Sometimes it’s just not fair. It’s not fair that some kids are built like offensive tackle Calvin Ashley while others have to scrape for every extra inch to measure up to compete at the highest levels of football.
If there is a scouting dictionary locked away somewhere in a football library, the Auburn commitment’s picture is what would be next to the definition of an offensive tackle. This kid could walk into the NFL combine next week and not look out of place with the the guys who are about to start making a living playing the game. He has some way to go to get to be one of those guys to be ready for a jump to the league, but his genetic gifts should help him get there in a few years.
Ashley is a great athlete for his size. He moves well and he has light feet for someone who is as big as he is. He is a knee bender even if his pad level doesn’t always demonstrate that.
He has great arm length and very big hands. I’ve seen him listed as tall as 6’8″ and as heavy as 330, so I’m not sure what his exact measurements are, but the fact that he weighed 310 at The Opening as a rising junior really blew my mind. He looked like he had the frame to add even more so I can see 330 being what he gets up to, although anything more would be a bit concerning for the way he moves.
Unsurprisingly he can be a dominating run blocker. He overwhelms opponents at the the point of attack and will drive players ten yard down the field. He’s also someone who will go looking for more work to put an exclamation mark on the play and it is awesome to see that level of effort and nastiness.
He is not as quick as I’d like to see with his reaction off the snap. He gets away with it because he is so much bigger than stronger than the opposition at the high school level, but he needs to be more consistent with getting off the football.
He’s nowhere close to a technician right now and will fit his hands outside of the frame or not sustain his block because he isn’t getting his feet in the correct position. Ashley does do a nice job of working to the second level and picking up linebackers. He needs to be more balanced when doing so, but it’s more of a technique issue than a athletic one. He can learn and greatly improve in that area.
There is limited film available of him in pass protection, but I got to see him in person and he moves extremely well. His initial movement with his kick step was good. He did struggle with adjusting to speed, though. Again, that isn’t an athletic issue. More of a consistency/technique issue in my opinion. He got his feet crossed up against a defensive end and got smoked on a hump move because he didn’t take a great angle on one infamous rep in one on ones last year.
I’m excited to see his improvement this year because the tools are there for him to be fantastic in pass pro. He delivers a good punch and uses his length well. Once he gets his footwork to where it needs to be, I won’t have many worries about him.
He’s probably a good enough athlete to play left tackle, but is more probably more of a physical fit at right tackle at the next level. My mind could obviously be changed after seeing him some more this spring and summer.
I think of how Greg Robinson was in Auburn’s offense and I could see Ashley have the same kind of path at left tackle where he would make a big impact in the run game.
He’s a 5 star for a reason. He is physically a guy who can compete immediately at the next level even if I feel he needs to improve in some area to be the player he should eventually become. He has the tools to be a multi-year starter and a very good one for a long time at Auburn or wherever he ultimately chooses.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach)