The Lass Word: Jordan Morgan - Short Arms, Big Heart

Packers rookie aims to prove he's a tackle.

One and one-eighth of an inch.  Less than half the length of a toothpick.  Doesn’t seem like much, does it? But Jordan Morgan was concerned that one and one-eighth of an inch was going to cost him millions of dollars. 

Morgan is an offensive lineman.  More specifically, he is a tackle.  Pro scouts love for their tackles to have long arms.  The general standard is arm length at least 34 or 35 inches.  Morgan’s arms were measured at 32 and seven-eighths.  That’s one and one-eighth short of the “standard”.  May seem trivial to you, but the former Arizona star was legitimately worried that it would keep him out of the first round of the NFL draft.  And once drafted, it might motivate teams to play him inside at guard or center, where shorter arm lengths are more common.  Inside linemen make millions of dollars less than tackles.  Morgan wants to play tackle. 

The reason teams like their tackles to have long arms is easy to understand.  These are the guys responsible for protecting the quarterback from those quick outside pass rushers like Micah Parsons, TJ Watt, Maxx Crosby and Nick Bosa.  One of the best ways to do that is to extend your arms and keep pushing the pass rusher wider and wider, so that the quarterback can step up in the pocket.  It seems logical that the longer your arms, the better push off you can make.  

But while long arms are an asset to a tackle, they are certainly not mandatory.  Some of the best tackles in the history of the game did not meet the standard.  Last summer, former Wisconsin Badger and Cleveland Brown legend Joe Thomas was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  He had 33 inch arms.  Thomas is not a fan of the emphasis on arm length.  In fact, he once posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the attention paid to the length of a tackle’s arms is “bullshit” and has “nothing to do with the ability to block somebody.”  

Many successful tackles are able to compensate for shorter arms with quick feet, fluid lateral movement and sheer strength. 

Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst certainly had no qualms about Jordan Morgan’s arms.  He snatched up the 6’5”, 311 pounder with Green Bay’s first round pick.  “He played left tackle (in college). He’s got left tackle feet,” Gutey said. “Very athletic kid, very strong, sturdy lower body. We’ve had a bunch of guys that have played outside without prototypical arm length.” 

When the rookies reported for their first camp, Morgan was working at left tackle, although Gutekunst says the team thinks Morgan could play four different positions on the O-line.  The Packers want and expect him to compete with Rasheed Walker for the starting job on the left side. By the way, Walker’s arm length is 33 and 5/8 inches. The incumbent starting tackle on the right side, Zach Tom, has arms measured at 33.5 inches. 

Morgan, for his part, was never concerned about his arm length.  “I get that all the time, the short arm stuff,” Morgan told the beat reporters. “Obviously, they don’t want watch film. I move them pretty well. I move people off the line. It doesn’t bother me. I just prove everybody wrong.”  

 If anything, he was more focused on his complete recovery from a knee injury suffered during his college career. Late in the 2022 season Morgan ran out into the flat to block for a screen pass, when he stepped into some sort of depression on the field. He called it a “pothole”. He tore up his knee which put his 2023 season in jeopardy. But the all Pac 12 star attacked his rehab like a mad man. “I put everything into that recovery process. Got out in nine months. Got to play in nine months. Lot of folks couldn’t really do that and I felt good about that, showing everybody that I was resilient and ready to come back to the team.” 

Gutekunst definitely noticed his quick healing. “It was remarkable how well he played early in the season coming off of it. It just kept getting better and better, so that gave us a lot of confidence in where he’s headed.” 

Where he’s headed is probably a starting role somewhere along Green Bay’s offensive line.  Morgan may have short arms, but don’t be surprised if his contributions to the Green Bay Packers have a long reach for years to come, because one thing you can’t measure is his heart. 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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NFL Categories: 
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Comments (64)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Cheezehead72's picture

May 20, 2024 at 06:15 am

I will admit that I am all about drafting guys with the traits that you cannot coach and yes size is one of those traits. But I am not concerned about Morgan's arm length. Yes I am concerned about him playing his position well but then again that is the same for all players. This is a nonstory to me. Let the games begin.

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 20, 2024 at 06:19 am

I feel so sorry for him. What does he do if he feels an itch on top of his head? He certainly can’t reach up and scratch it with those stubs he calls arms. A human T-Rex.

Ha!

This “short arms” talk is just another example of over-using the numbers involved. The guy can play football!

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2024 at 06:42 am

He may want to play Tackle.
But so does Walker.
And my guess is we have another
pick that waits his turn.
Because I think Walker did a pretty good job,
when No one thought he could.

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:14 am

I interviewed No one and he denied thinking that.

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packer132's picture

May 20, 2024 at 08:26 am

Do you know that in the NFL, injuries happen all the time. That is why you need lots of depth and competition. To your enjoyment, he will not be an all-pro his first season but my guess is that he gets plenty of playing time and performs well. In your words, you need to fortify the "trench" to be able to run, pass, and move the ball. The black cloud follows you everywhere. I bet it's even above you at the grocery store.

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Cheezehead72's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:03 am

I just hope that cloud is not over him when he goes to church.

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:05 pm

"I bet it's even above you at the grocery store."

It puts the spots on the apples.

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DoubleJ's picture

May 20, 2024 at 08:46 am

Morgan could wind up as the starter at RG if Walker beats him for LT. That isn't a bad thing overall either.

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:12 am

But the Article Says
HE WANTS TO PLAY TACKLE!

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DoubleJ's picture

May 20, 2024 at 03:32 pm

It doesn't matter what he wants. The fact that that is your fall back is pathetic at best. Morgan will be given every chance to beat out Walker for LT but that isn't assured. If he doesn't win the LT position he will probably be moved to RG to compete with Ryan for that position. If he is one of the best 5 OL he will be starting this year.

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2024 at 05:01 pm

So if he can't beat out Walker
you're saying he's a Bust.?

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DoubleJ's picture

May 21, 2024 at 11:41 am

Never said that. You are just making stuff up like usual.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2024 at 08:53 am

In a fair contest, he should beat out Walker. He has much faster footwork and glide to the spot. His punch is fast, like Bhak's and 10-7/8 mitts to control rushers. Walker will get stunted more this season if he stays in the lineup and will need TEs chipping if they stack speed rushers on him. The issue was retaining Nijman at 4.3 M last season. The reason I wanted Broderick jones when crunch time arrived in the Playoffs.

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:07 am

So you all think Walker should be benched.
And Morgans Given the job because Gute picked him.
How does going home in crunch time sound?
Because thats exactly your reasoning.
walker sucks
Jenkins is over-paid
Meyer should be replaced
Rhyan and Newman- good God help us
And the Guy who did get hurt was Tom.

Seriously you guys Need to get Real.
The Tar and feathers is just a bit to much.

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Packers0808's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:18 am

Do you ever feel good any day? You are getting sicker by the day in your posts. You even give yourself thumbs up it appears. On set dementia taking over>? Serious question.

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:32 am

Serious Question- Why reply if you think that?.
I posted Nothing but the Truth.
Walker has earned the Right to play LT.
Most here think its a popular test.
And Gute is never wrong now.
What has Gute won other than your hearts?

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Packers0808's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:56 am

Our thanks for dumping Rodgers who became a cancer. And a team that is now a happier bunch that plays harder and a game and team more fun to watch.

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Bitternotsour's picture

May 20, 2024 at 01:16 pm

Gutekunst was the surgeon who excised the metastatic cancer that had poisoned the team.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2024 at 02:02 pm

"Walker has earned the Right to play LT."

I go back to what Ron Wolf, shortly after being hired as GM, supposedly told Brian Noble when the LB came to him asking for reassurances his job was safe.

Wolf's reply: your job is safe until I find someone better to replace you.

Some of these players might have earned the right to start at the top of the depth chart, and maybe for some the Packers didn't bring in a true challenge to their status, but they should be earning it every year.

Good luck, Mr. Walker.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Watch the Film. The statement made was referencing a fair competition btw Walker and Morgan during Summer Session. Walker gave up six sacks and 33 pressures at LT splitting some reps with Nijman. He was projected to the right side by some draft analysts and scouts. In any event, the depth has been fortified. I still take Jones over Van Ness.

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Vachio's picture

May 20, 2024 at 12:56 pm

I definitely think it would be foolish to count Walker out at this point. The man has worked his butt off and, as you mentioned, succeeded when few people thought he could. Regardless of who wins the LT competition, I think it will make our line stronger over all. Maybe the loser slides over to RT and Tom pushes Ryan to the bench by sliding inside.

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ricky's picture

May 20, 2024 at 05:50 pm

Well, a relatively positive post, but you still get a lot of down votes. Usually, you deserve them. But pointing out that Walker has the position at this time, has exceeded expectations, and that there might be some unexpected competition for the LT spot is actually pretty good. There may be some hope for you yet.

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HawkPacker's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:02 am

It really does not matter to me who starts at left tackle--Morgan or Walker. The non starter can be the swing tackle. Also, we have the three other monster tackles that are still in development. We should be fine at that position.

We are also very flexible as well. Depending on how our center performs, is it possible that Zach Tom moves to center? We have also drafted some IOL guys as well. It appears that the OL is in a great place!

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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:35 pm

I am all-in on Monk for Center.

His attitude and excellent RAS and athleticism along with 5 years starting experience and 2 time team captain leadership gives me great confidence in Monk as THE surprise rookie in camp.

Let it play out, but do not sleep on Monk!!!

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NickPerry's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:06 am

Give me a guy with great feet and a big heart over a guy with arms that are 1 1/8th longer every time! That's just me. I think he'll be just fine. Just like he was at Arizona the last several years.

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Bitternotsour's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:47 am

as they say, there is tape of him playing. joe frazier had short arms, he knocked a lot of people out.

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NickPerry's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:22 pm

That was a great analogy... Funny, accurate, and to the point!

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T7Steve's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:07 am

This story is a short arm tactic to get us through till camp.

Edit: I re-read the column and see where his arms are a little shorter than the existing starters Tom and Walker.

He'll just have to crank up the nasty meter a bit. If Gute drafted him, I'm confident he'll be ok if not a great lineman.

Remind me again, please (old age). Who was the last lineman drafted by the Packers, worthy of a first-round pick?

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Guam's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:37 am

"Then it all gets blown up with the statement that his arms are actually longer than the other two existing starters Walker and Tom."

You might want to re-read the article.
Morgan's arm length 32.875 inches
Walker's arm length 33.625 inches
Tom's arm length 33.500 inches

Morgan actually does have the shortest arms. But with his quick feet and balance I don't think it will be a problem.

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T7Steve's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:49 am

Thanks, you saw it before I edited my post. What it means is that they all have arms shorter than the preferred 34"

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zeke's picture

May 20, 2024 at 06:43 pm

If the equipment manager had a sense of humor he/she would put little step-stools in front of their lockers.

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GregC's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:24 am

It seems silly to make judgements based on such tiny differences in measurables, but the thing about arm length is a really strong trend. I did some digging and found this article, which focuses on All Pro tackles:

https://www.milehighreport.com/2021/4/21/22395856/can-you-be-an-above-av...

The author predicts that Tevin Jenkins will play tackle in the NFL in spite of his shorter arms. He was wrong. Jenkins was switched to guard.

I want to believe that Jordan Morgan can be a really good tackle for the Packers, and maybe he will be. Note that when people like Gutekunts refer to Packer tackles with below average arm length, none of them in recent history have had arms as short as Morgan's. He's still worth trying out at tackle, and if he can't get it done there, switch him to guard.

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Guam's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:53 am

Interesting article and Morgan does have shorter arms than any tackle on the list. I am okay if Morgan winds up being a guard as long as he starts somewhere along the O-line and improves the unit as a whole. If Morgan is worried about money he needs to remember that a starting guard makes more than a reserve tackle and he will have a fight on his hands unseating Walker from the LT position.

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GregC's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:30 am

Here's a new one: I tried to correct a typo (Gutekunts) in my previous post, and I received a warning about making "duplicate comments" that looked like spam and saying I risked being banned by making the post. Okay then, Gutekunts it is.

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Guam's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:49 am

I use the edit function all the time because I am really crappy typist and I never had your experience. Have no idea why that would happen.

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Bitternotsour's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:37 am

if you try to edit a post with a link in it the site thinks that the repost is spam. you can only edit a post with a link if you delete the link (or so i remember)

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Guam's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:14 am

Good information. Thanks.

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GregC's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:47 am

Ah, that's what did it, thanks. I edit posts all the time, but I rarely put links in my posts.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:38 pm

I like links with pancakes!

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:24 am

It does that anytime you try to correct a typo if you've linked something. If it's a major blunder you can get around it by deleting the link, then submitting the comment with the correction and then editing it again to add the link back in.

It's a flaw I wish they'd correct. The other thing I've noticed is sometimes when I sign in some of the comments disappear. Lately it's usually a Stockholder thread though so 🤷

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 20, 2024 at 08:29 am

When I watch Morgan, I see a LT. I get why they have sizes and speed standards that they want the players to reach. They have those set in place because on average those are the sizes they like to see met.

When we talk about Morgan the only area he comes up short is arm length. I believe his play speed, foot speed an lateral ability more then make up for it. The biggest issue with Morgan is technique. Which that can be corrected.

I know a lot of people instantly view Morgan as a OG. Which maybe he will end up being. But I just think that they drafted him to play LT. Using a premium pick, you typically want to use it on a premium position. And LT is a premium position.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2024 at 12:08 pm

Morgan has a 81-3/8" Wingspan; Walker has a 80-1/2 Wingspan. Broad Shoulders define reach as well as longer arms, therefore more power in the punch.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:39 pm

That's good knowledge!!!

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

May 20, 2024 at 06:00 pm

Right now, using 1 roster spot to furnish depth at 4 positions on the O line is a premium position. I just don't see how Morgan isn't a great pick, for this team.

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:06 am

Q: What does Jordan Morgan call “short sleeves”?
A:…..?

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 20, 2024 at 01:24 pm

A: “Sleeves”

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Cheezehead72's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:06 am

Just like poker you bet on your best five.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:26 am

Very little size difference between Walker and Morgan. Both are about the same height and weight. Rasheed has 33 5/8 arms to 32 7/8 on Jordan. 3/4 of an inch to give the advantage to steer D rushers, it seems.

But the hands! The rookie has these huge claws...10 7/8 in sized meat hooks! Rasheed was somehow able to survive at LT with the tiny 10 5/8 inch mouse hands. That's a 1/4 inch of advantage on all 10 fingers...2 1/2 inches of hand power folks!

Some say Jordan Morgan cannot play T due to arms (silly) and should be moved to G. I believe he will be given every opportunity to be the starting T with his very quick feet, balance, and speed that serves Tom so very well.

I say Walker also has the size to play G to be part of the best, not the favorite 5 on the OL if Morgan beats him out.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:59 am

If Walker gets moved to guard, who is playing backup tackle for us? Caleb?

I like what the Packers have done. Return last year's starters, including Rhyan for Runyan. Draft a premium LT so that Walker can back up both tackle spots. Draft Monk and Glover to help us with the interior of the line.

I wanted Graham Barton, because he gave us a backup at every spot, but the more I think about what was accomplished by taking Morgan, the happier I am with it.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 20, 2024 at 09:55 am

We should convert him to RG. Or maybe Long Snapper. We could also use him as the 3rd TE in short yardage. And as a blocking FB in goal line.

Or, we could just let him play the position he's always played, and played well.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:41 pm

FFS, we need a kicker too!

Do short arms affect kicking?

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MitchAnthony's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:33 am

So what I get is that the Packers drafting metric was said to be 33 inches. Joe Thomas has 33 inch arms. Jordan Morgan has 32 7/8 inch arms.

Hey Jordan, don't clip your fingernails for a couple few days and this story/issue will all blow over.

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GregC's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:57 am

In the highlight clips I've seen, Morgan certainly looks like a very good left tackle. But when a phenomenal player like Joe Thomas is the only exception anyone can come up with for the "short arms" issue, it does make me wonder if Morgan can be an effective OT in the NFL. And even Thomas had slightly longer arms than Morgan.

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ricky's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:10 am

The T-Rex had short arms. And I think one would be just fine at LT. Or RT. Or wherever it wanted to play.

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 20, 2024 at 03:24 pm

Great minds, sir!

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 20, 2024 at 11:56 am

Mike Tyson also had a short reach - which he seemed to have overcome with his exceptional hand speed and punching power. Also good foot movement. We hear and read so much about the importance of an O lineman's striking and hand placement. It seems that he who often strikes first or best - gains an advantage. Certainly hand-to-hand combat will be part of Morgan's training program. With his athleticsm, strength, intelligence and huge hands - I expect that he will do well in this facet of his schooling. Also to accelerate Morgan's development - I would recommend a little Wing Chun - with watching a few episodes of Ip Man as a training aid.

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HawkPacker's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:11 pm

'Mike Tyson also had a short reach - which he seemed to have overcome with his exceptional hand speed and punching power.'

And don't forget biting!!

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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 20, 2024 at 10:40 pm

Fond memories of Conrad Dobler...

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Pack88's picture

May 20, 2024 at 01:58 pm

I agree w/ the other posters that the quarter sized difference between standard and Walker is way overblown. Every trait height (can he bend) weight (is he fast enough) and strength ( can he grab and steer and run block) and feet(how nimble is he) all make up the player and then i t is up t the coaches and the player to put in the work to be the best version of himself. D-bak used his incredible feet to make him a good OT until he developed the strength to be a great OT, Chad Clifton used the best grip in football to overcome his lack of great feet and look at Tauscher I don't know he had prototypical anything except great feet and balance and he was a very good tackle for a long time in the NFL

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 20, 2024 at 03:26 pm

Just like I’ve been able to overcome a face only a mother could love and become a very successful male model.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2024 at 07:43 pm

TKZoolander

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 21, 2024 at 07:15 am

Green and gold steel

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 21, 2024 at 07:14 am

!

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MitchAnthony's picture

May 22, 2024 at 06:51 pm

Yeah, ain't it something TK. You make a self-deprecating wise crack and earn a down-vote.

Tough crowd.

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