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, I’ll be profiling Michigan offensive tackle Ryan Hayes.
#76 Ryan Hayes, Michigan (Gr. Senior) — 6063, 298 LBs.
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Ryan Hayes||6063, 298||10″||32 1/2″||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
-Good athlete for the position; sound mover in space with intriguing athleticism
-Fluid hips to open and pull quickly and efficiently; good at sealing the edge
-Flashes a mean streak as a run blocker; looks to finish through the whistle in advantageous situations
-High-end hit rate climbing to the second level in run game; takes great angles, consistently hits mark
-Shows good competitive drive overall in the run game
-Very experienced left tackle in pro-style offense (more than 2,100 snaps)
-Displays good athleticism and light feet in pass protection
-Able to recover quickly and run defenders around the arc
-Throws a number of different pass sets at defenders to change things up
-Length and weight a real concern for the position
-Plays with a high pad level, which can be a problem with his size
-Needs to work on gaining better depth in his sets to deal with speed rushers
-Ability to anchor is inconsistent; shows he can do it at times but too often has issues sinking into hips
-Really struggled in 2022 against higher-end pass rushers that can convert speed to power
-Has to clean up hand usage
-Tends to leave his chest open to defenders, making him susceptible to initial punch and loses control of rep quickly
-Played in 40 career games at Michigan with 29 starts at left tackle
-Named a two-time All-Big Ten selection (2021 and 2022)
-Part of the two-time Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line at Michigan as the nation’s best offensive line
-Three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2019, 2021 and 2022)
-Awarded Michigan’s Offensive Player of the Game honors against Penn State, Illinois, and Iowa in 2022
-Attended the same high school in Traverse, Michigan, as former Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Jake Fisher, a second-round pick out of Oregon
-Former four-star recruit that was ranked the No. 29 offensive tackle nationally and the No. 7 player in the state of Michigan
-Older brother, Connor, signed with the University of Pittsburgh in 2014
-Comes from a very athletic family. Father, Mike, played football at Central Michigan and mother, Sue, is a member of CMU’s Hall of Fame after a stellar basketball career
-Basketball and baseball standout in high school; named basketball player of the year and pitcher of the year in his conference
The Michigan Wolverines have had the Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line in college football the last two years, and there’s some solid NFL prospects coming out of the program in the trenches each and every season.
Left tackle Ryan Hayes is among those prospects.
A veteran of 40 career games at Michigan with 29 starts at left tackle and more than 2,100 snaps the last two seasons, Hayes is an intriguing player to project to the next level.
Hayes has great size (6063) but lacks a little bit in the weight and length (298, 32 1/2″ arms). He makes up for that lack of length and weight with his impressive athleticism.
That athleticism, especially in the run game, jumps out immediately with Hayes.
Hayes has very fluid hips and can really explode in space.
Watch him here against Hawaii last season. Great job of flipping those hips open and getting into space to turn and seal the edge on the run play for the big gain. Good footwork getting out of his stance, too, not wasting any movement and getting out in front to seal off the edge.
Hayes is very solid at climbing to the next level in the run game, getting a hat on a defender and finishing.
Terrific rep here against Northern Illinois in 2021. Look at the finish behind the play. That’s an outstanding rep from the left tackle.
He did something similar this season in the rivalry matchup against Michigan State.
You won’t have to worry about Hayes finishing through the whistle in the run game. He relishes it.
It will get under the skin of defenders and can really wear down opponents late in games. That’s the mentality the offensive line had at Michigan, and it will carry over with Hayes to the NFL.
While I like him in space as a run blocker, he’s not going to displace many opponents at the line of scrimmage. His leg drive in that area is inconsistent but he has shown the ability to do it. When he does, it’s a thing of beauty.
In pass protection, Hayes is more hit or miss. There are things to like, such as his ability to vary his pass sets and mirror in protection, but he plays with a very high pad level and is extremely susceptible to power rushes. He struggles to anchor, too.
That said, there’s times he shows he can do it.
There are times though where it looked rather ugly, and those usually came against NFL-caliber pass rushers last season.
That would include Ohio State’s Zach Harrison and Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness.
It’s not all bad in pass protection though.
I am a big fan of the way Hayes varies his pass sets and is patient with his hands. When he gets those big 10-inch paws on you inside, it’s over. He just needs to become more consistent with his hand placement at the next level.
Overall, there’s quite a bit to like from Hayes as a run blocker, which isn’t something I was expecting going into his tape study as a 6063, 298-pound lineman. I knew as a Michigan man he was going to be physical, but with his size I thought he’d be a much better pass protector than run blocker.
That’s not the case. With his length and weight concerns, Hayes profiles better as a guard in the NFL where his athleticism can really shine on the move. He’s good in duo/power looks, has a good hit rate climbing to the second level and is very sound on the move in space. Moving inside would also help him with his pass sets and make him less susceptible to speed around the edge, though he’d need to put more sand in his pants to hold up against power.
With his starting experience in the Power 5 on the best offensive line in college football the last two seasons, he’s certainly worth investing in. He could be a swing tackle early on before ultimately sliding inside — similar to a guy like BYU’s Brady Christensen last season. Good athlete, lack of length, but very sound in the run game overall with some questions in pass protection.
Projection: Mid-Late Day 3 (5th/6th Round)
Depot Draft Grade: 6.8 (Backup/Special Teamer)
Games Watched: Northern Illinois (2021), Ohio State (2021), Hawaii (2022), Maryland (2022), Indiana (2022), Iowa (2022), Michigan State (2022), Ohio State (2022)