Cody O'Connell

Washington St.

Prospect Info

Washington St.
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6' 9"
363 lbs
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Prospect Grade

NFL Backup or Special Teams Potential
How We Grade


O'Connell and Washington's junior tackle Trey Adams played together at Wenatchee (WA) High School, pushing each other in practice so both could get better. Now they could both end up on NFL rosters. O'Connell could not get on the field on offense for Washington State until his junior year, however. He redshirted the 2013 season coming off a knee injury suffered during his senior year at Wenatchee, then failed to appear in a game the following year. After a year of duty on special teams, he got his chance to start in 2016. All he did was finish as an Outland Trophy finalist and unanimous All-American (the second in school history, with former NFL kicker Jason Hanson). Pac-12 coaches only named him an honorable mention selection after playing in all 13 games, starting 12, and using his quick feet and mammoth build to adeptly protect quarterback Luke Falk. They rectified that in 2017, placing O'Connell on the first team as he started all 13 games at left guard. The Associated Press voted him second-team All-American, as well.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 6-7
NFL Comparison
Tayo Fabuluje
O'Connell has rare size and that size carries undeniable pros and cons. On one hand, O'Connell lacks initial quickness, second level blocking consistency and recovery against athletic pass rushers who beat him early. On the flip side, he's not a clumsy oaf and has the necessary body control and technique to handle most defenders who challenge him heads-up. O'Connell's weaknesses and limitations will turn some off, but his rare size and above average strength shouldn't just be ignored and teams may give him a shot at right tackle to start his career.
  • Is an absolute giant
  • Plays big and plays wide
  • Makes it tough to get around him and to his edge when he's playing with desired balance and posture
  • Body control is adequate for his size
  • Has ability to engulf and overwhelm smaller three-techniques as a drive blocker
  • Has adequate ability to mirror
  • Sustains blocks with power in his upper body and hands
  • Size and length allow him better opportunity of occupying A and B gaps against blitz packages
  • Pass sets are generally solid
  • When punch-timing is right, he can disrupt rushers with heavy hands and consecutive jabs
  • Works hands and feet in unison on most snaps
  • Doesn't get bogged down by blitzes and twists
  • Does a good job of snapping and catching moving bodies
  • Has mass to help with recovery against brute force
  • Lacks quickness to get to lateral landmarks in run game
  • Height and high center of gravity create natural balance concerns when recovering or redirecting his weight in space
  • Unable to bend enough to drive block with any leverage
  • Leans towards A-gap blitzers rather than stepping back inside to close down the gap
  • Has a shady radar in space and targets can elude him
  • Can be lumbering when asked to climb to second level
  • Punch lands too high on targets and will slide up and off
  • Hands can be a little slow and lingering allowing opponents a chance to control them
  • Footwork gets ragged the longer a snap goes
  • Gives more ground to bull-rushers than expected
Sources Tell Us

"When he gets beat by quickness, he has no chance to recover. None. I think NFL teams will scheme him into facing mismatches on all passing downs. He's big but I think it works against him more than it works for him." - NFL offensive line consultant


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More news
Once-in-lifetime player
Perennial All-Pro
Future All-Pro
Pro Bowl-caliber player
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
Should become instant starter
Chance to become NFL starter
NFL backup or special teams potential
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
Should be in an NFL training camp
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
Likely needs time in developmental league