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Is Mitch Hyatt The Left Guard The Redskins Need?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

CFP National Championship Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Mitch Hyatt, OT
School: Clemson | Conference: ACC
Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 310
Projected Draft Status: Round 3-4
NFL Comparison: Former Falcons’ OT Sam Baker

College Statistics

N/A

Player Overview

Coming out of high school, Hyatt was rated as a 5-star recruit, and rated 45th overall in the country in 2015. He became Clemson’s first true freshman O-lineman to ever start the opening game, going on to start 15 games as a true freshman in 2015. Given his early success, Hyatt surprised many when he returned for his senior season.

Hyatt is still only 21 years old (he’ll be 22 in February) but already has faced some of the best pass-rushers that have entered the NFL the last four years.

With a resume that will include four games against Alabama (including current Redskins’ Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson), four against FSU (3x Josh Sweat and 3x Brian Burns), four against Miami (3x Joe Jackson and 3x Chad Thomas), four against Boston College (4x Zach Allen and 3x Harold Landry), three vs Bradley Chubb, three vs Duke Ejoifor, once vs Carl Lawson, and once against Ohio State (2016, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, and Nick Bosa).

Additionally, for four years, Hyatt faced off against Clemson’s own array of pass-rushers.

Awards

  • First Team HS All-American as a Junior in 2013
  • First Team HS All-American as a Senior in 2014
  • First-Team Freshman All-American in 2015
  • First-Team All-ACC (media) Second-Team All-ACC (coaches) in 2016
  • First-team All-American as a Junior in 2017
  • Consensus First-Team All-American as a Senior in 2018
  • Two-time Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, awarded to ACC’s top offensive lineman.

Stats

Hyatt set Clemson records for most career starts (54) and most career snaps (3,624).

Prior to this year’s college football playoffs, ProFootball Focus shared Hyatt allowed only 11 QB pressures on his 398 pass-blocking snaps at left tackle.

Through his first three seasons, per CFB Film Room, Hyatt surrendered only five sacks in nearly 1,500 pass-block snaps.

Athletic Traits (Pre-NFL Combine)

WalterFootball - According to NFL teams’ preseason data provided by team sources, Hyatt checks in at 6-foot-5, 306 pounds. He is said to run the 40 in 5.10 seconds. His measurements include 34.25-inch arms, 10.5-inch hands, and a 82-inch wing span.

The Film

Despite being blown out, Notre Dame actually feature four junior defensive ends that are very talented. One of the games within the game was how would Hyatt hold up against the quartet of Julian Okwara, Khalid Kareem, Daelin Hayes, and Ade Agundeji. It looked to me like Hyatt struggles with speed rushers.

The next two are Hyatt vs Alabama in 2017

More Mitch Hyatt videos

Strengths

  • A natural knee bender who can drop and anchor versus bull rushers
  • Size, frame, arm length, and reported workout numbers are all up to NFL standards
  • Experienced, with 57 career starts, including match-ups vs several current NFL starters
  • Very durable, missing only one game in his career
  • A technician in pass protection, who uses his hands to keep defenders in front of him as he slides laterally to mirror the pass rusher’s movements

Weaknesses

  • Needs to get bigger and stronger to compete against NFL linemen
  • Inconsistent performances against current and future pros
  • Needs to become a better blocker against speed rushers if remaining at tackle
  • Might be “maxed-out” as a prospect, or a “low ceiling” prospect
  • After allowing just one sack during his first two seasons, he allowed four as a junior (senior stats were unavailable)
  • Played exclusively at left tackle, making any other position a projection

What Others Are Saying

Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline gave Hyatt a fourth-round grade heading into the 2018 season. Then after Hyatt’s 50th career start wrote “I was really keyed up to see the head-to-head matchup between (Florida State’s) Brian Burns, who was leading the nation in sacks and Mitch Hyatt - and Mitch Hyatt shut him down. Burns’ final tally was one tackle and one quarterback hurry and he really didn’t get a sniff of the Clemson quarterback. I think he’s going to be a solid mid-round choice and be an inexpensive utility lineman for an NFL team on Sunday who can play right or left tackle. The bottom-line is this, the Florida State game really helped Hyatt’s draft stock.”

That wasn’t the first time Hyatt performed well against top competition. In 2017, Hyatt graded 93 percent and had five knockdown blocks against NC State, and did not allow the Wolfpack’s Bradley Chubb to record a sack.

After the game, draft analyst, Rob Rang wrote “Operating out of two- and three-point stances, Hyatt showed impressive initial quickness and mirroring skills when blocking Chubb and other N.C. State pass rushers Saturday. He is light on his feet, easily shuffling laterally and showing excellent hand placement to latch and control opponents. Further, while not necessarily the most imposing offensive lineman, he shows very good core strength and knee bend to anchor against bull rushers. Hyatt’s quickness is even more evident in the running game, where he often was asked to provide down blocks on N.C. State’s defensive tackles before releasing to pop linebackers and defensive backs at the second level.”

Greg Gabriel: Breaking down Clemson OT Mitch Hyatt

“Hyatt has excellent balance, is seldom off his feet and consistently takes good angles to second level blocks. He is athletic with quick feet and change of direction and can adjust on the move in space. In the pass game, Hyatt sets quickly, can slide laterally and recover back to the inside. He keeps his hands inside and has a good punch. What I like is that he is a natural bender and can anchor versus bull rushers who are bigger and stronger than he is. His overall mirror skills are very good and will only get better.”

How He Would Fit With the Redskins

A veteran of many a wars in the trenches, you will not find an Offensive Lineman better prepared for the NFL than Mitch Hyatt. Durable, dependable, a technician.

The flip-side of that is how much upside is there, and is he already maxed out? Those are very real questions, and why one reason why Hyatt is considered just a mid-round prospect by most of the draft prognosticators.

With his body type, quickness, and technical skills, Hyatt reminds me a little of the Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari, but that comp feels a bit rich. IMO, former former Falcons’ LT Sam Baker, who was a three time All-American while at USC, had a similar profile. Like Baker and Bakhtiari, I feel Hyatt deserves a shot on the outside as a tackle. However, multiple draft analysts question if Hyatt has the necessary athletic traits of an NFL offensive tackle, and if the Redskins agree, they could conceivably draft him with the intention of moving him to left guard.