Just four years ago, Stanford offensive tackle Foster Sarell was one of the top recruits in the nation, penciled in as an early-round NFL Draft prospect to watch. Now, heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, there’s minimal buzz surrounding Sarell, and he’s been buried by a strong tackle class. Is Sarell a gem waiting to be unearthed, or has this gem lost its luster?
Foster Sarell NFL Draft Profile
- Height: 6’7″
- Weight: 315 pounds
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Stanford
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
Tony Pauline’s Foster Sarell Scouting Report
Positives: Nice-sized college right tackle with growth potential. Sets with a wide base, works to bend his knees, and fires off the snap into blocks. Explosive at the point, stays square, and turns defenders from the action or seals them with body positioning. Tenacious, stays with blocks, and plays through the whistle. Keeps his feet moving, makes outstanding use of angles and anchors in pass protection. Keeps his head on a swivel and works well with linemates.
Negatives: Doesn’t get much movement run blocking and lacks finishing strength. Must polish his footwork sliding off the edge. Not quick out to the second level and gets off-balance blocking in motion.
Analysis: Sarell was a solid starter for two years at Stanford, and he’s an athletic right tackle prospect with a large upside. He must fill out his lanky frame, improve his playing strength and give attention to detail, but Sarell is a solid developmental prospect who should get practice-squad consideration.
Foster Sarell Player Profile
If one were to grade an offensive tackle duo by sheer recruiting prestige, one could argue that the Stanford Cardinal had one of the best tackle duos in the nation when Walker Little and Foster Sarell were both on the field. Unfortunately for Stanford, that wasn’t often.
Nevertheless, they successfully brought in top-tier talent on their line, and Sarell was one of their best gets on the recruiting trail.
Sarell was a five-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class. Sarell was the fourth-ranked offensive tackle on ESPN’s recruiting board, behind Trey Smith, Isaiah Wilson, and Alex Leatherwood. He was also the 14th-ranked recruit in the entire class, above eventual first-round picks Andrew Thomas and Austin Jackson.
Sarell, who stood at a hulking 6-foot-7, 311 pounds, had offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC. And yet, David Shaw drew him to Stanford with Walker Little. There, they hoped to forge a dominant blocking unit.
Foster Sarell’s career as a Stanford offensive tackle
Sarell and Little immediately took on sizable roles for the Stanford offense after joining the Cardinal in 2017. Little was a near-immediate starter at left tackle and took home all-freshman honors for his play. Sarell, meanwhile, was a key depth player, seeing action in all 14 games for the Cardinal.
Sarell entered the starting lineup in 2018, serving as the right tackle opposite Little. However, just two games into the season, Sarell suffered a major knee injury. He would ultimately return to play one more game in December, but he was eligible for a medical redshirt after playing only three games.
In 2019, onlookers hoped to see the famed Stanford offensive tackle duo in action together. This time, however, Little suffered a season-ending injury after one game.
Little would go on to opt-out in 2020, and so Sarell closed out his college career without his 2017 recruiting class compatriot. He earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention recognition in 2019 and started all six games in 2020. Then, Sarell announced his intentions to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Foster Sarell’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
It’s easy to look at Sarell’s size and pedigree and label him as a potential steal. Unfortunately, however, Sarell doesn’t offer an excess of redeeming qualities on tape.
He’s not necessarily a bad functional athlete, but Sarell is somewhat limited laterally. His main trait appears to be his size, and while he appears to have the potential to exert more power, he doesn’t play powerfully. That’s a bit of a red flag for an offensive lineman.
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Sarell’s showing at Stanford’s Pro Day didn’t particularly help his stock, either. The Stanford offensive tackle did lead his team with 26 bench reps. However, he logged the team’s worst agility measures and came in with a lackluster 97-inch broad jump. Additionally, Sarell came in slow in the 40-yard dash, averaging a 5.47 on two attempts.
Sarell’s testing numbers more or less align with his tape. He looks the part with his size and length, but the actionable upside is less defined.
Where does Sarell fit in a deep tackle class?
Unfortunately for Foster Sarell, he’ll likely profile as a late-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has the size to warrant a team using a late-round flyer on him, but the tackle class is too strong up top for a less imposing player like Sarell to go early.
If there’s a silver lining for Sarell, it’s that late-round picks tend to have more options in regards to fit. Sarell won’t be picked for his schematic prowess so much as he will be for his untapped potential.
A team may view him as moldable clay. He’s not a particularly inspiring athlete, but if he can play more proactively with his length, he could have a future as solid depth in more power-proficient schemes.
Still, Sarell has work to do if he wants to live up to his five-star billing. He doesn’t have the tangible upside that Walker Little has, and his lack of development over four years, as well as his serious injury in 2018, may be added notches on his record. Nevertheless, in the later rounds, where the consequences of poor selections are reduced, Sarell could be a low-risk investment for teams looking to add size and depth.
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