University of Southern California
Offensive Tackle #72
Senior, 6’6″ 310
- Ideal size and length for an NFL tackle
- Gets out of stance quickly
- Good footwork in pass protection. Mirrors pass rushers
- Could stand to add more strength for the NFL
- Injury history
- Must answer to off-field issues in interviews
Chad Wheeler was rated a 3-star recruit coming out of Santa Monica High School in California. He signed with USC and was redshirted for the 2012 season. As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Wheeler became the starting left tackle for the Trojans and was named a freshman All-American. In his sophomore season, Wheeler played the first 8 games at left tackle before his season was cut short after tearing ligaments in his knee.
In his junior season of 2015, Wheeler returned from injury and regained his starting position at left tackle. He suffered and concussion against Notre Dame which caused him to miss the following game vs Utah. In the week prior to USC appearing in the Holiday Bowl, Wheeler was involved in a confrontation with police outside his apartment. This incident caused him to be unavailable for the bowl game.
On the field, Wheeler has shown to be a quality player. He is excellent at using his hands in pass protection and is able to mirror rushers. His feet are good but he seems to be vulnerable to inside moves. In the run game, he is quick off the snap and uses a combination of leverage and strength in order to get a push:
He needs to show more aggression in the run game and adding more strength will help him to take the next step.
Wheeler is an interesting prospect in this upcoming draft. He has the ability to become a starting offensive tackle in the NFL if he gets his technique ironed out. His interviews at the combine and his Pro Day will be key for him. Teams are going to grill him on the incident with the police and his injury history may scare some teams away. But his talent level is compelling and a team that invests a day three pick may end up with a very good player.
Round Value: 5th-6th
Player Comparison: Will Beatty