STRENGTHS: NFL body type with thick hips and massive upper body. Rolls his hips to generate pop and move bodies at the point of attack, using his lower body strength to drive block in the run game. Stout frame, not an easy player to put on his heels and rarely caught moving in reverse. Adequate set up quickness with aggressive hands off the snap. Uses his eyes well to pick up twists and extra rushers, clearly displaying a high football IQ. Conscious effort to keep his knees bent and pad level low, something that appears to come natural to him. Physically and mentally tough and gives consistently high effort from snap-to-snap. Senior captain and four-year starter at right guard and very reliable. High character human being who won't take shortcuts and has a proven work ethic.
WEAKNESSES: Clunky in a crowd with tight hips. Limited mobility and range, struggling with consistency at the second level and not doing much outside of a few feet at the line of scrimmage. Stops his feet too often and ends up falling off blocks and on the ground, struggling to sustain with his limited arm length, especially in space. Tardy mirror skills and too often caught off balance and hunched at the waist and needs to be more of a consistent knee bender. Struggles to counter interior rush moves and needs to better anticipate pressures pre-snap. All of his experience has come at right guard with questionable versatility to line up at other positions on the line.
Tomlinson was born in Jamaica, moved to the U.S. with his mother at the age of 10 and started playing football as a freshman in high school. He was recruited as both an offensive and defensive lineman, but focused on offense at Duke and was a mainstay at right guard for the Blue Devils the last four seasons, starting 52 straight games. He was a three-time All-ACC First Teamer and four-time Academic All-ACC honoree, earning the 2014 Orange Bowl Courage Award.
Tomlinson has a wide, squatty body that takes up room and allows him to anchor, plugging holes in the line, but struggles to consistently sustain or be dependable if asked to block in space or pay away from the line of scrimmage. He doesn't consistently bring his feet with him in the run game and lacks the length to get away with his technical issues, struggling to be reliable in space. Tomlinson is a first-class person with strong intangibles and work ethic, but projects as a short-area NFL backup.
02/17/2015 - 2015 DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64 DRAFT PROSPECTS: 50/2. Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke, 6-3, 323, 5.23, 2...Tomlinson, born in Jamaica, relocated to the U.S. when he was 10 and didn't play football until he was a freshman at Lane Technical High School in Chicago. He picked up the game so well that Duke recruited him as both an offensive and defensive lineman and waited to see how he turned out. After some adjustment, he started and starred at right guard in 52 games over the last four years and was a three-time All-ACC first-team selection. He appears to be perfectly constructed for an NFL guard with thick hips and a broad upper body that is difficult to neutralize. But he seems a bit robotic at times and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to taking on more athletic defenders in the NFL. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange