The Buckeyes have a long history of production on the NFL Draft circuit. The NFL is littered with Ohio State linemen. Can Ohio State OG Thayer Munford join that group with his updated 2022 NFL Draft scouting report? What does he bring to the table, and what does he need to improve?
Thayer Munford NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Offensive Guard
- School: Ohio State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’6″
- Weight: 320 pounds
Thayer Munford Scouting Report
Few offensive linemen amassed the sheer experience that Munford was able to gain at the collegiate level. He started from 2018 to 2020 as a tackle and manned the left guard spot for the Buckeyes during the 2021 campaign. All in all, he was a four-year starter at a prestigious football program.
Munford could have entered the 2021 NFL Draft as a true senior, but the Ohio State OG returned to school for another year. It was a surprising move, given that Munford — a Senior Bowl invite — could have commanded middle-round interest. But Munford wanted to close out his college career and boost his stock with one final year. Did he do that?
Munford’s athletic profile
Right away, Munford stands out. Standing at 6’6″, 320 pounds, he’s a massive human being with a wide reach. That elite size is a big part of what makes his game so intriguing. With his wide reach and sturdy frame, Munford can be hard to move.
Beyond size alone, however, his gigantic measurables allow for effective operation. The Ohio State product has an elite wingspan that carries a great deal of natural strength and leverage. His length can be a great conduit for power in multiple phases. It can drive up the power of his punches as a pass blocker. Meanwhile, in the running game, Munford can use his length to anchor and direct players across the field.
Munford has the strength to punish rushers who sacrifice their balance by trying to bend and sink under his frame. Moreover, he flashes at least functional recovery athleticism for his size. The Ohio State OG likely won’t test as an elite athlete, but he has enough mobility to get by on the interior. And in a phone booth, his physical profile is imposing.
Execution beyond the physical traits
Munford’s size alone presents a challenge for defensive linemen, but the Buckeye has much more utility beyond that. As you might expect from a four-year starter, he has an impressive amount of refinement in his game coming out of college.
Munford’s hands are prevalent in his game. While he can further refine his usage, his hands are calculated in pass protection. He hones in and counters rush moves, and he can react quickly to moves that stack on top of one another. While they may not always be overly powerful, his hands have solid pace. Meanwhile, Munford’s hands and feet work well together — that synergy keeps him balanced.
Going further, the Ohio State OG has strong footwork when encountering pressure. He keeps a wide base and keeps his feet active when awaiting the rush. When imbalanced, he can stay upright and recover. He also flashes decent knee bend and torso flexibility.
Among other things, Munford has an active help mentality on the interior. He keeps his eyes up, stays alert, and triggers when he sees breaching rushers. Furthermore, he has the versatility to play tackle and guard — something NFL teams will value.
Areas for improvement
While Munford is a relatively refined prospect, he does have room for improvement. Further refinement is still a need, and his overall athleticism does raise a few questions.
Starting with his physical limitations, Munford shows stiffness as a lateral mover at times. He doesn’t always have the mobility to acquire the right angles as a run blocker in space. He also doesn’t have great change-of-direction ability when he needs to divert course. The Ohio State OG can get beat initially by more explosive defenders, and his offensive punches don’t always strike cleanly, minimizing the power generated. He also lacks elite natural power, which further dilutes his punches.
Munford can better place his anchors at times. His grip strength doesn’t stand out as elite, as he doesn’t always latch on with his punches. His anchors are susceptible to rip moves. He can lose his balance against opposing power and by reaching before properly positioned. A tall player like Munford can’t play past his center of gravity, and his pads can be too high at times.
Finally, Munford sometimes leaves his torso open, making him vulnerable to bull rushes. That opposing power, when properly channeled, can easily knock him off-balance. There are times when he can attain greater synergy as well.
Munford’s NFL Draft scouting report overview
After scouting both Munford and teammate Nicholas Petit-Frere, it’s clear that Petit-Frere is a better NFL prospect. Munford has experience at tackle and guard, which will help give him some appeal at the next level. With that versatility, he can be a valuable depth lineman right away. However, that may end up being his ceiling.
Munford is a tall blocker with good length and reach. He can also deliver solid power with forceful extensions, and he has a fairly solid sense of timing with those extensions. That said, Munford has a few physical limitations that may hold him back from ever becoming a full-time starter.
Being 6’6″ with average knee bend, Munford struggles to lower his pad level at times, which has a cascade effect on other parts of his game. He loses his balance easily on the move and doesn’t play past his center of gravity well. He’s stiff laterally, struggles to drive momentum into blocks, and can let linemen get under his pads. When his torso is exposed, the DL can easily drive him back as well.
Munford can be a good depth player with experience at multiple positions, and he generally keeps a solid base. He also has a working understanding of how to use his hands, even if he can’t maintain anchors consistently. With more time to refine his game, he can stick around as a quality backup. But he’s not an elite athlete, and his stiffness and pad level may impede his growth in the pros. If you keep him in a phone booth, you can get a quality player, maybe a solid spot-starter. But he’s not incredibly scheme-versatile.
Munford’s Player Profile
There’s a certain level you have to reach as a prospect before you’re pursued by the Ohio State Buckeyes. Munford exceeded that threshold in 2017 when he was a highly regarded four-star recruit out of La Salle High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Munford was already a massive human being, standing at around 6’6″, 343 pounds. He also had decent early testing numbers for his size — among them a 5.54 40-yard dash and a 24-inch vertical. Munford fielded offers from Alabama, Iowa State, Kentucky, Penn State, and Cincinnati. But with Ohio State, Munford had a high-level in-state developmental opportunity — he couldn’t pass that up.
Munford’s career at Ohio State and NFL Draft ascension
At Ohio State, Munford got the chance to learn from renowned offensive line coach Greg Studrawa. It wasn’t long before Studrawa’s teachings started to catch on. Munford suited up as a true freshman, playing 202 snaps on offense for the Buckeyes. That preview was enough for coaches to give him an extended role in 2018.
Munford entered the starting lineup in 2018. As it turns out, he hasn’t relinquished his starting job three years later. Through grueling Big Ten play, the College Football Playoff, and national championship runs, Munford remained Ohio State’s rock at left tackle. He’s played in 45 of 50 potential games over the course of his career, and he’s started 33 games since 2018.
2021 presented a change for Ohio State’s rock, however. Regarded as one of the best offensive tackles in the country after keeping the blindside clean for both Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields, Munford suddenly slid inside to left guard, while the highly touted Petit-Frere made the move from right tackle to left tackle.
Munford wasn’t able to elevate his stock at guard, but that could be where he fits best at the NFL level. And either way, his positional versatility gives him early appeal as a depth lineman. He should command interest on Day 3 and could potentially exceed his billing if he can minimize some athletic concerns with continued refinement.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report on Thayer Munford
Positives: Massive offensive lineman who needs space to work. Fires off the snap into blocks, stays square, and plays with good lean. Keeps his feet moving, keeps his hands active, and jolts defenders with an explosive punch. Strong and easily turns defenders from the action to open running lanes. Keeps his head on a swivel, works well with linemates, and always looks for someone to hit. Patient, engulfs defenders, and easily seals them from the action.
Negatives: Struggles to adjust. Lacks quick and fluid footwork in space. Ineffective blocking in motion.
Analysis: Munford was a terrific right tackle at Ohio State before being pushed into guard this season, where he struggled. He’s a big-bodied lineman with a terrific head for the game, though he lacks agility. Munford would do well as a right tackle in a power gap system, and if properly coached, he can start at the next level.
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