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Dare Rosenthal, Kentucky OT | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Once a highly regarded recruit, has Kentucky OT Dare Rosenthal improved his scouting report enough to be an early-round NFL Draft pick?

Even with a longer positional shelf life, starting assignments for offensive linemen can fluctuate from year to year. The constant tug-of-war with defensive line talent makes any line job somewhat volatile. And with more and more athletic edge rushers entering the scene, matching them is becoming a top priority. With his NFL Draft scouting report, can Kentucky OT Dare Rosenthal fill this need for teams?

Dare Rosenthal NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • School: Kentucky
  • Current Year: Redshirt junior
  • Height: 6’7″
  • Weight: 327 pounds

Dare Rosenthal Scouting Report

For the past several cycles, finding tools in the offensive tackle group has never been a problem. Athleticism is becoming easier to come by at the college level, but athleticism alone doesn’t make an NFL player. It’s certainly desired, and it may even be a must in the modern NFL. But there’s more to the puzzle than traits alone.

Still, athleticism is an unteachable quality. Strength and conditioning programs can help players maximize their athletic traits, but some players are simply born with more natural talent. Rosenthal is clearly one of those players. Just how does his athleticism help him on the field, and what does he need to do to supplement it further?

Dare Rosenthal’s athletic profile

It’s impressive that Rosenthal is on the same team as Darian Kinnard and might be the most athletic of the two tackles. Rosenthal is taller than Kinnard, but a little lighter, listed at 6’7″, 327 pounds. That’s still a very strong size profile, and Rosenthal wears that weight well. He has a dense, athletic frame, and he has the capacity to absorb power with that frame.

Rosenthal’s physical upside shows up in multiple phases on tape. The Kentucky OT has impressive explosiveness off the line in the running game, and he can leverage that explosiveness into power. He gets up out of his stance well and can veer into open space with relative ease. For his size, he’s surprisingly nimble and light on his feet. He can improve his efficiency of motion at times, but the mobility is clearly there.

Going further, Rosenthal has enough lateral mobility to mirror rushers around the edge. He also flashes nice recovery athleticism and change-of-direction ability for his size in short areas. He rolls his hips nicely through blocks and has the athleticism to recover and direct opponents outside the pocket.

On top of his athleticism, Rosenthal also has visible length and play strength. He stores a great deal of natural power within his frame, but he can also channel additional power from his ability to generate momentum.

Execution beyond the physical traits

Most of the appeal with Rosenthal rests in his physical upside, but the Kentucky OT has some executional promise as well. As alluded to earlier, Rosenthal has the capacity for powerful extensions with his length. When he’s on his game, he can freeze players with violent punches. He can also latch and transfer power with impressive quickness, generating impressive upper body torque on the attack.

Rosenthal rarely gets purely overpowered by players, and when he times and places his hands correctly, he can generate a ton of force on his blocks. He can get low and wide in his base and pull additional power up from his lower body. When he strikes and latches, he flashes strong grip strength and anchor. He’s also shown he can reset his anchor mid-rep and drive players to the second level.

Rosenthal isn’t perfect here, but he has shown to be somewhat malleable and adaptable on reps. He can bury defensive linemen who sacrifice balance trying to work under him. He can also redirect momentum from opponents and steer them away from plays. It helps that Rosenthal bends at the knees fairly well, and he doesn’t bend at the waist much. He also flashes good torso flexibility, and his base provides a fairly stable foundation.

Finally, Rosenthal shows promising glimpses of awareness as well. He can peel off initial blocks and seal away backside rushers, displaying a feel for his surroundings.

Areas for improvement

The athletic upside, combined with the operational flashes, easily generates some excitement for Rosenthal. But in many respects, those flashes have yet to translate to down-to-down consistency. That’s where Rosenthal can still improve.

Rosenthal is a good mover, but he can be more efficient at times. He has some wasted movement at the start of reps, which can affect his balance and leverage. His footwork can be a little choppy and staggered at times. He’s not a stiff athlete, but his technique can be more streamlined. He can also overshoot angles and whiff on second-level blocks.

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Another issue with Rosenthal is pad level. While he has good knee bend, he can play too tall in pass protection. His hand placement is inconsistent at times, and his pad level plays a hand in that. His tall playing tendency can impede his ability to control and drive opponents. Additionally, he sometimes extends too early, opening his torso and exposing himself to power.

Overall, Rosenthal can still refine his timing, hand placement, and positioning. He can also do a better job mixing violence and precision with his extensions. Technical rushers can exploit his lack of refinement. Additionally, while solid, Rosenthal’s grip strength can be more consistent. He can also be more controlled at times when matching.

Dare Rosenthal’s 2022 NFL Draft scouting report overview

Rosenthal is a high-upside offensive tackle prospect. That much is clear. The Kentucky OT is a stellar athlete with great explosiveness, lateral mobility, and smoothness in his hips. And he compounds that athleticism with excellent natural power and length. Rosenthal’s upside is immense, but the redshirt junior is still a work in progress with his consistency.

There are flashes of excellent execution from Rosenthal. He can channel power from his extensions. He can attack defenders with violence and drive them away from plays. And he can match players around the edge in pass protection and leverage extensions into strong anchors. For Rosenthal, further refinement is what he needs. The timing and placement can improve. He can be more controlled and composed. But the tools are there.

It’s encouraging that Rosenthal seems to have grown and developed a bit since his time at LSU. He’s trending up, and he has the athletic upside to be an NFL starter. Day 2 is very much in the realm of possibility. And from there, Rosenthal could be groomed into a formidable NFL left tackle.

Rosenthal’s Player Profile

Players on the offensive line come in many different shapes and sizes at the high school and college ranks. The biggest, most athletic players are consistently coveted by only the best schools. It’s simple supply and demand, and Rosenthal was in high demand in the 2018 recruiting class.

A four-star recruit and a top-30 positional prospect, Rosenthal drew interest from Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Florida. And at his size, with his 5.15 40-yard dash and 29.6-inch vertical, it was easy to see why Rosenthal was so coveted. He could have been on a roster with 2021 NFL Draft pick Alex Leatherwood and Evan Neal, but he instead chose to stay in-state and signed with LSU.

Rosenthal came to Baton Rouge brimming with upside, but he never reached his ceiling with the Tigers. He redshirted in 2018, then played just five games with three starts in 2019. The departure of Saahdiq Charles opened a door for Rosenthal in 2020, but that door quickly shut when off-field issues stymied his progress. Rosenthal was suspended five games for an unspecified violation of school policy, then transferred to Kentucky in the 2021 offseason.

Rosenthal’s career at Kentucky and NFL Draft ascension

Rosenthal chose Kentucky as his next school to better himself on and off the field. He’ll need to prove to teams that he’s accomplished the latter in offseason interviews. But on the field, he’s given the Wildcats everything they could have asked for and then some.

Heading into the closing weeks of the 2021 season, Rosenthal has played in every game for the Wildcats, and he’s been a reliable starter opposite Kinnard. For the first time in his collegiate career, Rosenthal has held down a starting job. He’s shown progression from a refinement standpoint, and through that progression, his athletic traits are starting to shine even more.

There’s still work to be done for Rosenthal, and that work won’t be done by year’s end. But there’s enough potential for him to be worth an early-round pick. His athletic testing should help him out quite a bit. If he passes character checks, he has the talent to be a top-50 pick.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.

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