The 2020 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. Lucas Niang was an experienced right tackle helping TCU this season before injuring his hip. Now, he has his eyes set on NFL football.
Position: Offensive Tackle
Size: 6-foot-6, 328 pounds
2019 stats: six starts (2018 Second Team All-Big 12)
Niang was a very seasoned offensive lineman for TCU and was looking to be the leader of the line for the 2019 season. He played in six games before going down with a torn hip labrum. It was a disappointing end to his time at TCU, but Niang has accomplished a lot in his college career.
As a freshman, he was able to appear in 12 of the team’s 13 games, as the Horned Frogs went 6-7. After starting the season on the bench, Niang started the last eight games of the season in 2017. TCU won 11 games that season, including the Alamo Bowl. For his junior season, Niang started every game. The Horned Frogs won seven games, which was capped off with a win in the Cheez-It Bowl. Niang was honored as a Secon Team All-Big 12 player.
He’ll have to prove that his injury won’t be an issue moving forward, but he is projected to be healthy in the next few months. With good workouts and interviews, Niang could be one of the first few tackles selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.
One of Niang’s biggest strengths is his power. He usually handles his man in the running game and can deal with power rushers while pass blocking. When pass rushers try to bull rush him, he does well to keep them at bay. There won’t be many defensive ends or outside linebackers who can beat him with power at the next level.
Niang is a good pass blocker, who gave up no sacks as a junior. As mentioned, it is very hard to use power to beat him. He overpowers smaller pass rushers as well. Niang has quick footwork so he can shuffle well to protect the quarterback.
His athletic ability is something that NFL teams will like, given that he is also powerful and has good size. This helps him stay with pass rushers and get to the second level on running plays. He isn’t a great athlete, but he is good enough with his size to help him win matchups.
Niang is inconsistent with his quickness at the snap of the ball. He usually isn’t one of the quickest off the line of scrimmage. It didn’t come back to bite him too often at TCU, but at the next level, with quicker athletes, it could make life tougher for him.
His technique will need to be improved at the next level as well. He can get off balance and get too wide of a base at times. With his technique issues, he also doesn’t have much flexibility, which will make him struggle with pass rushers trying to get around the edge at the next level. If his technique improves, he can mask some of these deficiencies.
Teams that had quick players on the edge were able to give Niang a hard game. They were able to beat him against the run and pass. This, among a few other things, will likely make him a player that can only play right tackle at the next level.
Projected Draft Range: Second round-Fourth round