The Cowboys need help along the offensive line, so with that in mind we take a look at Washington State’s offensive tackle Abraham Lucas.
Name: Abraham Lucas
Weight: 315 pounds
Combine Results: 4.92 40-yard dash, 24 bench press reps, 27” vertical jump, 107” broad jump, 7.25 3-cone drill, 4.4 short shuttle
Much of the focus along the Cowboys’ offensive line this offseason has centered on the left guard spot, but right tackle is also a question mark. Terence Steele is slated to be the starter there now that La’el Collins has been released, but Steele shouldn’t be cemented in that role even after a much-improved 2021 season. That’s why Abraham Lucas could be an option for Dallas.
Growing up in the state of Washington, Lucas was a natural fit at tackle with his massive height. However, he was undersized for the position and struggled to gain any traction as a recruit. Washington State was his only Power 5 offer, which prompted Lucas to accept. After redshirting his first year on campus, he added over 60 pounds to reach the weight he needed to be at.
That led to Lucas becoming the Cougars’ new starting right tackle in 2018, and he never looked back. He manned that position with no missed games for the next four years, which spanned a scheme change from head coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense to new head coach Nick Rolovich’s Run-n-Shoot offense. Through it all, Lucas played outstanding football, earning All-Pac 12 honors every single one of his four years as a starter. Now, he’s ready for the NFL.
Anchor: One of the most intriguing aspects about Lucas is his size, which translates well to his ability to drop an anchor. He is pretty stout when he gets set, and even had some good bouts with Kayvon Thibodeaux over the years. There is room to improve, but Lucas does a sufficient job in this area.
Lateral Agility: Lucas is a smooth mover on the run. Playing in two unique, pass-heavy offenses didn’t give him many opportunities to show it off, but Lucas did highlight his agility at the combine. No offensive lineman had a higher mark than him in either the 3-cone drill or the short shuttle.
Point of Attack: Lucas won’t be mistaken for a mauler or road-grader, but he doesn’t have any issues at the point of attack. He is able to hold his own and initiate contact, and makes good use of the strength in his upper body. A guy as big as he is should probably be a little more feisty, but it isn’t a hole in Lucas’ game given how fundamentally sound he is all around.
Balance: You can sometimes see taller linemen have balance issues, but that isn’t true for Lucas. Very rarely does he end up on the ground, and his lateral agility is a reflection of his great balance in motion. The caveat here is that the schemes he played in don’t often expose linemen to the kinds of concepts where balance issues pop up, but it wasn’t a problem in the film we do have on him.
Hand Technique: With his arms just a hair under 34”, Lucas possesses incredible length, and he makes great use of that against pass rushers. He is very precise with his timing and gets full extension to strike defenders. This was a big factor in his ability to go toe-to-toe with Kayvon Thibodeaux, for example.
Run Blocking: Lucas’ run blocking skills require some projection just because of the offenses Washington State ran in his time there. That said, he does have the traits to be a very effective run blocker. His athleticism and agility make for a good lead or pull blocker, and Lucas has the necessary strength and power at the point of attack to hold up.
Pass Blocking: Pass protection is where Lucas really shines. He gets into his pass sets so smoothly and is very difficult to shake. It’s such a strength for him that some teams may be curious about a move to left tackle, but he has zero experience there so it’s hard to know if that’s even an advisable decision.
Processing: Lucas plays with a lot of intelligence. He does a great job of analyzing the defense prior to the snap and then communicating with the right guard post-snap. He handles disguised blitzes very well.
Intangibles: The fact that Lucas was a four-year starter gifts him with experience few prospects can match. His ability to add so much weight during his freshman year, ultimately allowing him to become a starter right away, speaks to his commitment.
Lucas has become somewhat of a polarizing player in this draft. Some see a player that could become a starting right tackle, potentially even in his first year, with Pro Bowl potential. Others see more of a developmental player who would be better served moving inside to guard. Personally, I agree with the former. Lucas might need a year depending on the scheme of the team he’s drafted by, but his combination of size and athleticism make him a high-floor/high-ceiling prospect.
The Cowboys are one such team where Lucas would not need a year to adjust to the scheme, at least hypothetically. So they’d be looking at a competition between Lucas and Steele for the starting right tackle spot. Even if Steele does win that battle, he’s entering the final year of his contract, so drafting Lucas could offer Dallas a cheaper player with more team control. Or they could see him as more of a guard and try Lucas as their solution at left guard.
Lucas has some really good tape, but it’s getting discounted by some because of the schemes he played in. He still has the traits to carve out a successful career in the NFL, and for that reason he’s likely to be a second- or third-round pick.