Predraft Visit: Canadian Import

Offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, No. 1 prospect in the CFL Draft, impressed NFL scouts -- including scouts from Green Bay - during the East-West Shrine Game and his pro day. We have his story and scouting report from the league's top scout.

You've heard about "matchup cornerbacks" before.

But how about a matchup offensive tackle?

That's what Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff was at McGill University as he captured the Metras Trophy as the most outstanding lineman in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport in 2013.

"I matched Laurent up against the opposition's best defensive end every game and he did not give up a sack all year," McGill offensive line coach Paul Lambert said last season. "He played on both sides – left and right tackle – and dominated. He always locked up with his defender until the whistle blew. He was incredible at blocking at the second level – the best-- and always got to the linebacker."

A strong week at the East-West Shrine Game piqued the Green Bay Packers' interest. They were one of nine teams to attend his pro day, and they were one of six teams to host him for a predraft visit, according to longtime NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas. Thomas' NFL Draft Report, a consulting service used by teams, has sent its scouting reports to 16 clubs. He is viewed as a fifth-round prospect.

Duvernay-Tardiff (6-5, 321), who's enrolled in medical school and was selected an Academic All-American, was the top collegiate prospect in Canada but opted to play for the big leagues of the NFL. He started his collegiate career as a defensive end and was a two-way player in 2011 and 2012 before becoming a full-time offensive tackle in 2013.

Duvernay-Tardiff arrived at McGill University weighing 253 pounds during his freshman season in 2010, as he posted nine tackles with a stop-for-loss in five contests. He grew to 280 pounds during his sophomore season while shifting to the demanding strong-side offensive tackle position, making six touchdown-resulting blocks for a team that scored just 10 times on offense while losing all nine games. He also made a brief appearance on defense, assisting on one tackle.

As a junior, Duvernay-Tardiff was named the team's most outstanding player after he had 10 more touchdown-resulting blocks and provided stellar pass protection for a Redmen offense that averaged 229.4 aerial yards per game. He also increased his activity on defense, registering three sacks among his nine tackles.

While playing strictly on offense in 2013, he delivered 80 knockdowns and 13 touchdown-resulting blocks. The team managed just three victories but averaged 326.4 yards passing and 461.1 yards in total offense.

In 26 career games at offensive tackle, he recorded 29 touchdown-resulting blocks for an offense that only scored 49 touchdowns during that span. He added 212 knockdown blocks to help Luis Guimont-Mota lead the conference in rushing

Since he did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine, Duvernay-Tardiff's pro day back on campus drew considerable attention from the NFL. In the weight room, he lifted the bar 34 times during the 225-pound bench press. If he had been in Indianapolis, that lifting performance would have ranked seventh among the 50 offensive linemen in attendance.

Duvernay-Tardiff was timed at 5.20 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which was mid-range among Combine linemen, but his vertical jump of 32 1/2 inches would have placed second. The only offensive lineman with a better vertical jump was Boston College's Matt Patchan (33 1/2). In the last 10 Combines, just 15 of more than 500 offensive linemen tested had a better jump. His 09'00" broad jump would have ranked seventh among this year's Combine offensive linemen.

Duvernay-Tardiff, who has 33-inch arms, is a well-built athlete with good bone structure and developing muscle thickness. He has added more than 70 pounds of bulk to his frame since arriving on campus, but may not have much more room for additional growth. He displays a good bubble and adequate quadriceps and calves. He has a solid midsection, wide hips and very strong legs. He also measured in with only 10 percent body fat.

Duvernay-Tardiff is a highly intelligent athlete with several conference and national academic honors to his credit. He has no problems digesting a complex offense and, despite his youth, has called blocking assignments up front since 2012. It is easy for him to learn and retain.

He is quick to gain advantage at the snap, showing decisive movement in his stance. He has good initial quickness off his snap on both run and pass plays. He has above-average feet and lateral agility. He stays low in his pads and shows ease of movement redirecting to either side, along with above-average balance and body control to quickly get position.

His balance and foot agility allow him to stay on his blocks. He also displays fluid moves adjusting in space. He can shuffle, slide and adjust with his sharp change-of-direction skills. The thing I like about him is his ability to keep his weight back and stay in control.

Duvernay-Tardiff has a very good understanding of angles and positioning. He is a productive blocker in-line whose balance and leverage allow him to quickly get in the way of a defender. When he stays at a low pad level and delivers his strong hand punch, he will consistently gain leverage. He has the body mass to get movement vs. the big defenders and uses his hand placement and base to maintain position and sustain.

Duvernay-Tardiff does a nice job of keeping his weight back, staying square so he can slide and adjust to change of direction. He can anchor vs. the bull rush and shows great alertness to tricks. The thing you notice on film is his good feet and lateral agility, as he can certainly slide and mirror defenders, using his hand placement to defeat swim moves. He shows a good base set to pop and drop, quick hand usage upon initial contact and tenacity in his play. He plays flat-footed with good knee bend to deliver the full force behind his hand jolt.


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