6’5, 314lbs | Offensive Tackle | Iowa
Awareness/Reaction: Is a very smart player, and is known as one of the most NFL-ready blockers in the class after only three years of college play. Recognizes stunts and twists well and makes adjustments on the fly. Is good in double-teams and able to work down the line helping the left guard. Shows a great understanding of blocking schemes and assignments. Is great in blitz adjustments and protections.
Balance: Ideal balance. Is a knee-bender with good agility and balance on both feet. Has strong legs and does not struggle to get through traffic. Can be tested if given a quick outside move and then countered hard inside; but does a good job of anchoring and settling his ground.
Initial quickness: Does not have top-end recovery speed. Has an excellent punch. Not afraid or timid in popping defenders head-up off the line of scrimmage. Exceptional ability in the run game.
Movement/Space: Very good mobility. Has the footwork to get up-field and attack at the second level. High motor, great effort. Has not been asked to move much from left tackle, but has the tools to do so at the next level.
Pass Blocking: Has a very good outstep and kicks his left leg back quickly. Opens up well. Takes a good angle when swinging outside. Has a technically sound kickslide. Excellent knee bend. Keeps eyes and head up throughout the play. Good arm extension. Doesn’t grab and pull. Strong punch, can stun defenders with the first move. Can be beaten inside if baited to the outside first. Can be beaten with a strong secondary move.
Pulling/Trapping: Has not been asked to pull or trap at Iowa. Has quick feet and vision to pull. Has shown ability to hit the target when on the move. Attacks defenders at the second level.
Run Blocking: Takes great angles. Coached by the best in Kirk Ferentz. Seals the edge very well. Is a capable mirror blocker. Is aggressive off the ball, especially in the red zone. Can lock-on and drive block. Keeps low leverage. Drives defenders away from the ball.
Size/Length/Hand size: Ideal size in height, weight and hand size. 33.25″ arms is a good length, although not incredibly long. Hands at 9.25″ is a respectable number. Bulaga is a lean, quick offensive tackle and in the Ryan Clady mold.
Strength/Explosion/Pop: Good explosion off the line. Can be slow and not as aggressive if the defender slows up. Can be bull-rushed and pushed off the ball. Great combination of agility and strength.
Technique: Too easily allows ends to get their hands in to his chest. Has a very strong anchor and can drop his weight to stop the strongest ends from pushing over him. Can get stronger in arm extension. Inconsistent quickness and burst. Can give up edge at times due to sloppy kick-slide. Has the quickness and understands the angles to play in a zone scheme.
Final Word: Depending on who you ask, Bulaga is considered a top three offensive tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft. What he brings to the table is a high-level of competition, a good track record and the ability to start from day one as a left tackle in the NFL. Bulaga is a finished product, but this also means he lacks the upside and potential of other prospects. With Bulaga, what you see is truly what you get. Bulaga’s talent, productivity and readiness make him a top 10 prospect.