The Ole Miss pipeline to the NFL has had a distinctly offensive flavor to it in recent years. That trend should continue in the 2022 NFL Draft, with offensive tackle Nick Broeker expected to be one of the program’s top prospects next spring. Can Broeker emulate former Rebels’ first-rounders like Laremy Tunsil and Michael Oher, or does his scouting report require us to exercise caution and temper expectation?
Nick Broeker NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Ole Miss
- Current Year: Junior
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 305 pounds
Nick Broeker Scouting Report
As a former multi-position football player and multi-sport high school athlete, let’s start Broeker’s scouting report with his athletic profile. The Ole Miss OT is an excellent athlete. He demonstrates impressive play speed, good change of direction ability, and quick footwork that is far better than you’d expect for a man of his size.
This is apparent from his high school athletic testing. Broeker reportedly ran a 4.9 40-yard dash and a 4.66 shuttle drill as a high school prospect in Illinois. When you consider that the “average” offensive lineman in the NFL runs a 5.21 40-yard time and a 4.75 shuttle, it shows the sort of athlete we’re dealing with in the Ole Miss offensive tackle.
Of course, that is all for naught if it doesn’t translate to the field, but in Broeker’s case, it does. The Ole Miss OT routinely gets out to the second level rapidly. Furthermore, he executes pulling plays with impressive speed, getting to his man on time to prevent a hit on the ball carrier or quarterback.
His athletic ability aids him in pass protection. Broeker has the athleticism to mirror counter moves and uses that ability to effectively recover when he initially gets beat. The Ole Miss OT appears to have a strong lower body which also helps him have a solid anchor even if the initial contact beats him.
Areas for improvement
While Broeker’s athletic profile far surpasses the offensive tackle archetype, his size does not. Although he was listed at 6’6″ by some outlets coming out of high school, Ole Miss lists him at 6’4″ and 305 pounds. Now, size isn’t everything, but the Ole Miss OT doesn’t appear to have the functional length of an elite tackle prospect either.
This causes him issues in multiple ways. Firstly, he is prone to over-extending, which in turn leads to him losing balance. As a result, he is susceptible to various pass-rush moves. Secondly, his size causes issues from a power perspective. The Ole Miss OT doesn’t routinely shock the opposition with his initial punch. Furthermore, he is often impacted by initial contact requiring recovery more often than not.
If Broeker is to elevate his NFL Draft stock, he will need to showcase more consistent hand usage. There are times when his handwork is impressive. Despite this, there are other times where his timing and positioning put him at a disadvantage.
At this point in his scouting report — it’s important to point out he has another year for development — Broeker is a better run blocker than pass protector. Combined with his size issues, this skill set could lead to him being viewed as a guard at the next level. The Ole Miss OT is an intriguing prospect with athletic upside. However, a Day 2/early Day 3 projection is more likely than a Day 1 selection.
Broeker’s Player Profile
From Springfield, Illinois, with a destination still to be determined, Broeker has forged an impressive path to the 2022 NFL Draft. His athletic prowess first piqued interest with his basketball performances. A four-year letter winner at Sacred Heart-Griffen High School, the future football star earned first-team All-Metro honors in addition to an All-Conference honorable mention in both 2017 and 2018.
Despite earning a place on the football team one year after his debut on the hardwood, it was clear where Broeker’s future would lay. With athletic ability beyond his stupendous size, he lined up all over the field. In addition to being a three-star offensive tackle, he caught passes as a tight end.
Furthermore, Broeker held up on the defensive side of the ball. Over his first two seasons, Broeker helped the team to a state runner-up spot while earning All-Conference and All-Metro recognition.
Naturally, his performances caught the attention of college football recruiters. Even though he was only the 35th-ranked offensive tackle in the 2019 class, he tallied almost 20 offers by the end of his senior season.
However, his college football future was already decided before that 2018 season even began. Broeker committed to Ole Miss in June, and even despite an offer from Ohio State during a season that earned him an All-State position, he never wavered from that commitment.
Broeker’s career at Ole Miss
With Greg Little departed to the NFL Draft, Broeker had the opportunity to make an immediate impact for the Rebels. Although he was never designated as a starter during his true freshman campaign, Broeker logged 474 snaps at left tackle following his debut in the season opener against Memphis.
Broeker’s ability to upgrade the offensive line was first apparent in the Week 2 clash against Arkansas. As Ole Miss cruised to a 31-17 win, their young OT was on the field for all 4 touchdown drives. As he progressed through his debut season, Broeker was credited with not allowing a single sack in 10 different games. Moreover, he allowed just 1 sack in 213 pass-block snaps.
In his first college campaign, the Ole Miss OT was so impressive that he earned True Freshman All-American merits from 247 Sports.
Broeker shines as a starter in his sophomore season
With a change of head coach, Broeker earned the full-time starter position at left tackle. The athletic sophomore played every snap in the opener against Florida as the Rebels’ offense set new standards for the program. Their 600+ all-purpose yards, including 400+ passing yards, were the most in-conference yardage since 1969.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Broeker and the rest of the offensive line would help set monumental milestones for the Ole Miss offense. Broeker was a vital component of a unit that racked up an SEC program-record 647 yards against Alabama. Just three weeks later, they smashed through that record against Vanderbilt with a 708-yard performance in a 54-21 victory.
Following his sophomore year, Broeker earned fourth-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele. As a result, the Ole Miss OT heads into the upcoming college football season with the expectation of being one of the best prospects at the position.