JC Latham Draft Profile
Alabama right tackle, JC Latham, is a two year starter for the Roll Tide and was named first team All-SEC as a true junior, this year. Being a 5-star IMG Academy Alabama commit, Latham has been a highly touted prospect since he was in high school. Standing at 6’6 360 lbs., Latham has excellent size, length, and a massive lower half. He is an old-school right tackle who wins with strength and strain. He is awkward in space and stands up when attempting to bend; he moves better in a straight line, than going laterally. Latham’s strength and power doesn’t necessarily fit the modern-day west-coast offense that has taken over the league, but for gap-scheme teams who focus on going downhill and a passing game that is built around a pocket-passer.
Every team wants their tackle to defend their quarterback when he gets hit after the whistle, and pick them up when they are on the ground; that is the type of guy that Latham is. He plays through the whistle and is willing to get his chin dirty. While Latham plays hard, he will occasionally wear himself out causing lazy tendencies at the end of the game. He leans on his blocks which allows him to finish defenders into the ground, but also get caught off-balance on snatches and counter rushes. When he gets beat, he struggles to re-position himself in an advantageous way so his initial instinct is to hold. With that being said, having played against the top competition at Alabama for three years, Latham should be impervious to NFL defensive lineman..
In the pass game, Latham’s anchor is his biggest strength. He thrives against power rushes and does a great job at hopping back against the bull. He exhausts power rushers and forces them to find other ways to get to the quarterback. He does a great job at ensuring his defenders are covered, by keeping his elbows tight and hands in the chest plate. However, he will occasionally get caught grabbing when the quarterback breaks the pocket. Latham uses his length to his advantage by extending his arms and making defenders take a longer route to the quarterback. He is explosive off the ball and is good at cutting off speed-rushers’ angles. While he does have a good get-off, he will occasionally over-set which makes him susceptible to inside cross-overs. Since he is so eager to get out, there will be times where he gets away from his technique creating a narrow base where his heels click. Having an experienced offensive-line coach would be extremely beneficial for Latham to make sure he stays consistent with his base and does not get lazy with his feet.
In the run game, Latham’s biggest asset is his ability to vertically displace defensive linemen. His inline power gets will get coaches excited, because once he is connected to the defensive lineman, that defensive lineman is not getting off of him. He is able to inflict fear in defenders and move them from point A to point B. For teams that like to run duo and power, he is a perfect fit. One of his favorite moves is the “throw-by” where if a defender commits hard to going inside or outside he will simply take them where they’re going and throw the defender that way allowing the play to fit right off of him. Where Latham struggles in the run game is in space and having to either bend laterally or get up to the second level. He isn’t very “reactive”; when he is in space, he is thinking instead of reacting; which causes him to miss blocks that are right in front of him. Latham lacks spacial awareness and is tight when having to wrap around players and reach defenders. Latham will need to get better in space if he is going to play in a west-coast offense, but could play right-away for a north-south running team.
It feels like Latham will be as good as his team allows him to be; this is true for all players, but him especially. He is good at what he is good at, and the team that drafts him knows where his weaknesses are. He reminds me of Buccaneers’ right tackle, Luke Goedeke, who struggled when he first got into the league, but has now found his fit on the right side of the ball. Goedeke is long, powerful, and will fight for his quarterback, similar to Latham. I anticipate him being an above average tackle in the league, but think his success is very dependent on his destination.
Feet + COD: 5.33/12 (Average)
Movement Ability in Space + Bend: 5.33/12 (Average)
Strain + Seal + Strength: 7.78 (Very Good)
Anchor + Sink: 8.88/10 (Excellent)
Football IQ: 5.56/10 (Above Average)
Mentality + Violence: 7.78/10 (Very Good)
Point of Contact + Punch: 4.44/8 (Above Average)
Recover + Poise: 3.56/8 (Average)
Patience + Hands: 3.33/6 (Above Average)
Overall: 51.99/88 (59.08)
Final Rating: Above Average NFL Tackle
Pro Comparison: Luke Goedeke
Scheme Fits: Gap Scheme, Pocket Passing
Draft Projection: Top 15 Pick
Draft Grade: Third Round Grade