Roy Hatfield of Gobbler Country, the Virginia Tech site on SB Nation, was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the Dallas Cowboys' seventh-round selection, Laurence Gibson (6'6, 305). The second offensive tackle taken by the Cowboys, Gibson is something of a project for Frank Pollock and Marc Colombo to work with.
BTB: Coming into the league late in the draft means that Laurence Gibson is likely going to be a project for the Dallas Cowboys. He will have an opportunity to develop behind players like Tyron Smith and Doug Free, which is a good opportunity for him. What are the areas that Gibson is going to need to focus on to improve his game?
I think that fact that he was selected by the NFL team with the best offensive line in football doesn’t hurt, it did him a favor. He needs some work. As far as an immediate impact, probably not. Reliable backup is the fit for him. He’s got the quickness, but he is stiff and lacks explosiveness. That is simply because of his frame. If the Cowboys trainer can put some lbs. on him, then look out. He’s got a great wingspan and reach. At 6’6", the framework is there. The Cowboys have bought the groceries, now it’s time to prepare the meal.
BTB: One concern that I have with Gibson is that he looks a little lean to play tackle in the NFL. He is either going to have to bulk up or kick inside to play guard. Does he have the athleticism to pull out and lead plays as a guard, or is he going to need to put on another ten pounds and stay at tackle?
I think his best option is to bulk up and learn guard. His mobility is a huge concern, but with his physical stature, the natural fit is at tackle. It’s pick your poison here. His lack of athleticism bothers me, but he lacks the sheer girth to play guard. A true tweener. Its really up to the Cowboys as far as direction.
BTB: I understand that the Cowboys offensive line coaches, Frank Pollock and Marc Colombo see a lot to like in Gibson. It seems that the tools are there and the biggest thing to work on is making sure that he continues to develop into his potential. Realistically, having watched Gibson grow as a player, what do you expect his potential to be?
It’s really up to him. I think that the coaches at Virginia Tech would have liked to see a bit more from him, but if you asked Gibson he would agree. Bottom line: Last year was tough on all the Hokie lineman. We didn’t protect Brewer well, and the running game was disappointing.
BTB: Other than what we have covered, what would you like Dallas Fans to know about Laurence Gibson?
He has two degrees from VT, so he’s not a "one and done" type kid. It really depends on what the Cowboys are willing to invest and teach him.