Mitch Hyatt, OT, 6-5, 295, 5.08 (40 yards), senior
Expectations for 2018:
Much was made of defensive lineman Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell bypassing the NFL for another season at Clemson, but almost as surprising was Hyatt's decision to return for his senior year. The fourth-year starter became the first true freshman to start on the offensive line at Clemson since 1980 and has started 42 career games, including an All-American campaign in 2017.
Despite his impressive experience, Hyatt still has room to improve his hand placement and strengthen his core. He lacks the physical characteristics to maul defenders in the run game, which leaves little room for error with his angles and technique. On the plus side, Hyatt shows a shrewd understanding of spacing, allowing him to mask his so-so sustain skills.
Regardless if the starting quarterback is senior Kelly Bryant or true freshman Trevor Lawrence, Clemson will need its left tackle to again play at an All-American level as a senior. And if he continues to overcome his lack of elite size, strength and length, more NFL evaluators will become believers in Hyatt because of the results.
What the 2017 tape says:
Appearing natural in his pass-sets, Hyatt moves well off the snap and his feet stay in sync with his upper body to mirror edge rushers. He is equally impressive getting to the second level and occupying linebackers, cutting off angles. Hyatt's heightened awareness for the position is something that routinely shows on his tape -- in the run game and pass protection.
Although he is stubborn with his hands once he latches, Hyatt is a short-armed blocker and it shows in pass pro, allowing rushers to attack his chest and jolt him backward. In the run game, he has a bad habit of leaving his feet or attempting to overcompensate for his lack of sustain skills.
Hyatt's 2017 film shows a player with an acute understanding of his skill-set, although his execution has room for improvement.
A four-star recruit out of North Gwinnett, Ga., Hyatt was widely considered a top-three offensive line recruit out of high school, attracting scholarship offers from every major program. SEC powers like Alabama and in-state Georgia pushed hard for his services. But Hyatt's uncle (Dan Benish) was an all-conference defensive lineman for the Tigers' 1981 national championship team, and the family connection helped draw him to Clemson.
More Prospect Peeks