Early on, the 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackle class has already been lamented for its lack of top-end talent and clarity. With his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report, can Florida State OT Robert Scott Jr. be the one to help elevate the class and give teams another option in the early rounds? Let’s take a closer look.
Robert Scott Jr. NFL draft profile
There’s so much competition in college football and such a scarcity of top-level recruiting talent that teams have to know how to find diamonds in the rough. This is what scouting and recruiting staffs are for, and the Florida State Seminoles might have found a gem in Scott.
Scott was a three-star recruit in the 2020 class, coming from Conway High School in Arkansas. He was a top recruit in his home state, but nationwide, his prestige carried less weight. Still, Scott was identified as a potential high-upside claim by SEC schools like Ole Miss, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi State.
In the end, however, Scott chose none of them. He instead decided to join the Florida State Seminoles in Mike Norvell’s inaugural recruiting class at the program. Since that crucial decision, Scott has found a home for himself in Tallahassee. As a true freshman in 2020, he started seven games at right tackle. And in 2021, he reprised his starting role, this time playing at left tackle in six games and RT in five.
At this point, with almost 20 starts under his belt in two seasons, Scott is very much on the NFL draft radar. The tougher task is determining where he fits on a confounding 2023 NFL Draft OT landscape. Thus, let’s take a look at where Scott stands and where he needs to improve.
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Florida State
- Current Year: Junior
- Height/Weight: 6’5″, 315 pounds
Robert Scott Jr. scouting report
Practicing against Jermaine Johnson II undoubtedly helped Scott work on his craft in 2021. But there’s still much more work for Scott if he wants to enter the early-round range in the 2023 NFL Draft. What kind of upside does Scott offer, and what does he need to do to reach his maximum potential?
At 6’5″, 315 pounds, Scott has a long, imposing frame with good mass. He’s also a solid athlete within that frame. Scott has good straight-line burst off the line and can generate initial momentum into contact. Furthermore, the Florida State OT brings decent range as a pulling blocker. When he has a runway, he can cover lots of ground and carry his acceleration upfield.
Expanding on Scott’s athleticism, the Florida State OT is a fairly twitched-up athlete for his size. He offers good energy in his movement and flashes impressive short-area athleticism and change-of-direction ability. He also shows glimpses of good lateral burst and mobility when adjusting to carry defenders upfield.
Scott’s floor as a functional athlete is supplemented by his stellar length. His length naturally grants him excellent power capacity at the contact point, and full extensions can rock defenders and freeze them in their spot. Scott also flashes great leg drive when he has proper leverage. He can channel power through his hips to his arms and forklift defenders off the line. Moreover, Scott can quickly load up and exert power through successive extensions.
Scott can show more consistent strength in some areas, but he undoubtedly has a strong base, which he can use to absorb power rushes and hold his ground. Additionally, he can extend and latch onto his opponent’s frame, then maintain his anchor amidst stress. The Florida State OT can clamp down on shoulder pads and gather rushes in stride.
While leverage and flexibility are both areas of concern for Scott, the Florida State OT has a degree of knee bend capacity. He simply needs to channel it more consistently. Scott does display flashes of proper leveraging. He can bend his knees, square up, and maintain his center of gravity through reps. He’s also shown he can match rushers laterally and flip his hips as rushers reach the apex. He’s flexible enough to undergo 90-degree transitions without much strain.
With his handwork, Scott is able to quickly replace his anchor with violent extensions while staying in phase. He can use his length in tandem with his feet to get a lever on defenders and create separation. Going further, Scott can get a lever with his off-hand, then extend and push rushers outside with good rotation. He’s exhibited violent extensions inside the torso to blast defenders back.
Scott’s length serves as an asset for his hand usage, but his footwork also shows promise at times. The Florida State OT can tempo his footwork and adjust his pace to match rushers around the edge. Furthermore, he improved at varying cadence to supplement movement as the year progressed. Scott has fast, active feet and has flashed the ability to transfer weight efficiently, as well as keep a wide base through reps.
Elsewhere, Scott has shown he can process stunts while tracking back and can naturally gather rushers who loop into his wheelhouse. He flashes adaptability, and with his length and power, he can finish smaller defenders into the turf. He doesn’t have an overwhelming physical element, but he can capitalize when defenders sacrifice leverage. Scott also seeks out contact as a help blocker in pass protection.
Scott’s areas for improvement
Scott’s frame, while long, does come with disadvantages. He’s a high-hipped player who appears a bit lean in his upper body. As an athlete, he doesn’t accelerate incredibly quickly out of transitions, and he doesn’t have great recovery athleticism. He has room to further maximize his mobility by fixing technical inconsistencies.
While Scott has a strong physical foundation, he lacks elite upper-body torque and knock-back power in his hands. Moreover, he lacks elite play strength. He can’t always latch and drive through defenders when extended, and extensions sometimes slide off opponents. Scott can be too easily worked off his spot, and once he’s forced backward, defenders can peek and pry around him.
With his high-hipped frame, Scott sometimes bends at the waist. Consequently, he leans and lurches too often and can be easily tugged off-balance. He plays too upright on the move and isn’t always able to drive through blocks with proper leverage. Additionally, he has a tendency to pop up too upright at contact, which prevents him from sustaining blocks. Scott gets worked upright out of his stance, a flaw that can be easy to exploit. He needs to better bend his knees to play more controlled.
While Scott has some flexibility, his hips lock up at times when he needs to turn and seal off rushers outside the apex. Scott can’t always flip around to match rushers while maintaining his speed, and he experiences a delay when transitioning occasionally. Furthermore, Scott is consistently late to flip his hips when rushers start an outside track. Poor timing and reaction quickness only exacerbate his flexibility issues.
Operationally, Scott is still a work in progress. His initial extensions can be cleaner and better placed, and he can struggle to recover from initial losses. The Florida State OT sometimes leaves his hands too wide while extending, leaving his torso open to opposing power. Scott struggles with upper/lower synergy at times. He doesn’t always time extensions with his base and can lock out his arms too early. He needs to employ more independent hand usage, and his extensions can be more consistently forceful.
Although Scott has good foot speed, his footwork can be choppy. His feet can be more controlled and efficient, as he sometimes plays himself out of position with frantic footwork. Moreover, he can get more depth on his kick and be more efficient out of his stance. He has a slight false step with his front foot, which can undermine his kick and limit the amount of ground he covers.
Among other things, Scott’s technique gets sloppy when he’s caught between stunting defenders. He’s sometimes late to recognize and react to delayed stunts and can be more aware of looping threats. He also overshoots blocks in space at times and can have trouble correcting his pursuit angles.
Current draft projection for Florida State OT Robert Scott Jr.
Scott has gained steam as a developmental tackle prospect in the early stages of the 2023 NFL Draft. Right now, developmental is a good label for him. If the draft were today, he’d be a safe bet to be selected. But until he can iron out some pressing issues, he grades in the mid-to-late Day 3 range.
Scott’s preseason grade comes with a caveat, of course. The Florida State OT is just a true junior and coming off his first season as a full-time starter at left tackle. He’s still a young player climbing up his developmental track, so no one should expect a finished product at this point. That said, stagnation isn’t an option for Scott in 2022 if he wants to earn interest in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle.
While Scott has good athleticism, power capacity, length, and strength, his overall physical profile isn’t at the elite level to command interest with glaring technical flaws present. And on the operational side, he needs to become much more controlled with his footwork, more refined with his hands, and better leveraged, as these issues prevent him from winning reps consistently.
Nevertheless, Scott has an appealing max projection and extensive experience at both left and right tackle. At the very least, he’s a solid NFL swing tackle with potential starting upside at his ceiling. Right now, Day 3 is the best range for him, but he can play himself up the board with more improvement.