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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: LSU OT Jerald Hawkins

Hawkins could be in play for the Patriots with their 2nd round pick.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The first OT prospect focused on a small school guy in Joe Haeg. This comes from one of the biggest programs in college football. As you know from the LSU program, RB Leonard Fournette was once considered a top Heisman candidate until getting shut down by an Alabama team that won the National Championship. One of the guys responsible for Fournette's breakout season is their LT Jerald Hawkins. The Patriots have history with Les Miles and the LSU program with the acquisitions of Stevan Ridley in the draft and Brandon LaFell as a free agent.

Hawkins has the benefit of playing both tackle spots for LSU, playing two seasons at right tackle and his last season at LT. For the 2015 season, I believe he is already skilled and polished enough to compete for a potential swing tackle role before becoming the team's long term starter at either spot. With Nate Solder under contract through 2017, there is a timeline that could result in Hawkins being the long term LT. I find that to be unlikely, but you never know.

Hawkins played in the SEC West, which has been one of the tougher divisions in the college ranks when you have to play Alabama every year. LSU runs primarily a Pro Style offense with some spread elements mixed in. Hawkins is a very athletic tackle who has a good kick-slide motion in pass protection, but could add some strength to his frame. The good news is he has room to add weight to his frame without losing athleticism. If you watch the Alabama tape, you will see him make a one-handed catch on a ball thrown behind him. LSU runs primarily a Power Blocking Scheme out of their 12 (1 RB, 2 TE) or 22 (2 RB, 2 TE) personnel looks, which means he has a smaller learning curve than a tackle coming out of a spread offense.

I'm not sure if Hawkins will fall far enough in the draft to the Patriots 2nd round pick because I believe he'll be a Top 50 player after the combine. He could provide immediate value to a lot of teams as a potential starter in Year 1 and perhaps even challenge Sebastian Vollmer for the RT job depending on how quick he learns. I'd put the chances of him being there at 60 to be around 35%.