INDIANAPOLIS—Tyler Larsen is the one Aaron Donald didn’t destroy.
Larsen’s stock in this year’s NFL draft might have risen on the strength of his performance at last month’s Senior Bowl, where defensive tackle Aaron Donald put on a dominant performance that included embarrassing moments for Cyril Richardson and Weston Richburg, both of whom went to the Senior Bowl as high-ranked prospects.
“It definitely raised my confidence. I had a solid week. I’m proud of what I did,” said Larsen, who held his own against Donald.
Larsen is at Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2014 NFL scouting combine, an event that’ll help define the 2014 NFL draft crop. Offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists kicked off the “weekend” on Thursday with measurements, medicals and interviews. The group will bench press for scouts on Friday; it’s an activity of particular significance for offensive linemen.
The Utah State center claims to have never allowed a sack in his college career, which he began as a starter as a freshman. His brother Cody is a defensive tackle with the Ravens and the younger Larsen figures to soon make it two in the family in the NFL.
“I’m a very solid player in the run game. I get good movement off the ball. In the pass game, if I’m in a one-on-one situation, I’m very comfortable with that. I’m very good at picking blitzes up,” Larsen said.
How high in the draft has Larsen risen? Some consider him to be a late-rounds prospect. Others say his performance at the Senior Bowl has shot him higher in the order.
The Packers could have need at the center position, depending on what the team decides as far as re-signing Evan Dietrich-Smith or allowing him to escape in free agency. Larsen is thought to be a ready-to-play prospect whose older brother has provided a proper perspective on life at the next level.
“It’s a whole new world. It’s grown men trying to support their families. College is nothing like it’s going to be in the NFL,” the younger Larsen said.
Packers.com draft contributor Tony Pauline considers Larsen to be a “hard-working, grind-it-out center. He’s not a great athlete, but he’s smart, workmanlike and gets the job done. He’s a later-round prospect who could start,” which could make Larsen a value pick for a team with need at the position. More from the combine: