As such, the late-blooming Gaines has a chance at earning a draft selection despite only developing into a starter his final two seasons with the Tigers.
Gaines, who redshirted in 2008 and played in a combined 11 games over the next two years, didn't waste any time turning heads once he earned the starting role at TSU, garnering Second Team All-OVC honors after both his junior and senior campaigns. Scouts had hoped to see him play against tougher competition at the Texas vs. Nation game, but he dropped out of the contest for undisclosed reasons shortly before practices began.
WEAKNESSES: Has been able to get away with his size and strength versus OVC competition and remains a work in progress, technically-speaking. Too often stands up at the snap, losing the leverage battle. Has a tendency to lunge toward defenders as part of his punch, making him vulerable to arm-over swim moves and counters from quicker pass rushers. Possesses adequate straight-line speed but doesn't show the balance to adjust to moving targets when blocking downfield. Was rarely asked to play out of the three-point stance and doesn't appear to be particularly flexible. Obvious level of competition questions and will have to explain why he didn't participate in the Texas vs. Nation game despite accepting an invitation.
Compares to: Tony Hills, OT, Indianapolis Colts