Virginia Tech offensive tackle Luke Tenuta is a giant among men in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Even by positional standards, he dwarfs some of his peers and almost all of his opponents. After a successful Hokies career, can the imposing offensive tackle translate that to the NFL? Tenuta’s NFL Draft scouting report displays some traits that suggest he can have a role to play on Sundays.
Luke Tenuta NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Virginia Tech
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height: 6’8″
- Weight: 319 pounds
- Wingspan: 79 3/4″
- Arm: 32 7/8″
- Hand: 10 1/8″
Luke Tenuta Scouting Report
Although the Hokies have become synonymous with supplying defensive back talent to the NFL via the draft, there have also been a significant number of offensive line prospects selected from Virginia Tech. Duane Brown was a first-round selection in 2008. Ed Wang, Vinston Painter, and Laurence Gibson were later-round picks before Christian Darrisaw heard his name called on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Darrisaw’s teammate Tenuta hopes to add his name to that list of Virginia Tech offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft. At present, he projects to be a late Day 3 prospect whose size and versatility could see him become a backup tackle at the NFL level. Let’s look at the positive aspects of Tenuta’s scouting report before looking at some areas for improvement.
Size isn’t everything, but it helps. At 6’8″, Tenuta is a Goliath at the offensive tackle position. While that brings its own drawbacks — which we’ll get to later — there are some advantages. The Virginia Tech OT is akin to a roadblock. He’s difficult to get around and hard to get through. An imposing figure, Tenuta plays with a mauler mentality, competitive toughness, and a red-hot motor that ensures he doesn’t stop until the play is dead.
Some surprising athletic ability, strength, and high football IQ
For his size, Tenuta displays some surprising athletic tendencies. You’d expect a man of his stature to be somewhat lumbering in his movement, but he’s a decent athlete relative to his size. The Virginia Tech offensive tackle gets out to the second level ahead of the ball carrier to help extend rushing lanes. Furthermore, the Hokies have had the confidence in his athletic capability to use him as a puller.
When Tenuta gets his hands on his opponent, he showcases impressive grip strength. There were multiple examples on film where he’s able to comfortably manipulate his opponent. Furthermore, there were also some nice examples of the Virginia Tech offensive tackle demonstrating power in his punch and visibly shocking his opponent.
The son of a football coach, it’s clear that Tenuta has been surrounded by football his entire life. He showcases impressive football intelligence, constantly looking for work. Tenuta’s able to recognize twists and stunts, and his ability to read those in a timely manner ensures he can nullify their impact. Furthermore, his experience of playing both left and right tackle — and his apparent equal comfort in doing so — makes Tenuta a versatile NFL Draft prospect.
Areas for improvement
While there are substantial positives on Tenuta’s NFL Draft scouting report, there are also some very real areas for improvement. Additionally, those areas could ensure that it isn’t until late Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft that the Virginia Tech offensive tackle hears his name called.
While Tenuta’s size makes him an imposing prospect to face off against, there are some issues caused because of it. The Virginia Tech OT plays from a high stance and with a high pad level. This causes issues for him, as his opponent can get under his pads and overcome any strength by winning the leverage battle.
As evidenced at the NFL Combine, Tenuta has relatively short arms in comparison to his size. While there’s much debate over NFL requisites for offensive tackle arm lengths, the issue is apparent in studying the Virginia Tech OT. He’s prone to overreaching, leaving him unbalanced and ultimately on the floor.
While Tenuta showcases some surprising athletic ability, there are some lateral issues. He often can’t respond and redirect when faced with speedier edge rushers. Additionally, while he hits his pass-set point, there are some inconsistencies here due to the apparent lack of lateral agility.
Finally, there are some timing issues with Tenuta’s hand placement. This is particularly apparent when he blocks on the move in the ground game. However, his hand placement and timing are also inconsistent in pass protection.
Tenuta’s Player Profile
Hailing from a sporting family, Luke is the son of former Virginia defensive back Jon Tenuta. One brother, Zach, is a high school coach, and another brother, Matt, is a professional baseball player. With sport in the family genes, Luke Tenuta had a standout career as an All-State-level offensive tackle. Furthermore, he tallied 52.5 tackles and 11 tackles for loss as a defensive end.
A three-star recruit, Tenuta was viewed as the 68th offensive tackle in the 2018 recruiting class. Additionally, he was a top-25 player in Virginia. As a result, he attracted offers from 15 schools, including North Carolina, West Virginia, and Cincinnati. Despite family ties to Virginia, the offensive tackle prospect committed to play college football at Virginia Tech.
Tenuta’s career at Virginia Tech
After redshirting his first season in Blacksburg, Tenuta made his debut against Boston College in 2019. Later that season, the Virginia Tech offensive tackle earned his first start against Wake Forest. While playing 13 games, Tenuta earned five starts at right tackle. Meanwhile, he proved disruptive on special teams, blocking a field goal against North Carolina.
Having impressed in 2019, Tenuta became the full-time starter at RT for the Hokies in 2020. Although he missed time against Boston College and North Carolina, he made nine starts at OT for Virginia Tech. Tenuta was a pivotal part of an offensive line that led the ACC with 240.1 yards. Additionally, the offense averaged 5.58 yards per carry.
Tenuta’s NFL Draft ascension
Tenuta rose to NFL Draft prominence during the 2021 college football season. Although he started at right tackle against Richmond, he took over the left tackle spot vacated by teammate Darrisaw’s departure to the NFL. Once again, Virginia Tech was one of the top rushing offenses in the ACC. Tenuta earned an All-ACC honorable mention for his performances.
The Virginia Tech OT also received national attention, earning an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl. Additionally, Tenuta represented the Hokies at the NFL Combine. While in Indianapolis, he recorded a 5.41 40-yard dash, an 8’8″ broad jump, and a 26″ vertical jump. Considered a late Day 3 prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, you can read more about Tenuta’s journey to the NFL Draft in his exclusive sit-down interview with Pro Football Network.