2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: BYU OT Blake Freeland

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections, and priority undrafted free agents. Today we’ll be profiling BYU Offensive Tackle Blake Freeland.


Senior Bowl Invite, Combine Invite


Player Ht/Wt Hand size Arm Length Wingspan
Blake Freeland 6’8 / 302 10″ 33 7/8″ 82 1/8
40 Yard Dash 10 Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.98 1.68 4.71 7.46
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
120″ 37″ N/A


— Great height/weight ratio, could likely add weight pretty easily without sacrificing athleticism
— Quick footed to give him a huge jump out of his stance, effective puller
— Flashes plenty of upside to have intrigue for coaches to develop
— When squared-up can stonewall blitzing defenders in pass-protection
— Capable of covering ground to work deep into his pass sets
— Moves into the second level and laterally extremely well to open space in the run game
— 41 career starts despite being just 22 a month after the draft
— Experience and starts at both tackle positions


— Hands too often land around the shoulders in engagements
— Lacks control in his blocks leading to inconsistent results
— Grip strength is subpar allowing for the defender to disengage and get to the football
— Inconsistent in his leg drive when operating in blocks
— Pass blocking anchor needs improvement, too often gets overpowered
— Plays too high as a blocker sacrificing his leverage


— 4th-year senior prospect from Herriman, Utah
— Majored in Communications
— Both parents were athletes at BYU during their college days, sister was a throw for BYU’s Track & Field team
— Named Team Captain & to the AP All-American Third Team
— Was ranked a consensus three-star recruit, ranked as high as the sixth best recruit in Utah by ESPN
— Was recruited by Utah, UCLA, USC, Washington, & Vanderbilt
— High School State Champion in Shot Put & Javelin, as well as an all-state basketball player


We start out in the season opener where we get the chance to watch Freeland in great competition against Notre Dame. In this play below, Freeland shows his pass-blocking quickness. While the footwork could improve, specifically the heel-click, Freeland’s athleticism is on display as he’s matching the speed of a safety (Brandon Joseph #16) on the outside. Unfortunately, the entire line couldn’t hold up.

In the notes above I give Freeland a hard time for his hand-placement but on this rep he does a great job in pass-protection holding up and taking his defender outside of Hall’s path and stalling him in pass-protection prior to Hall’s decision to eventually scramble.

Against East Carolina, Freeland had his ups and downs. He had an issue matching the speed of his assignment and ducked his head into his block just for #11 to effectively work around him. Freeland doesn’t need to be perfect but getting shed this easily in pass-protection will lead to obvious issues. In this instance Hall was able to quickly work forward in the pocket and scramble for some yards.

If you want to give Freeland a pass for the snap above and give that credit to a good play by the edge rusher, then maybe a play like this will put some of his struggle in the light more. Where Freeland can’t even get a punch out on his defender and gets his hands pushed off without any latch. Another scramble by Hall leads to this not resulting in anything too impactful on the play itself, but Freeland needs more fire and strength in his play in order to reach the level he is capable of.

As we move forward to his game against Oregon, we get a perfect play to show the highs and lows of who Freeland is as a prospect. The play begins with his sliding into his block extremely well but failing to work himself into position to stay squared on his block and losing his latch, allowing the defender to be part of the mob crashing onto the football. Freeland did a solid job on this play overall, but small aspects being cleaned up would likely go a long way in his overall play-to-play consistency.

This issue for Freeland isn’t a rare occurrence, as he attacks down as a blocker due to poor leverage and it results in issues in pass protection where he can’t really generate speed to overwhelm as a blocker. I know that there has been a lot of bad clips for Freeland, but it’s important to show that an investment in a player like him will come with plenty of work and likely growing pains before the payout can be seen.

In the run game, Freeland has nice speed and lateral footwork to get out and help open lanes. However, he doesn’t get attached to his blocker to drive them out of the play well enough like in the replay below where DJ Johnson (#2) works back to the football and helps make the tackle.

There is still plenty of good in Freeland’s tape though, he mirrors his man inside off the edge and once the guard has him picked up, Freeland zooms over to cover ground and shut down the defender on the outside. That type of range and mobility is going to intrigue a lot of teams, and if Freeland can polish up the rest of his game that ability will have him highly touted across the NFL.

That mobility continues to shine throughout Freeland’s film, but it isn’t just the ability to run in a straight line, watch as he cuts back with his defender after his spin move and continues to contain him through the whistle. Freeland is very nimble, with a great frame, and in the right scheme should be able to establish himself as a quality tackle in time.


When it comes to this offensive line class, there seems to be a tier or two that is solidified with the likes of Paris Johnson Jr, Broderick Jones, Peter Skoronski, Anton Harrison, and Darnell Wright. However, there are plenty of intriguing options following that group and Freeland could be one of them. While he has plenty of growing to do, his frame and athleticism could even have him outplaying many if not all of those in the tier above, that’s the beauty of the draft. Regardless, Freeland is likely best suited to play right tackle in a zone-blocking scheme, and if he can develop the strength and technique aspect of his game, he could easily stick around long term as a starter in the NFL.

Freeland turned in a tremendous combine that should have him hearing his name sometime on Day 2. My pro comparison is Tom Compton of the Denver Broncos who has started 44 games in his career. He works more in rotation now, but the two have similar athletic profiles, Freeland does have the better one though, and could have a better overall career with the direction of the league valuing athleticism on the offensive line.

Freeland has the traits and size to be very tempting for teams as the NFL Draft approaches. For Pittsburgh, being able to grab a potential starter in the middle rounds of the draft in a talent like Freeland could be well worth the value and a nice project piece to help shore up the offensive line.

Projection: 2nd – 3rd Round

Depot Draft Grade: 7.7 – Potential Starter / Good Backup (3rd Round)

Games Watched: vs Notre Dame (2022), at Oregon (2022), vs Arizona (2022), at Boise State (2022)


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WR Jordan Addison DL Siaki Ika DL Keeanu Benton CB Kelee Ringo
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WR Tank Dell iOL John Michael Schmitz CB Devon Witherspoon OT Paris Johnson Jr
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WR Jadon Haselwood EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah CB Darius Rush LB Mohamoud Diabate
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S Jammie Robinson EDGE Andre Carter C Joe Tippmann QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
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