How have rookie left tackles translated to right tackle early in their careers?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

How easy is it for a lineman who played left tackle in college to play right tackle in his rookie year?

It is easy to assume that a lineman that played left tackle in college could come in and simply switch to the other side of the line of scrimmage. Both positions demand that you stave off edge rushers and seal off defenders in the running game, however there are many differences to the position switch that people take for granted. The lineman now has to kick slide with the opposite leg, and the dominant hand in his run-blocking switches. It is akin to driving on the other side of the road in another country, it is the same motions just reversed.

Taylor Lewan has displayed this early in camp, and while it isn't a huge deal considering that he may sit for most of the year it is worth noting.


For those that want Lewan to switch from left to right tackle, here is a list of first round players that have done the same their rookie year with their PFF rating and their rank among offensive tackles that year.

Name PFF Score Rank
Eric Fisher -17.8 70/76
Luke Joeckel -6.1 (five games no positive rating) N/A
Lane Johnson 0.2 39/76
Justin Pugh 7.1 33/76
Riley Reiff 6.3 35/80
James Carpenter -20.0 (nine games) N/A
Anthony Davis -18.4 74/78
Bryan Bulaga -16.6 71/78

Those are all the first round players that have made the switch since the 2010 NFL Draft, and that does not inspire much hope. Only two tackles really played at an average to above average level and those are Justin Pugh and Riley Reiff, other than that the entire group was vastly disappointing.

Can Taylor Lewan buck the trend?

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