INDIANAPOLIS – Two players who hope to be selected in the NFL draft in May said Thursday that they watch film of Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams in an attempt to improve their play.
Xavier Su'a-Filo, a left guard at UCLA, and Charles Leno, a left tackle at Boise State, each praised Williams, who was selected to his play in his second Pro Bowl in just four years after this past season.
Su'a-Filo, who started at left tackle during his freshman season, said he focuses on Williams, New England Patriots left guard Logan Mankins and San Francisco 49ers left guard Mike Iupati.
"I think Logan, he was a high draft pick, but he's physical," said Su'a-Filo, who is projected to be a second- or third-round pick. "He's a bad-ass. He started from Day 1 in New England, and I love how nasty he is. [That's] something about his game that I really try to implement. Other guys like Mike Iupati and Trent Williams are really mean and nasty like that, and that's what I'm trying to be like."
Leno started every game for Boise State over the last three seasons, including the last two at left tackle. In addition to keeping an eye on Williams, Leno follows former teammate Ryan Clady, now the Denver Broncos' starting left tackle, and Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown.
"Trent really has a good first step in pass pro and in the run game," said Leno, a projected mid-round pick. "It's very explosive. He's quick in his first steps – when he's coming down to block, or he's going out to block, or he's kicking back. He's very explosive and has a very quick first step."
Leno has taken a liking to the three offensive tackles because, at Boise State, he also played in a zone-blocking scheme. While that's rare in college, it's much more common in the NFL, and he thinks that experience will make him more appealing to teams needing an offensive lineman.
"Regardless of scheme or the side of the line they want to put me on, I'll be ready," Leno said.
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