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Raiders Draft: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State scouting report

A RT who’s well-versed in pass pro

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 19 Washington State at Utah
Abraham Lucas
Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the Las Vegas Raiders have done a lot to improve the roster during free agency, the Raiders still need a right tackle. Washington State’s Abraham Lucas has tons of experience holding down the right edge and would be an asset in pass protection for the Silver and Black.

OT | Washington State | 6’6 3/8 and 315 lbs | Everett, WA

Overview:

Abraham Lucas came to Washington State as a three-star recruit and the 50th-ranked tackle in the country for the 2017 class, per 247 Sports. After redshirting as a true freshman, he earned the starting right tackle spot the following season and held the position down for nearly 3,000 snaps in college. In the Cougars’ offense that uses a lot of zone or area protection and inside zone runs, the Everett native allowed four sacks and 49 pressures in four years — one and 13 in the last two seasons — and earned PFF run-blocking grades of 74.1, 75.6 and 68.3 as a redshirt sophomore, junior and senior.

Strengths:

  • Good size and frame for an NFL offensive tackle with 33 7/8”-inch arms
  • On 45-degree sets in pass protection, he splits the EDGE’s crotch with his first strep and adjusts his set point based on how wide the EDGE is to avoid over-setting. Also is solid at maintaining his base when working laterally
  • When using a vertical set, he has little to no wasted movement and doesn’t just bail for depth if the rusher isn’t putting pressure on him vertically
  • Very mentally alert in pass pro, he communicates pre-snap against unique fronts, doesn't fall for eye candy, reads line games almost before they happen, picks up blitzers and looks for work when uncovered. He’s seen it all and is hard to confuse.
  • Keeps his shoulders back when punching and mixes up when to use one or two arm punches
  • Recognizes when to get his other hand involved while using a one-arm punch
  • Effective at using his inside hand to pin pass rushers’ arm down and help defend against finesse moves
  • Against inside counter moves, he has solid reactive athleticism and a strong inside shoulder to take away the inside lane
  • Times up when he can open the gate and run EDGE rushers past the quarterback when they’ve reached the point of no return (about even with the quarterback)
  • Uses a wide base to help anchor
  • As a run blocker, he can generate a push against standup outside linebacker body types
  • Physical as the second blocker on a combo block/double team and maintains a tight relationship with the guard to avoid creating creases
  • On down blocks, he takes good angles, is more aggressive at the point of attack and has better leg drive than he does on base blocks to generate some movement
  • Is efficient climbing to the second level with his angles and pacing, he gets to the spot without overrunning the linebacker
  • He’s quick to recognize slants as a run blocker, passing off the defensive lineman who was his pre-snap responsibility, and then pick up the scraping linebacker
  • Does have the strength and finishing mentality to finish blocks with linebackers in the ground
  • Good speed to get to his spot when blocking on the perimeter and he breaks down before contact to at least get a piece of the defensive back

Areas of Improvement:

  • Played in a college offense — Air Raid — that doesn’t translate well to the NFL, especially in the ground game
  • A little late off the ball as a whole, sub-par initial quickness and get off
  • In pass protection, he’s slightly late with his punch which exposes his chest to pass rushers, and he struggles to get rushers’ hands off his chest, especially ones with a good long-arm move
  • Defensive ends who are good with their hands will time up his punch toward the end of the game, he doesn’t mix up the timing or flash hands to keep them guessing
  • He lacks the knee bend to dig his heels in and drop the anchor in pass protection, and he will get put on skates by stronger edges. His anchor could get exposed more in the NFL or when not playing in the Air Raid where the ball is out so quickly.
  • On base blocks, he isn’t physical at the point of attack and stops his feet on contact, causing him to lose at the POA and struggle to get a push against better defensive ends. He also lacks some core strength and grip strength to avoid getting tossed and shed by physical ends.
  • Has a habit of leaning on contact and letting his shoulders get over his toes as a run blocker
  • His footwork when reach blocking or on backside cutoffs needs work, he takes too steep of an angle which gives up the inside
  • He doesn’t stay tight to the line of scrimmage when pulling, making it easier for EDGEs to get underneath his block, and his lack of physicality at the POA shows up here as well
NCAA Football: Stanford at Washington State
Abraham Lucas
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries:

  • None

Projection:

NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board rank: 92nd overall, 3rd round

After an impressive NFL Combine performance where he earned a 9.72 RAS score, Lucas’ stock has been steadily on the rise. Some people have gone as far as mocking him in the backend of the first round, which is a big jump compared to the consistent third-round projections he was receiving previously. To me, the tape agrees with the latter, a late Day 2 pick.

Schematically, I have very few hesitations about Lucas’ pass protection skills translating to the next level and fitting in any offense. However, his run blocking is where the projection/scheme fit gets difficult.

He’s not enough of a people mover to fit into a gap offense, but his lack of success on reach blocks and backside cutoffs will make it tough for a zone-heavy team to fall in love with him. In other words, the former Cougar is a work in progress in that regard and that’s part of the reason why it’s hard for me to agree with the recent Day 1 projections.

What do we need to know?

How well and quickly can he adjust to an NFL offense? As mentioned above, Washington State’s system doesn’t translate well to the next level, especially when it comes to offensive linemen. The ball is out quickly to inflate some pass protection stats and the rushing attack is extremely basic and the heavy use of 10 personnel creates a ton of lightboxes to make life easier in the trenches. Lucas has plenty of skills that can translate to the pros, but he’ll have a lot to prove in training camp.

Fit with the Raiders:

With Las Vegas’ first pick of the draft not coming until the third round — 86th overall — Lucas could easily be their first selection of the 2022 class. He’d fill a major need at right tackle and wouldn’t have to move positions or flip sides like some of the other prospects who spent their careers on the left will have to do. Also, he’d be an upgrade over what they currently have at that spot in regards to pass protection.

My biggest qualm about the Washington State product’s fit with the Silver and Black basically just reiterates the end of the ‘Projection’ section, is he good enough to get by as a run blocker in Josh McDaniels’ gap-heavy rushing attack? Or does the coaching staff see enough from Lucas to get by for now and work with him down the road?

There’s not going to be a perfect prospect in the third-round or later, so Lucas might be their best option.

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