With the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. The selection ended a brief slide for one of the Draft's top prospects, a slide initiated when minutes before the Los Angeles Rams were officially placed on the clock with the first overall pick, a video of Tunsil smoking marijuana from a bong through a gas mask appeared on the player's Twitter account.
Tunsil had been considered one of the Draft's top prospects, even rated as the number one prospect on some draft boards, but the suddenness of the video led to teams shying away from picking him. As a result, two other offensive tackles were selected ahead of Tunsil, which allowed the Dolphins to select him.
To get a better look at Tunsil, we turn to the bloggers who covered him throughout his college career, SB Nation's Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion and site manager Jeff Gray.
Gray opens his pre-Draft scouting report on Tunsil with a fairly straight forward thought on Tunsil, and exactly what the Dolphins are getting: "Tunsil was all set to be the top overall pick to the Titans, but a trade to the Rams dislodged him and could drop him out of the top five. Someone is sure as hell getting a bargain."
Gray uses several videos to show exactly how athletic Tunsil is, especially the second video desmonstrating just how fast Tunsil is on his feet (Tunsil is the rabbit in that video, number 48):
Tunsil's feet tho!! pic.twitter.com/pI6TYXQEWL— SEC Chad (@SEC_Chad) February 26, 2016
Tunsil is not just athletic, but he is also crazy strong. He skipped the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine, but then put up 34 reps during his Pro Day at Ole Miss - a total that would have been tied for the most repetitions at the Combine:
Gray points out in his article:
Last season alone, Tunsil faced Garrett (the No. 1 rated DE prospect in the 2018 class), Auburn's Carl Lawson (No. 2 in the 2018 class), LSU's Arden Key (No. 4 in the 2019 class) and Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah (No. 6 in this year's class). According to Pro Football Focus, Tunsil gave up just five quarterback hurries and not a single sack against all of them combined.
While a lot of focus has been on Tunsil's ability to pass block, he is also a skilled run blocker:
But the most convincing argument for Tunsil's dominance in run blocking comes from dramatic improvement in Ole Miss' ground game after his return last season. Against the four Power 5 opponents the Rebels faced without last Tunsil, they averaged 88 rushing yards per game and 2.69 yards per carry. Against the six Power 5 opponents with Tunsil, the numbers jumped to 202 yards per game and 5.33 yards per carry.
Tunsil was suspended for the first seven games last year stemming from an altercation between his stepdad and Tunsil. According to Tunsil, his stepdad pushed Tunsil's mom, so the tackle and his stepdad fought, leading to both being arrested. Charges against both were dropped, but, as Gray writes, "the bitter stepdad started mouthing off about illegal contact with agents and other violations. The NCAA listened, and an investigation eventually turned up a host of improper benefits, including a loaner car and free lodging. He ended up sitting out a seven-game suspension."
Last night, while interviewing Tunsil after his selection, NFL Network analyst Deion Sander suggested that it was Tunsil's stepfather who may have hacked Tunsil's twitter account and released the video.
According to most draft analysts, the Dolphins have added a top prospect at a position of need this year. The guys at Red Cup Rebellion seem to fully agree with that assessment. Now, it is up the coaches and Tunsil to get him fully integrated into the offensive system and figure out exactly where he will play on an offensive line that really needs an influx of additional talent.