Seattle Seahawks 2022 third-round pick Abraham Lucas and second-year UDFA Jake Curhan (as well as second-year sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe) will be battling for the starting right tackle job during training camp and preseason. With both players being so early into their careers it is going to be more difficult to project which of the two will come out on top. However, minicamp did give us a slight indication as to who might be the lead dog in the house.
Number one OL throughout featured Charles Cross, Lewis, Blythe, Haynes and Lucas left to right. Second team OL was Eiland, Shepley, Fuller, Curhan and Forsythe left to right. So yes, Curhan has played guard all day with second unit with Lucas at RT with first unit.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) June 7, 2022
Seattle does expect big things in both the short- and long-term future from the Washington State alum but nonetheless it is still a bit surprising to see Carroll and co. giving Lucas the early edge. Down below we are going to evaluate what Lucas brings to the table as a blocker and how likely is it that he will become the team’s Week 1 starting right tackle.
Lucas did have his struggles in setting anchors against bigger lineman who are able to make the first contact. However, on this play shown above against USC’s Drake Jackson, who was a second-round pick by the 49ers this draft, Lucas does a great job of keeping one arm out to make contact and then striking Jackson in the chest with the other. This play highlights just how strong Lucas’ hands are as he is able to set Jackson back with his punch. The end zone angle also provides us with a view of the bend in Lucas’ knees and hips which help him maintain his play strength throughout the duration of the rep.
#bears prospect watch: Abraham Lucas 6’6 315lb RT Washington State— DBNB (@DaBadNewsBears) March 21, 2022
4 year starter and 4 time All-Pac 12 player with great size & athleticism. Dominated Kayvon Thibodeaux every time they played & is solid in pass pro too. Year 1 starter who could be an absolute steal in round 3 pic.twitter.com/13ZgzUFcfy
On this play against Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was the 5th overall pick in this past draft by the Giants, Lucas shows off his overall patience in pass protection. Rather than getting antsy and attacking Thibodeaux he simply pushes off his inside foot and gets right into his set where he closes off lanes to both his inside and outside shoulder. The former Duck’s only path to the quarterback is straight through Lucas and as shown his anchor is strong enough to prevent Thibodeaux from pushing him deep into the pocket. This and the prior play are also notable because it is coming against top tier competition. The PAC-12 carries a reputation of being a weaker conference compared to the other four Power 5 conferences, but despite that Lucas is still taking multiple island reps against high end NFL talent.
Abraham Lucas (RT no. 72) is a REALLY defined pass protector. I was actually very impressed. Although he comes from Washington State which means, not much run blocking.. But as far as pass pro goes, very defined, good footwork, in sync, really enjoyed him pic.twitter.com/zLFnvuJoZu— Jake Sirkus (@JakeSirkus) July 4, 2020
This play does a great job of showing off both Lucas’ polished footwork and the patience that we saw on the previous play. As the tweet says Lucas’ feet are in sync with the rest of his body. His base width never gets too wide which would affect both his play strength and agility, nor does he get on his heels. His inside foot does give out on him on the play, although he resets, and maintains his play strength throughout the duration of the play. Notably, Lucas also did not panic on the play when he slipped, he went right back to resetting his feet and maintaining contact with the defender.
Diving into some film from the weekend. First up was a good matchup here on the right side of the WSU O-line.— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) November 15, 2021
Kayvon Thibodeaux vs. Abraham Lucas is a battle between two top NFL prospects, here KT pushes him back and makes a play in the running game. pic.twitter.com/sezL2Hw9IR
I’d also like to see a bit more urgency in space, he’s a big dude and it looks like it in space pic.twitter.com/oAQlnmXJBW— Draft Guy Jared (@DraftGuyJared) March 20, 2022
Lucas is rather raw in the running game, mainly due to the fact that Washington State ran the ball on only 27% of his offensive snaps in his four seasons as a Cougar. On film he showed some flashes of him becoming at least an average run blocker early in his career. However, it was not something that was shown consistently enough to anticipate it translating to the NFL immediately. On the first play we see Lucas slide down a bit too much which provides Thibodeaux a clear lane to his inside. If he stayed more neutral off of the snap rather than moving down, he likely would’ve been able to shut the fifth overall pick off allowing the running back to bounce it out. On the second play we see Lucas’ struggle in space as a blocker. He is not going to be tasked with pulling as a blocker often due to the fact offensive coordinator Shane Waldron runs a zone blocking scheme. Although, he is going to have to be moving up to the second level from time to time.
I do think Lucas winds up being the Week 1 starting right tackle for the Seahawks for two reasons. The first being the draft capital Seattle invested in him. More often than not teams expect players drafted on Day 1 or 2 to become immediate starters unless they are extremely raw or quarterbacks, neither of which apply to Lucas. The second reason I believe Lucas gets the opening day nod is because he provides the Seahawks with a higher ceiling as a tackle this season compared to Curhan. Curhan might be considered the safer option by some seeing as he started three games and played in 15 for the Seahawks last season. Despite that though it is hard to see Seattle opting to go with the second-year player based simply on what he did in a small sample size for them last season.