While most 2021 NFL Draft prospects have been training, Illinois State offensive tackle Drew Himmelman has been adding more experience to his résumé in the 2021 FCS spring season. Can the gargantuan lineman hear his name called in Cleveland as one of the best FCS prospects available in this class?
Drew Himmelman NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Illinois State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’9″
- Weight: 320 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Drew Himmelman Scouting Report
Positives: Massive right-tackle prospect who is best in a small area. Sets with a wide base, bends his knees, and blocks with patience. Stays square, quickly gets into blocks, and plays with a nasty attitude. Explosive, strong, and gets movement run blocking. Keeps his feet moving, keeps his head on a swivel, and works well with linemates.
Negatives: Played left tackle for Illinois State but is better off on the right side. Lacks blocking balance and is on the ground too much. Lacks footwork off the edge.
Analysis: Himmelman is a size prospect with growth potential who plays to his measurables. He’s a developmental prospect at right tackle and could make a depth chart next fall.
Drew Himmelman Player Profile
Standing at 6’8″ even at high school, Himmelman was a man amongst boys in multiple sports for Geneseo High School. Naturally, his lanky frame meant he was successful on the basketball court, but he was also an accomplished baseball player. However, he excelled on the football field as a defensive end and tight end.
A two-year starter, he rose to prominence as a senior. As a defensive end, he amassed 55 tackles, 9 sacks, and 12 tackles for loss. Meanwhile, he proved proficient as a pass catcher, snagging 17 receptions for 356 yards and 6 touchdowns. Himmelman helped Geneseo to a 12-1 record and a semifinal run in the IHSA Class 5A playoffs.
Despite earning an All-State honorable mention in his final season, he went unranked by the major recruiting sites. For a while, he contemplated walking on at Iowa. Consequently, he opted to accept his only scholarship offer and became an Illinois State Redbird.
Himmelman’s college football career at Illinois State
Coming out of Geneseo at 270 pounds, Himmelman redshirted in 2016 as he made the physical and technical changes required to transition from high school defensive end to college offensive tackle. Despite missing two games in 2017, he became a fixture at left tackle, paving the way for future Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson to the second-most rushing touchdowns in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Earning Freshman All-American honors in 2017, Himmelman became one of the most consistent tackles in the FCS over the next two seasons. He earned first-team FCS All-American recognition in consecutive seasons. During the 2018 season, he was named the MVC Offensive Lineman of the Week after helping pave the way for 409 rushing yards against Southern Illinois. Furthermore, he twice won that award in his redshirt junior season.
Making 26 starts between 2018 and 2019, the Illinois State offensive tackle opened up running lanes for Robinson, who amassed over 3,000 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on his way to the NFL.
While several FCS prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft opted out due to the uncertainty and subsequent postponement of the season until the spring, Himmelman returned to play offensive tackle for Illinois State. He added another four games of experience to his résumé before the Redbirds opted out of the rest of the season. With his redshirt-senior season over, Himmelman declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Drew Himmelman’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Despite playing exclusively left tackle for Illinois State, Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Draft Analyst Tony Pauline projects Himmelman as a developmental right tackle prospect. His size obviously makes it difficult for edge rushers to get around him. Despite concerns about his arm length prior to this process, he measured in over the 33-inch threshold that has become the accepted requisite length in scouting circles.
Given that he has only played the position for three full seasons, don’t expect him to see him on a Sunday anytime soon. However, a team may take a chance on him late in the draft or as an undrafted free agent, seeking to develop him over the next two to three years.
There are multiple teams with a need at the position. Given his impact on the ground game during his time as the offensive tackle for Illinois State, the Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, and Baltimore Ravens could prove interesting landing spots.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.