Offensive Tackle #53
Senior, 6’6 290
A four-year starter at Troy, Antonio Garcia has been gaining a lot of national attention as of late. This year Garcia garnered All-Sun Belt honorable mention. Garcia allowed three sacks all season on 780 snaps and added 33 pancakes blocks. In a weak tackle class with scouts and fans alike looking to crown a top prospect, Garcia is trying to climb the ladder and be that top guy. Early on in the Senior Bowl Garcia struggled against Texas A&M’s DaShaun Hall, which will get a lot of looks from scouts in the coming months.
At 6-foot-6, Garcia has the length to wall of defenders, and the long arms to keep them off his body. Despite 33 inch arms Antonio Garcia has his fair struggles in pass protection. Garcia has a tendency to play with his hand lows near his hips. That tendency causes him to mistime his punches all too frequently. Another side effect is a tendency to miss with his initial punches all together because his hands have to come so far to make contact with their target.
Another thing Garcia needs to work on is his pass sets. Garcia is a massive individual and when he gets fatigued you can see it in his technique. When fatigued Garcia frequently loses consistency in his pass sets. Many times when beat around the edge it is because he doesn’t get into his stance fast enough from his stance. Then once beat Garcia frequently won’t turn his hips to run the defender up field and by the quarterback. Despite good overall athleticism, Garcia lacks elite lateral agility you look for in elite left tackles.
In the run game, Garcia does a good job getting himself in position but doesn’t show top end strength to blow defenders off the ball. Time in an NFL weight room will really help add that element to his game. If he sticks at left tackle in the NFL his lack of strength will not be as obvious. There are many left tackles in the league who aren’t road graders, but if you can keep the quarterback upright then you will make the roster. If Garcia can put on around 15-20 pounds he should be fully capable of playing left tackle in the NFL.
One positive trait that Garcia takes a little too far is tenacity. He teeters on the edge of dirty and occasionally it is hard to see that line because Garcia is on it. Playing through the whistle is great, but Garcia occasionally plays a bit after it. If Garcia can continue to play with that fire under control it will be a tool, but if he loses control it will be a real concern.
With a great frame for the position, Garcia will no doubt get a chance to play left tackle in the NFL, and if he takes well to training and fixes some technique flaws he very well could turn into the best tackle from this draft. Putting on weight isn’t normally something you hear as a need for a 290-pound man, but it is necessary for Garcia who is surprisingly lean for his size. While many are clamoring to crown someone a first round tackle, I currently don’t see it, but I would love to be wrong about that.
Round Projection: 2-3
Player Comparison:Jake Fisher