocker and he tends to be able to hold the point of attack long enough to do his job. I had way many more positive notes than anything else when it came to run blocking.

It’s in this department he flexed his awesome natural brute strength. This is where the ‘mean’ and ‘nasty’ came out. Latham pancaked defenders quite a few times.

Latham is a road paver

What is a team getting in Latham?

A tonesetter. An immovable force on the right side of the offensive line.

Latham is an aggressive athletic specimen with grown man power. He’s also well rounded ⎯meaning he’s highly skilled and effective both pass and run blocking.

Barring injury this is an 8-10 year (maybe longer) starter from day one.

#65 JC Latham 6-foot-6, 342 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s 2024 NFL Draft Grade: First-Round (I would select him)

Projected by 93.5% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of March 23, 2024 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

Alabama Right Tackle JC Latham has Painful Game Film (6 games evaluated)

2023 game film reviewed: Auburn, LSU, Texas, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Georgia (click to view games watched to form this evaluation)

Latham Combine Numbers

Pro Football Focus: 960 pass blocks (the past two seasons) have yielded two sacks, four hits, and 20 quarterback hurries

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Stout athlete who excels blocking with equally distributed strength. Broad upper build. Draws from a massive thick lower body. Iron anchor. Defensive mentality. Understands the art of leverage. Fast first step in pass pro. Transfers weight well sliding toward the back door of the pocket. Alert. Active. Ready to strike. Authoratative engagement. Flexible. Good bend. Uses hands well. Often stonewalls. Occasional misstep or becoming heavy-footed can yield opening the back gate and putting him in chase position, but he still finds a way. Not always the prettiest, but effective. Quick reflexes. Good understanding of the position. Handled stunts, games, and blitzes with ease. Susceptible to giving up pressure in the gap to his inside shoulder. Run blocks like he means it in his domain. Pulls well and gets out into space with decent-looking speed. Several nice combo blocks extending out to the second level. Best suited to play right tackle.

Final words

He made it look easy.

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 is currently the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock, contributes at Yardbarker, and has written for Sports Illustrated Lions, Jets, and 49ers, as well as a featured guest on ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. Follow on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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