Laken Tomlinson = professional offensive lineman
When the New York Jets hired Joe Douglas, he made it abundantly clear that he wanted to build a rock-solid offensive line.
In his first true offseason, he addressed three starting positions: left tackle, right tackle and center. He did so through two free agent contracts and a first-round pick. In his second offseason, he paid a hefty price in the 2021 NFL draft as he traded up for his starting left guard.
Entering his third offseason, one big hole remained at right guard, which was not filled capably by Greg Van Roten. Jets fans expected day one of free agency to be quiet for their beloved, similar to the past two offseasons.
The full, member-only Laken Tomlinson film breakdown (2:19:00 in runtime) can be seen at the bottom of this article (if a subscriber and logged into Jets X-Factor).
But, early into free agency, the Jets were able to land starting guard Laken Tomlinson. This man has spent the last five years (of his seven-year NFL career) in the San Francisco 49ers run scheme, learning under current Jets offensive line coach John Benton.
Considering his rock-solid availability and overall professionalism and consistency, Tomlinson to the Jets and the Mike LaFleur-run offense could be described as a “perfect fit.”
- How well does he really fit the scheme?
- Can he make the switch from left guard to right guard?
- Does he deserve the money he received?
These questions and many more are answered in this edition of Blewett’s Blitz. Plus, a list of strengths and weaknesses are listed below.
YouTube clip and podcast episode
Strengths and weaknesses
- Plays with good leverage
- Overall health and availability
- Uses gallop technique to cover ground
- Lower body power
- Core strength
- Ability to define gaps (at times)
- Plays with hands on guard
- Works to reset hands
- Able to regain balance when off balance
- Natural strength
- Changes up pass sets
- Quick to get into anchor
- Plays with some nasty (at times)
- Understands proper angles in zone run game
- Snap timing
- Does best to keep balance/angles on 2nd level blocks
- Active drag hand
- Alternates punches
- Active feet when squared up in pass pro
- Quick to jump set
- Stays square to LOS vs movement
- Strike timing
- Quick to drop post or power step
- Passes off stunt/blitzes well
- Timing off getting of combo blocks
- Flashes chopping hands
- Average overall athlete
- Punch strength in pass pro inconsistent
- Hand placement in run game too often high/wide
- Reaches for some pass pro punch causing him to be off balance
- Can play with forward-lean in pass pro
- Can be over aggressive in pass pro
- Feet need to follow hands
- Can reach on punch in pass pro
- Motor is hot and cold
- Hands can land wide/high in pass pro, leading to pocket being pushed vs bull rush
- Can’t adjust well to 2nd level movement, don’t want him leading screens
- See some lapses in blitz pickup
- Can duck head into run blocks
- Inconsistency defining gaps on down blocks
- Want to see more consistent foot drive on run blocks
- Hands can be late in run game
- Hands can come from wide low in run game
- Needs to be more forceful/powerful on run blocks
- Can struggle to get/maintain positional leverage
- Not always able to get hips around on reach blocks
Member-only Laken Tomlinson film breakdown (two hours and nineteen minutes in length)
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