While the NFL Draft features the three top offensive tackles in Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, and Charles Cross, the rest of the class comes with questions. A player that has flown under the radar throughout the process is a tackle from Central Michigan. No, it’s not Bernhard Raimann. It’s the other tackle. Luke Goedeke aligned as a right tackle for Central Michigan the last two years and has been a steady presence on the offensive line. The former Division-III tight end out of UW-Stevens Point transferred to Central Michigan following the 2017 season. After his year off in 2018 from transferring, Goedeke has improved since he transitioned to the offensive line.
After catching 12 passes for 138 yards in his lone season as a tight end for the Pointers, Goedeke was awarded a scholarship by the CMU coaching staff. The former tight end came to camp as a 250-pound tight end and ate, A LOT. Goedeke ate almost 7,000 calories per day and had gained 35 pounds by the time he started at right tackle in 2019. Unfortunately, Goedeke missed the 2020 season following knee surgery but showed in 2021 that he can be a starting offensive lineman at the next level.
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Name: Luke Goedeke
Jersey: No. 67
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Central Michigan
Class: Redshirt Junior
Weight: 315 lbs
Games Watched: Kent State (2021), Missouri (2021), Northern Illinois (2021), LSU (2021)
Major Injury History: Knee Surgery in 2020 (Missed Season)
Pass Blocking (11.5/15)
After watching the game against Kent State, Goedeke didn’t look to have many issues in this regard. Unfortunately, the games against Missouri and LSU were still yet to come. In those two games, Goedeke struggled with speed rushers who won by using their speed against him. Goedeke has a consistent pass set, but when he is a tad too slow to get his hands on the pass-rusher, he loses the rep. He allowed a sack in each of the two games because of speed rushers. Against power rushers, Goedeke is stout, but with more explosive pass-rushers at the next level, it isn’t too big of a surprise to see some think that the Central Michigan product is better on the interior of the offensive line.
Run Blocking (14/15)
Another big reason why analysts believe Goedeke fits best on the interior is because of his stout run blocking. He has a bit of a bully mentality in the run game and can pummel defenders into the ground 15 yards downfield once he gets to the second level. Goedeke does an excellent job of sealing off linebackers, which allowed the running backs to gain extra yardage.
Goedeke has been listed as an interior prospect on multiple outlets. That is primarily due to his lack of length. In comparison to the rest of the class, his arms are about two inches shorter, his hand almost a full inch smaller, and his wingspan about four inches shorter. Compared to Raimann, there isn’t much of a difference, so it’s a bit peculiar that Goedeke has been thrown inside. He has adequate measurables to play tackle, but it isn’t a big surprise to see many plugging him inside instead.
In his pass sets, there were a few occasions of Goedeke shuffling more than getting depth. While that isn’t too concerning, it is worth noting. Another factor in his run blocking is that Goedeke will tend to false step with his back foot, which is typically his right foot. This holds his push in the run game back a bit. Without a false step, Goedeke could be almost unstoppable in the run game.
Goedeke has consistent hand placement and rarely puts himself in a position to get called for holding. His hands are continuously working, and if he initially fits incorrectly, Goedeke does a solid job of putting himself in a better position than he originally was. The only issue is if he can’t reach the defender on the outside because of his limited length in terms of the tackle position.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the Central Michigan right tackle compete at the scouting combine due to an injury he suffered at the Senior Bowl. With that said, this rating is an estimation of what his athletic skills are. Goedeke moved up to the second level easily in the run game and could get out ahead of the running backs or receivers on screens to the outside and make a block to spring a big gain.
Although he only played tackle during his time at Central Michigan, Goedeke was tasked with taking snaps on the interior at both guard and center during the week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. Unfortunately, Goedeke got injured during one of the practices and was out for the remainder of the week, so we didn’t get to see him play as much on the interior as most would’ve liked.
Goedeke has a stout anchor that helps him immensely against power and bull-rushers. After initial pushback, he can hold his ground and stop the defender in their tracks and keep the quarterback out of trouble. Goedeke plays with great leverage and can keep his frame lower than the defender’s, which greatly helps him again. With technically only two years of tackle experience, Goedeke will only get better in this regard.
It’s great to see Goedeke throw opposing defensive linemen and linebackers around and finish them to the turf. Unfortunately, there are times when the Central Michigan tackle can’t do so. The defender can rip through Goedeke’s block and stop the ball carrier for a shorter gain.
It is a bit of a surprise to see Goedeke not have as much talk as some of the other tackles in the class. Because Raimann is getting some first-round hype, it is astounding that Goedeke is still available in the sixth and seventh rounds in some mock draft simulators. He can start during his rookie season almost anywhere along the offensive line, and teams will differ on where they would like to align him, whether it be as a tackle or on the interior of the offensive line. Goedeke seems to have a safe floor but can only get better from here with only two years of experience along the offensive line with more experience.
Rookie Projection: Starting Offensive Lineman
Third Year Projection: Top 15 Right Tackle
Final Grade (80.25/100): Early Third Round
Player Comp: Billy Turner