The past two seasons South Dakota State has produced at least one NFL Draft pick on the offensive side of the ball. In 2022 they saw running back Pierre Strong get drafted in the fourth round and quarterback Chris Oladokun was selected in the seventh round. This past draft they saw tight end Tucker Kraft get picked with the 78th overall pick. Look for that trend to continue this season with offensive tackle Garret Greenfield likely to hear his name called come April.
2024 NFL Draft: Why Garret Greenfield is an offensive lineman to watch in the draft
Greenfield has locked down the Jackrabbit's left tackle spot for the past two years and overall has been a starter for South Dakota State for four years having played right tackle his first two seasons. During his time at SDSU, he has helped them win two national championships in a row and helped them rush for 5,686 yards and 70 touchdowns over those two seasons. He has also earned his share of awards including being named a three-time All-American.
What scouts will love about Greenfield is his ability as a run blocker. In this area he shows impressive strength deleiving a fierce first jolt off the ball and controlling his man with his vicegrip strength. In addition to displaying impressive power he also has the nastiness offensive line coaches love, consistently playing through the echo of the whistle.
Another big positive with Greenfield is his impressive size. South Dakota State lists him at 6-foot-7 and 320-pounds and when you see him in person he looks every inch of it. In addition to being a massive human being, it's also eye-opening to see how little body fat a player his size has. On top to being a lean giant, he also has the arm length to consistently keep defenders at bay.
Yet another reason why Greenfield is the top FCS offensive lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft is his durability. This is where he really separates himself from Yale offensive tackle Kiran Amegadjie who has his share of draftniks who say he is the top small-school lineman in the draft. While Amegadjie is coming off a season-ending injury, Greenfield has never had a serious injury and has started 55 straight games.
One area where scouts may have concerns with Greenfield and one that will likely push him to day three of the 2024 NFL Draft is his lack of athletic ability. While Greenfield plays left tackle at South Dakota State look for most teams to consider him more as a right tackle or even offensive guard since he doesn’t have the quickness off the ball in pass protection to matchup against dominant speed rushers at the next level. In addition to lacking the foot quickness to play left tackle he also is not the most flexible guy which causes him to play with a high pad level.
Now that South Dakota State has won another National Championship and Garret Greenfield has used up all six years of his college eligibility it is time for him to turn his focus to the predraft process. He will start preparing for the NFL Draft by attending the East-West Shrine game in late January. If he can shut down NFL Draft prospects from Power Five conferences as he did FCS opponents look for him to start moving people’s draft board
In addition to needing a strong Shrine Bowl, he will also need to impress scouts with his testing numbers at the NFL Combine and his pro day. When it comes to testing look for Greenfield to put impressive numbers on the bench press and to look good in position drills. However, the real question for him will be how well he runs on both the 10-yard split and pro agility, since he has questions about his overall athletic ability.
If he passes these tests look for teams to consider him on the third day of the 2024 NFL Draft. The teams that would make the most sense for him are your traditional smashmouth gap-blocking scheme teams like Baltimore and Detroit.