2022 NFL draft scouting report: Kentucky OL Darian Kinnard

·3 min read

Kentucky OL Darian Kinnard

6-foot-5
328 pounds

Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade

5.68 — possible third- or fourth-rounder; contributor potential

TL;DR scouting report

Hulking college tackle who might be best-served with a move inside to guard to maximize his power and mask his issues with quickness

The skinny

A 3-star Rivals recruit in the Class of 2018, Kinnard chose the Wildcats over Penn State, Tennessee and UCLA, playing in nine games as a freshman, starting two of the last three at left tackle. He moved to right tackle in 2019, starting all 13 games. Kinnard then started all 11 games in 2020 and 13 more in 2021, helping UK's line be recognized as Joe Moore Award (best offensive line in college football) semifinalists. He played at the 2022 Senior Bowl.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 2: Tackle Darian Kinnard #70 of the University of Kentucky Wildcats during the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the 76th annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field on January 2, 2021 in Jacksonvile, Florida. The Wildcats defeated the Wolfpack 23 to 21. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 2: Tackle Darian Kinnard #70 of the University of Kentucky Wildcats during the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the 76th annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field on January 2, 2021 in Jacksonvile, Florida. The Wildcats defeated the Wolfpack 23 to 21. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Upside

  • Massive, long frame — over 6-foot-5 with 35-inch arms, 83-inch wingspan

  • Weight looked nicely distributed at Senior Bowl

  • Enormous hands (11 1/4 inches) to latch and lock up opponents

  • Surprising quickness in short areas displayed in 10-yard split of 1.78 seconds

  • Lower-body flexibility better than you might imagine

  • Raw, hulking power to stonewall rushers and pave clear paths

  • Can torque defenders violently and kick them out of the club

  • Drops an anchor and is nearly rooted to the spot

  • Truly nasty demeanor — seeks to bury his man whenever possible

  • Finisher plays through the echo of the whistle

  • Warrior mentality — UK coaches praise his mental and physical toughness

  • Iron man — 39 straight starts and seldom missed a snap

  • Made tangible improvement each college season, especially in pass protection

  • Starting experience at both tackle spots

  • Looked the part at guard in Senior Bowl practice reps

  • Will endear himself to old-school "mushroom club" OL coaches

Downside

  • Weight got a bit out of control — was pushing 375 early in his career

  • Testing numbers indicate his athletic limitations, especially with lateral quickness

  • Balance gets wonky — not very nimble or light on his feet

  • Too much forward lean puts him on the ground more than you want to see

  • Will always be taxed by speed rushers, especially at tackle

  • Has the build and athleticism that might require a shift to guard

  • Wooden in his stance and late to pick up quick interior pressure

  • Hands get swatted down too often/easily in pass pro

  • No interior experience — college snaps have only come at tackle

  • False starts happen too often for his experience

  • Spotty performance in Senior Bowl game (two penalties, two pressures allowed)

Best-suited destination

Kinnard can add a layer of toughness to an offensive line, but his rookie-year readiness could depend on how able he is to adjust to a potential move inside. He profiles as a right guard or right tackle, perhaps best-served to operate in a man/gap system. Kinnard has great power in the run game, and his issues dealing with quickness might be tempered at guard.

Did you know

One of the best battles at the Senior Bowl came at the end of the first day's National Team practice: Kinnard vs. Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson II. Read all about it here.

Player comp

Shades of D.J. Fluker and Cody Ford

Expected draft range

Rounds 2-3