Even with the addition of guard Brandon Brooks in free agency, it's certainly possible that the Eagles' first-round pick will be used to buttress the offensive line, one that struggled in 2015. Mississippi tackle Laremy Tunsil is the current front-runner for the top-overall selection in this year's draft, but a handful of talented linemen figure to hear their names called in the first round as well. Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley is one of those standout prospects.
At 6'5", 305 pounds, Stanley is a former basketball player with outstanding potential in pass protection and a frame that indicates he can add bulk as his body matures. A three-year starter for the Irish, the junior protected the blind side in each of the past two seasons after starting every game for Notre Dame at right tackle as a redshirt freshman. He could have come out last year and likely would have been an early-round selection, but he decided to return to South Bend to refine his game and compete for a National Championship.
The Eagles do have a question at the tackle position. They must begin to think about how they will one day fill the void left after Jason Peters' playing days are over. Right tackle Lane Johnson may eventually slide over to the opposite side of the line, but if and when he does another player will have to take over at his current position. If the All-American, Stanley, were the pick, an interesting question would be whether or not he could temporarily move inside to one of the guard spots before eventually transitioning to the outside.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Races out of the starting blocks and into pass sets as well as anyone in the country. Has long arms and knows how to use them. Plays with quick hands and a well-¬timed punch. Never panics when he loses hand placement, simply re¬sets them. Specializes in quick¬sets getting his hands into the pass rusher first helping him to control the flow of the snap. Well¬-coached with great hand placement. Wins with activity over power. Is not often beaten around the edge by speed. Hard worker who plays through the whistle. Flexible and athletic with plus change of direction ability against counter moves. Has quickness off the snap to get to challenging backside blocks on linebackers. Able to pull into space and hit moving targets to spring the big run. Fell off of too many blocks in 2014, but did much better job of bringing his feet under him this year to help him sustain his blocks. In run game, able to gain late victories when it looks like stalemate is coming. Durable and dependable.
What He Said
"Yeah, that I can translate what I did in college to the NFL, and also I'm going to improve, I'm going to keep trying to get better. I never feel I've made it to a certain point that I don't think I can better. That's something I always do is try to improve." - Stanley on what he wants to show NFL teams during the draft process.