Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (71) on the line of scrimmage during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Alabama beat Michigan 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Prospect: Cyrus Kouandjio


Cyrus Kouandjio is a big bodied offensive tackle from one of college football’s best programs.  The Alabama tackle is  Listed at 6’7″ and 322 pounds. His physical stature is readily apparent.  With the announcement of Jordan Gross’s retirement, finding a left tackle to replace him has become one of the Panthers’ top priorities.  Kouandjio saw his stock slip a bit with his poor combine workouts, something that could work into the Panthers favor.

Kouandjio has all of the tools required to be a left tackle at the next level.  He shows surprisingly quick feet for a player of his size.  When coaches and scouts are examining an offensive tackle they look for size and footwork.  If a player has solid footwork to pair with a large frame, they can be molded into a top talent tackle.  Kouandjio has long arms and the strength to handle both run and pass blocking.  His size and athleticism give him an incredibly high ceiling as an NFL player.

Cyrus is not without his flaws.  He needs to learn to stop dropping his head in front of his feet.  Body placement like that leaves an offensive lineman vulnerable and will cause them to lose most one on one matchups.  His combine workout raised some red flags, but his game tape shows supreme athleticism.  The combine is an excellent look into the physical abilities of players, but combine speed and game speed are two different concepts.  Cyrus shows great development for a player of his age and has plenty of room to improve as long as he has the right coaching and work ethic.  Currently he is projected to be a mid to late first round pick.  If he is available at 28, the Panthers will more than likely select him as he will be the best player available and one that fills a huge need for the Panthers.

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