Today’s prospect is Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA. The junior lines up at 6’4, 307, but being a junior doesn’t make him green. His 40 starts are more than most high end linemen, and he’s probably the most mature junior in the draft class. Spent two years on a Mormon mission, was an Eagle Scout, and is a leader.
He provides the best of both worlds as a guard. He has shown the ability to force movement as a man/drive blocking guard and has shown it can translate to zone as well. Physically, there’s a concern he’s not as filled out as he could be because of his mission (between his freshman and sophomore years, and he wasn’t in a training program).
As a tackle? Su’a-Filo filled in admirably, remaining a dominant run blocker and showing exceptional ability to anchor. He showed lateral agility and balance in his slides. There wasn’t a lot ‘wrong’ with him at tackle, but he felt like a more natural guard and he was there when the team had a healthy tackle. If Carolina pushed him back out there, he’s a player that would get it done, but he bends at the waist a bit and might struggle to deal with double moves. It’s more risky, with existing tackles already slated to be there at 28 (where Su'a-Filo is expected to be available).
So, a Su’a-Filo pick would mean that at least one of the guards would move out to tackle – and most of them have tackle experience. It might be a lot to rely on any of them, since every guard Carolina has outside Nate Chandler (who I’d already expect to be a tackle) has been either hurt multiple times, or hasn’t been here long enough to be hurt multiple times.