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Laken Tomlinson | Guard

Team: Duke Blue Devils
Age / DOB:  (23) / 2/9/1992
Ht / Wt:  6'3' / 330

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The Lions had a "B" draft and effectively shored up a problematic offensive line, opines ESPN's Mel Kiper.
The Lions acquired Broncos C Manny Ramirez in a trade to move down in Round 1 and then chose arguably the draft's best pure guard in Duke's Laken Tomlinson. "Even if Tomlinson is a bit of a reach, you added one starter and potentially two with the value of a single pick," Kiper wrote. Detroit popped Ameer Abdullah in Round 2 to replace Reggie Bush and then fortified secondary and defensive line depth, respectively, by taking Alex Carter and Gabe Wright. May 3 - 8:40 PM

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Date:

Lions selected Duke OG Laken Tomlinson with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Tomlinson (6'3/323) made 52 starts for Duke -- all at right guard -- and earned first-team All-American accolades as a senior. He didn't allow a sack in 2013 or 2014. Tomlinson ran 5.33 with a 31 1/2-inch vertical at the Combine, pumping 25 reps on the bench. A heavy-handed power blocker with plus arm length (33 5/8") for a guard, Tomlinson is a phone-booth lineman and tempo setter in the trenches. Likened to new teammate RG Larry Warford by Mike Mayock, Tomlinson should make an instant impact in the run game at left guard. The Lions also acquired C Manny Ramirez from the Broncos by trading down.
Apr 30 - 11:06 PM

An anonymous NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that if "there's a first-round guard in this draft and he's not a conversion it's" Duke OG Laken Tomlinson.

"He's a plug-and-play, start-first-day right or left guard," he said. "He plays better than (Chance) Warmack. He's big, athletic, he can pull, he can block at the point, he's smart. He might be a great center, too, if you tried him there." Tomlinson is sharp and wants to be a doctor after his playing days are over, but scouts do not question his love for the game. "He looks better on the hoof than any subject in the draft other than Scherff," another scout said. "Great kid, smart (Wonderlic of 23). But how many Duke linemen have there been? You can't name them. Plus, he gets over his toes. He's top-heavy."
Apr 26 - 2:17 AM

Duke OG Laken Tomlinson is "not a great athlete but is the best of this year's guard class, and he's a proven run-blocker," wrote ESPN's Todd McShay.

Tomlinson is a pure guard. He started every game at right guard since his 2010 redshirt year. The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder has seen his stock jump over the winter thanks to a strong week at the Senior Bowl, though an NFL scout speaking with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel still believes Tomlinson "needs to work on his technique and balance."
Apr 21 - 9:49 PM

Duke OG Laken Tomlinson "has developed into a quality guard who can move and is physical at the point of attack," according to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco.

"Duke threw a lot, which helped him develop as a pass protector," Prisco wrote. Tomlinson, of course, moved to the U.S. from Jamaica at age 10, acclimating to the game late. He's made up for lost time and is one of this year's best guard prospects. Tomlinson was a first-team A.P. All-American and first-team All-ACC honoree last year.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 20 - 10:53 PM

Duke OG Laken Tomlinson is a prospect "who must be placed into the right scheme to enjoy similar success in the NFL," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"He's a prospect who must be placed into the right scheme to enjoy similar success in the NFL, however. Tomlinson lacks great agility and balance and so he'll struggle in a zone scheme that asks him to block on the move. Instead, run behind him as he drives defenders off the ball," Rang wrote. In his time in Durham, Tomlinson was quite reliable for the Blue Devils, starting every game at right guard since his 2010 redshirt year. Last season, Tomlinson was selected first-team A.P. All-American and first-team All-ACC.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 17 - 4:01 PM

The National Football Post's Greg Gabriel believes Duke OG Laken Tomlinson "should be a starter by his second year."

Gabriel anticipates Tomlinson getting drafted in the third to fourth round area. "The team that drafts him may want to move him to center. With his girth and power, he can be a force versus the big nose tackles in the league," Gabriel wrote. "He has the smarts and leadership skills to be the leader of the O-Line from the center position." As a four-year starter, Tomlinson never missed a start in his career. "As a player, he is best as a run blocker. He comes off the ball low and has some explosiveness on contact," Gabriel wrote. "He does a good job getting movement with his blocks and has enough athleticism in space to get to the second level. He also does a good job with combo blocks."
Apr 5 - 8:05 PM

Duke OG Laken Tomlinson "should be one of only four Blue Devil alums to play more than 50 games in NFL," predicted CBS Sports' Frank Cooney.

"He appears to be perfectly constructed for an NFL guard with thick hips and a broad upper body that is difficult to neutralize," Cooney wrote. "But he seems a bit robotic at times and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to taking on more athletic defenders in the NFL. He did impress at Senior Bowl workouts showing expected power against bull rush, but surprising lateral quickness in pass protection. Tomlinson will start as soon as he shows he can cope with the speed and athleticism of NFL players." Tomlinson, who intends to enter medical school to become a neurosurgeon, has one heck of a backup plan if the whole football thing doesn't work out. "Concussions in the NFL can lead to depression, especially in high impact positions. Wide receivers and running backs, those guys are prone to more low-impact collisions than anyone else in the game. So the research that's going on right now adds more to the knowledge at hand," future Dr. Tomlinson said.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 2 - 10:51 PM

Duke OG Laken Tomlinson was named as one of the draft's 10 safest prospects by NFL Media.

He checked in at No. 10, but it's interesting that he made the list at all, as Tomlinson was the only one of the 10 who has zero chance of getting popped in Round 1. In fact, he'll probably go somewhere in Round 3. "It's hard to find a bad scouting word about Tomlinson, who really turned heads at the Senior Bowl by holding his own against [Danny] Shelton," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. "He's not considered a high-end first-round draft pick because of the position he plays -- guard simply isn't a premium position. But the senior has every physical tool to play the position and is considered a player of high character, as well." The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder has seen his stock jump over the winter thanks to a strong week at the Senior Bowl, though an NFL scout speaking with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel still believes Tomlinson "needs to work on his technique and balance."
Source: NFL.com
Mar 19 - 10:05 PM

An NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Duke OG Laken Tomlinson "needs to work on his technique and balance."

"He's a big, square, flexible athlete," the scout said. "He's got good movement." The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder has seen his stock jump over the winter thanks to a strong week at the Senior Bowl. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote that Tomlinson's tape indicated a 4th-5th rounder, while his Senior Bowl performance was indicative of a 2nd-3rd rounder. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock compares Tomlinson to Detroit Lions offensive lineman Larry Warford.
Mar 1 - 6:58 PM

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said of Duke OG Laken Tomlinson: "I think he's a really good player."

"This is a big, square, tough guy," Mayock said. "Smart as can be. Has movement in the run game. Surprisingly quick in short areas. I think he really helped himself at the Senior Bowl. I think a lot of the doubters as far as his athleticism and ability to pass block went, 'Ooh, he's blocking some of the best defensive linemen in the country.'" Mayock compares Tomlinson to Detroit Lions offensive lineman Larry Warford. The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder has seen his stock jump over the winter thanks to a strong week at the Senior Bowl. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote that Tomlinson's tape indicated a 4th-5th rounder, while his Senior Bowl performance was indicative of a 2nd-3rd rounder.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 18 - 3:04 PM

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock compared Duke redshirt senior OG Laken Tomlinson to Detroit Lions offensive lineman Larry Warford.

The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder has seen his stock jump over the winter thanks to a strong week at the Senior Bowl. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote that Tomlinson's tape indicated a 4th-5th rounder, while his Senior Bowl performance was indicative of a 2nd-3rd rounder. Tomlinson was "stamped with a fifth-round grade" heading into Senior Bowl week by Scouts Inc., "but he played a lot better than that during [Senior Bowl] practices." TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline also noted that Tomlinson "moved from late-round prospect into the middle frames" after his performance in Mobile.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 16 - 11:01 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Duke redshirt senior OG Laken Tomlinson's Senior Bowl performance says more 2nd-3rd round" grade.

"Duke OG Laken Tomlinson is somewhat of an enigma for me. His film says 4th-5th round. His Senior Bowl performance says more 2nd-3rd round," Brugler tweeted. The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder was "stamped with a fifth-round grade" heading into the week by Scouts Inc., "but he played a lot better than that during [Senior Bowl] practices." Tomlinson "helped himself as much as any prospect at the Senior Bowl," NFL.com's Charles Davis recently wrote. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline also noted that Tomlinson "moved from late-round prospect into the middle frames" after his performance in Mobile.
Feb 3 - 2:30 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that Duke redshirt senior OG Laken Tomlinson "moved from late-round prospect into the middle frames" due to his work at the Senior Bowl.

"Tomlinson has not dominated this week but, at the same time, he's not been beaten and has impressed scouts with disciplined play," Pauline wrote. "Tomlinson blocks with great fundamentals and did not give up an inch to defenders in either drills or scrimmage." The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder was "stamped with a fifth-round grade" heading into the week by Scouts Inc., "but he played a lot better than that during [Senior Bowl] practices." Tomlinson "helped himself as much as any prospect at the Senior Bowl," NFL.com's Charles Davis recently wrote.
Jan 29 - 5:20 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay wrote that he and his Scout Inc. colleagues had Duke redshirt senior OG Laken Tomlinson "stamped with a fifth-round grade coming in, but he played a lot better than that during [Senior Bowl] practices."

"He was the most consistent offensive lineman all week," McShay wrote. "He isn't an elite athlete but he does a good job of staying in balance in pass protection and the run game, and what really stands out is his inline power and powerful punch to drive defenders off the ball on running plays and redirect pass-rushers." The 6-foot-3, 330-pounder anchored a Duke offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the country by percentage this year. Tomlinson "helped himself as much as any prospect at the Senior Bowl," NFL.com's Charles Davis recently wrote. For most of the regular season, he was considered a late-rounder, but perhaps Tomlinson now seems to be in the mid-round conversation.
Jan 27 - 8:07 PM