Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma | NFL Draft Scouting Report

The 2022 season was a redemptive year for Oklahoma OT Wanya Morris, who drastically improved his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report as the Sooners’ right tackle. He’s always had massive upside, but now, we’re seeing Morris take major steps toward realizing it for the first time.

Wanya Morris NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Offensive Tackle
  • School: Oklahoma
  • Current Year: Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’6″, 310 pounds

A select few offensive line recruits each year are tabbed not just as future NFL draft picks, but potential first-round picks in waiting. It takes a rare degree of natural talent to be identified that early, and it’s the kind of talent Morris brought to the fold in 2019.

Morris was a five-star tackle recruit in his class, among other NFL talents like Evan Neal, Kenyon Green, and fellow 2023 NFL Draft prospect Darnell Wright. Morris committed to Tennessee along with Wright and started 12 games at left tackle as a true freshman, while Wright shifted between right tackle and guard.

Morris earned SEC All-Freshman honors for his play in his first season, and for a moment, it looked like he could be trending toward a three-and-done career. But after a regression in 2020, Morris entered the transfer portal and eventually came to Oklahoma.

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Eyes were still on Morris as a potential NFL draft prospect when he arrived at Oklahoma, but his tape was very raw, and his first season with the Sooners didn’t provide a ringing endorsement. Morris played in just six games as a backup LT, and came into 2022 with few guarantees.

But patience would ultimately pay its dividends for Morris. Opposite Anton Harrison, Morris settled into the starting RT spot and put together his best film yet. Now, he’s rejuvenated as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect — and a rising commodity in the tackle class.

Wanya Morris Scouting Report

You often hear that draft evaluation is a projection of what prospects can ultimately become. That’s absolutely true in Morris’ case — because his developmental ceiling is incredibly exciting.

Morris’ Strengths

As you might expect from a former five-star recruit with first-round future projections, Morris passes the eye test with flying colors. He’s 6’6″, 310 pounds — a long-limbed, well-proportioned blocker with an elite wingspan. But beyond that, he’s also a quantifiably elite athlete with exciting properties of mobility.

Morris is an incredibly explosive athlete with high-end range off the snap. He can generate momentum instantly and reaches his spot very quickly with long, energetic strides. Similarly, Morris has good range as a pulling blocker. He tracks across the formation and swallows up play-side defenders.

Few blockers are as naturally explosive as Morris, but the Oklahoma OT also flashes surprising short-area control, and can quickly decelerate and change directions to maintain blocking angles. Moreover, he has the hip flexibility to quickly swivel around on reach blocks and seal off defenders after getting to his spot.

In pass protection, Morris possesses the flexibility, width, and short-area burst to quickly recover and wall off defenders who attempt outside counters after contact.

With Morris, mobility and flexibility are present in rare quantities for a 6’6″, 310-pound blocker. And with his combination of explosiveness and length, he has elite raw power capacity as well, providing massive displacement potential with proper execution.

Morris flashes very impressive functional torque as a pass protector. He can throw defenders into the turf with full rotations and use their momentum against them. In that vein, he’s able to draw up power through his base in the running game and channel that power fully with his length, torquing defenders into the ground.

Going further, the Oklahoma OT has enough functional strength to overpower second-level defenders on the ground and take control of reps. Morris effectively replaces his hands and resets his anchor after contact, and sustains reach blocks with core strength. With his lower body density and power, he bowls over lighter defenders when engaging leg drive.

For his size, Morris has very natural knee bend and leverage acquisition. The Sooners blocker can lower himself and square up defenders easily before engaging. And in 2022, he was able to keep a steady center of gravity and align himself to maximize reach while maintaining leverage much more consistently.

Morris’ physical tools and leverage acquisition help set the stage for his execution in both phases. In pass protection, his hands are fast and violent out of their launch positions. The Oklahoma OT can latch incredibly quickly and gather opponents with his core strength. At contact, he shocks opponents with his initial extensions and demolishes their center of balance. Morris truly has elite knock-back power.

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Independent hand usage will remain an area of emphasis for Morris at the next level, but he did show progression here in 2022, becoming more combative and calculated with his high-level tools. He’s shown to snatch and club pass rushers after initially latching onto their frame. Taking it a step further, Morris violently snatches and traps opponents off the snap, and buries rushers early.

Morris’ length allows him to consistently keep himself clean. With that length, he flashes his hands before tightening up and protecting his torso. Morris has also shown he can patiently swat successive extensions, suffocate, and envelop defenders through reps. Meanwhile, he can stay in phase and keep a wide base while gathering rushers with his footwork. For his size, he has surprising control when matching and halting momentum.

Among other things, Morris has very efficient footwork as a run blocker. He’s fairly disciplined in reaching his spot and not over-shooting his assignments, even with his high-energy athleticism. In this phase, he’s a consistent finisher who exudes menacing physicality and has demolishing mauler moments on tape.

Lastly, Morris flashes the necessary awareness to recognize stunts and recover his positioning with ease after dragging defenders inside.

Morris’ Areas for Improvement

Morris’ 2022 film was easily his most encouraging sample yet, and that recent tape will elevate his stock. Even so, there exists room for further refinement, both in the physical and operational spheres.

Physically, while Morris has good core strength, he could improve his overall play strength. He’s still a relatively lean blocker for his size, who can be worked back by power rushes, and isn’t always able to plant and hold his ground.

Going further, Morris’ grip strength on moving blocks can be inconsistent, as the Oklahoma OT sometimes struggles to sustain his anchor and leverage through reps. On that note, Morris can be more consistent at fully aligning his lower body and maximizing power on blocks with proper leverage. Additionally, he can sometimes be worked upright through contact and lose his balance.

Balance was one of Morris’ most pressing issues heading into both 2021 and 2022, and it does remain an area of improvement. In pass protection, Morris sometimes panics and extends too early, lurching past his center of gravity and working himself off-balance. While he’s improved, Morris still struggles at times to maintain his balance through pass protection reps. On occasion, he loses synergy and falls flat-footed at the apex.

In a similar vein, Morris can be baited into over-setting by inside-outside counters fairly easily, and he has room to be more disciplined with his depth. At times, Morris can be more controlled with his matching footwork against explosive rushers. A quick first step can drive him to be frantic and staggered with his footwork.

In a broad sense, Morris can be too reliant on two-hand extensions and be baited into wrapping around defenders when off-set. He can still employ independent hand usage more consistently, and on moving blocks, he doesn’t always bring his feet with him.

In these instances, Morris sometimes lurches and lets his hands slip off defenders. This tendency to halt his feet at contact can also stymy his leg drive, allowing defenders to wrench him off-balance.

While Morris has displayed the requisite awareness to eventually take on a starting role, he can be more consistent here as well. At times, the Oklahoma OT can be late to flip his hips upfield and wall off rushers who reach the apex, and he’s occasionally late to recognize delayed blitzes and looping stunts.

Current Draft Projection for Oklahoma OT Wanya Morris

Coming into the season, Morris was hardly a factor in the 2023 NFL Draft. That’s changed now. In fact, Morris may have played himself into Day 2 range with his performance at right tackle. He has the high-end traits to warrant interest in that range, and his execution is starting to catch up.

At his maximum projection, Morris has a potentially dominating skill set. He’s extremely explosive, flexible, and powerful as a run blocker, with enough core strength and discipline to seal off defenders. In pass protection, Morris has the matching speed, knock-back power, length, and recovery athleticism to be a very tough assignment for all brands of rushers.

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Morris’ upside could even push him into early Day 2 range, especially when factoring in his experience at both left and right tackle. That said, Morris isn’t yet a finished product. The senior can still be more consistent in managing his leverage and maintaining his balance through reps. He can also be more disciplined with his depth and consistently employ independent hands.

But imperfections aside, Morris is trending up, and his flashes of dominance, with the tools he has, are impossible to ignore. If he starts early, Morris may take a few lumps. But at the very least, he’s a solid swing tackle on Day 1, with impact starter potential at right tackle if he continues to follow his current trajectory.