Chris Hairston NFL Draft Scouting Report

Chris Hairston
6'7, 325 pounds | Offensive tackle | Clemson

The problems with Hairston's game come with his lack of fluid movement.  At 6'7 325lbs, he struggles to quickly move his feet and reach the edge in pass protection.  He also struggles to change direction and react to counter moves.  However, the more I watched Hairston play the more athleticism I noticed and feel that he has just enough ability to hold up at the right tackle position.

As I mentioned, Hairston's size limits his ability to play fluid and quick.  However, for his size he does have some athletic ability but not enough to play left tackle in the NFL.  Hairston showed that he can sit into his stance and take short balanced steps.

Pass blocking: Hairston's biggest question mark will be whether or not he can reach the edge and hold off speed rushers.  The key to that issue will be his ability to quickly get off the ball and into his kick slide.  He showed some good foot movement and has long arms to reach the rusher.  He has a strong anchor which helps him remain balanced after contact.  That balance allows him to reset after the initial contact and hold up against power rush moves.  However, I would not trust him protecting the blindside of my quarterback.

Lacking good foot speed, Hairston relies on his ability to quickly get out of his stance and into his set.  He has good awareness and fires off the football giving him a slight advantage.  Hairston doesn't have good short area quickness which leads to him lunging at defenders in both pass protection and running game.

Run blocking:  Hairston possesses good size and strength which helps him move defenders off the line.  He routinely keeps his pad level low giving him the leverage necessary to be an effective run blocker.  While engaged, he takes short balanced steps as he works to open up running lanes.  Hairston's lack of athletic ability limits his ability to climb to the second level and engage.  He didn't show me a good nasty streak which is something I like to see in an offensive lineman.  Overall, Hairston is an effective run blocker with the strength and size to move people off the line.

At 6'7 325lbs, Hairston possess both good size and strength.  He maintains good leverage and balance which allows him to maximize his strength.  However, he doesn't have very heavy hands and struggles to be a Velcro player and remain engaged through contact.

Technique: Overall, Hairston has solid technique that starts with remaining low and balanced. He has a nice natural bend that helps him anchor after contact.  He avoids wasted hand movements which all him to punch and recoil quickly.  Hairston is also committed to getting inside hand placement.

Final word: I have Hairston as one of my sleeper picks of the 2011 NFL Draft.  I feel that he has the ability to develop into a solid right tackle.  He is going to slide a little in the draft because he lacks versatility and looks to be a right tackle only.  He doesn't have the foot speed to hold up on the left side and is too long to be an effective guard.

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