The NFL Combine Position Drills: Offensive Lineman/Tackle

In a football scoreboards feature, I have taken a look at the offensive lineman/tackle position in the NFL combine. If you are an offensive lineman and you want to make a lot of money in the NFL, then the best way to do that is to protect your quarterback like he was your mother, especially at the premier position of left tackle. In order to achieve this goal, your first step must be to ace the offensive lineman drill called the “kick slide” drill at the combine and impress the team representatives into drafting you.

The drill is the basic movement for an offensive tackle, especially in pass protection. What happens in the drill is that the team representatives want to see you execute the kick slide in 2 separate stances. Which is why, an offensive lineman gets two shots at the drill. The first shot is the 2 point stance, which is relatively easier to execute, and then the second is the three point stance (for which you have to get down). In both the shots you have to do the same thing, which is to open up at a 45 degree angle and kick slide (just like you would with the defender across from you) to protect your quarterback. It is the basic pass protection maneuver for every tackle in the NFL.

What is the Kick Slide Drill?
The drill is set up as if you have a lineman across from you and there is a cone/bag about 12 yards back at an angle, which is representing your quarterback whom you have to protect. What you need to do is open up when the play starts and as that lineman comes at you, you start your kick slide at the 45 degree angle punching the defender away from your quarterback. When you punch the defender away make sure that your waist is not bent nor are you standing up high. The coaches are looking for natural benders, who can drop their hips and bend their knees while they are sliding to protect their quarterback. Therefore, you need to be punching the defender while keeping your hands underneath him and when the defender gets even (is level with you) you turn with your inside arm, grab him and push him by your quarterback i.e. running him by the dummy cone/bag at 12 yards.

What Are the Football Scoreboards Team Representatives Looking for?
What this drill highlights is the ability for an offensive tackle to get out of his stance on a 45 degree angle, keeping complete balance, with his back neither too high nor bent too low. Remember, for the best outcome you must drop your hips, punch and slide. When he gets in line with you, drive the arm which is underneath him up on him, and run him past your quarterback.

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