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After spending his first few seasons as a little-used reserve, he started all 12 games at left tackle in 2011 before moving to the right side last spring.
Listed at 6-8 and 303 pounds, Wetzel has the frame and length to engulf blockers and, despite heavy feet, he uses his wide base and wingspan to cover a lot of ground. He does a nice job driving defenders off the line of scrimmage and can redirect players in the run game.
Wetzel can be caught lunging and overextending at times, but he does a nice job keeping rushers from his body and outside the pocket. He lacks the coordination and footwork to consistently hold up in space, but scouts are encouraged by his natural tools.
While he won't be an early-round pick, some in the NFL are beginning to believe he has starting right tackle potential at the next level.
STRENGTHS: At 6-8, 303 pounds, Wetzel possesses the long, lean frame NFL scouts look for at the tackle position. Consistently gets his arms extended and displays good hand-placement inside the pads of his opponent. Establishes a wide base in pass protection and flashes a dynamic pop on first contact. Exhibits the patience to sit back and punch the more explosive, speedier rushers, and is rarely caught over-extending or bending at the waist as a pass blocker.
Good technique enables Wetzel to overcome lack of natural fluidity by utilizing a long, balanced kick-slide to reach the edge. As a run-blocker, when able to engage his defender early, displays strong hands and effective use of length to direct his opponent off the line with what appears at times to be relative ease. Exhibits good awareness and decisiveness on blitz pick-ups. Targets quickly off the line as a run-blocker.
WEAKNESSES: Wetzel is naturally heavy-footed and doesn't possess the lateral agility typically boasted by tackles built to consistently shut off NFL-caliber edge rushers.
At times comes off the line high and is susceptible to being blown back by significantly smaller opponents who gain low leverage. Stops moving his feet occasionally when engaged at the edge in pass-protection, leaving him susceptible to a swim or swat, and doesn't possess the quickness or flexibility to recover. Will absorb contact with locked legs and arched back when anchoring and sealing for the run, rendering it difficult for him to hold his ground, and allowing defenders into his chest.
Would probably need to bulk up for a move to the inside, but maintaining his already-limited agility could be tough with added mass.
COMPARES TO: Breno Giacomini, RT, Seattle Seahawks - Like Giacomini, Wetzel's length and solid pass-blocking technique help him compensate for a lack of natural athleticism and fluidity, and should give him a future in the NFL as a late-round rotational tackle with potential to eventually start on the right side.
Concluded his collegiate career starting each of Boston College’s last 24 games … a versatile offensive lineman who saw significant action at both left and right tackle.
Started all 12 games at right tackle and played 886 snaps … pass blocked for an offense that averaged 259.3 passing yards per game – the most since the 2007 team averaged 329.7 yards per game through the air … helped in allowing Chase Rettig to throw for 300 or more yards in a game three times … paved the way for the Eagles to rack up 542 yards of total offense (441 passing, 101 rushing) with no sacks allowed against Miami (Sept. 1) … run blocked for Andre Williams’ 191-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance against Army (Oct. 6).
Started all 12 games at left tackle and played 715 snaps ... the Eagles had six games with more than 100 yards rushing; including a 372-yard performance at Maryland (Oct. 29) ... blocked for Rolandan Finch against the Terrapins (Oct. 29); Finch's 243 rushing yards were the third greatest single-game total in program history and most in the ACC since 2009 ... BC did not give up a sack and scored a season-high four rushing touchdowns versus Maryland ... helped Montel Harris eclipse BC's rushing record with a 108-yard performance against Wake Forest (Oct. 1); Harris' career rushing total was 3,734 yards ... the Eagles threw for more than 200 yards in two games; 351 passing yards against Northwestern (Sept. 3) and 247 passing yards versus Duke (Sept. 17).
Made eight appearances on the year...spent much of his first two seasons as the backup to Anthony Castonzo, who was a first-round NFL draft selection; he was, therefore, able to learn from one of the best in the country and is now poised and ready to take the reins...a big, strong, physical player who possesses the necessary size and ability to step right into that role.
Appeared in six games as a second-stringer...BC ranked 39th in the country in sacks allowed (1.54)...blocked for RB Montel Harris who had the fourth-most carries in the country (308) and the 10th-most rushing yards (1,457)...the line helped Harris record eight 100-yard games.
Was a two-time All-City selection at Brashear; lined up at offensive tackle and defensive end for the Bulls ... led his team to consecutive City League titles (2007 and 2008) ... paved the way for his team's 306 points in eight City League contests in 2008; the Bulls defense allowed just 83 points ... recorded 70 tackles (52 solos), including seven sacks, in his senior season ... played for head coaches Ron Wabby and Rick Murphy ... also played on the school's basketball, volleyball, and track and field teams.
John William Wetzel, born July 18, 1991 ... enrolled as a communications major in the College of Arts & Sciences ... John is the son of Janet and John Wetzel; has a twin brother, Dave, and two sisters.
Draft Scout Player News
11/14/16 - T John Wetzel got his first official NFL start at left tackle on Sunday and head coach Bruce Arians was pleased with how the second-year, undrafted free agent out of Boston College performed.
"I thought John Wetzel played a really solid game," Arians said. "But the other guys can all play better."
Wetzel, who is replacing the injured Jared Veldheer (triceps) for the remainder of the season, said there is plenty of room for him to improve.
"I played better and I'm glad we won, but there's lots of stuff I need to work on," Wetzel said. "I've got to work on some technique stuff like being consistent with my sets, using my hands, flipping my hips at the right point, small stuff like that."
11/10/16 - LT John Wetzel has the full confidence of head coach Bruce Arians know that Wetzel will be the starter for the rest of the season in place of the injured Jared Veldheer, who is on injured reserve with a torn triceps tendon. "I feel very comfortable with John," Arians said. "That's more of a comfortable spot for him, and he's tough and smart. Will he get beat? Probably, now and then. They all do. Jared did too, but he'll do fine."
10/07/16 - RG John Wetzel was pressed into action when LG Mike Iupati was hurt and did a phenomenal job, according to coach Bruce Arians, considering he hasn't practiced at all at guard since training camp. Wetzel has been a backup tackle. He got a game ball, however, for his efforts against San Francisco.
10/06/16 - G John Wetzel replaced LG Mike Iupati (ankle) in the second half, while G Earl Watford replaced RG Evan Mathis (ankle) , and Arizona's running game kept rolling.
08/14/16 - OT John Wetzel sustained a hip flexor injury against the Raiders, but coach Bruce Arians said he didn't think the ailment was serious enough to sideline the backup for very long.