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Preseason Scouting Notes: Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin

Redshirt Senior | 6’5″ 312 lbs | Green Bay, WI | April 23, 1998

 

A true Wisconsin O-lineman that has good get off, play strength, and generates drive in the run game

 

Overview:

Cole Van Lanen is coming off of a good 2019 in which he earned second team All-Big 10 honors. He has had a solid string of productive seasons, but last year was his first full campaign as a starter. As the left tackle in Wisconsin’s pro style offense, he was a key player in the rushing attack that made it to the Big 10 Championship game. Some claim Van Lanen was draftable after last season, but he decided to come back for his final year of eligibility. A good 2020 with All-Big 10 performance will help him elevate his draft stock considerably.

 Strengths:

– Fires off the ball with authority
– Gets good upfield push in the run game
– Combatting power moves. Can drop the anchor and stalemate opponents
– Agile enough to pull and get to the second level
– Displays a good understanding of Zone schemes and can open up lanes by walling off defenders
– Good grip strength when he can get at opponents’ chest plate

Areas to improve:

– Tendency to bend at the waist rather than the knees
– Has an occasional forward lean that can throw him off balance
– Timing of his punch is late and often inaccurate
– Wide hands allow opponents to fight them off easily
– Gets more width than depth in his pass sets. Makes him vulnerable to inside counter moves
– Slow kick steps and narrow feet make him susceptible to straight speed rush

Injury concerns:

N/A

Projection:

Van Lanen has some tools in his run blocking arsenal that can make him useful at the NFL level. His deficiencies in the pass game make him better suited for right tackle as opposed to left, but he could possibly slide inside to play guard given his pulling prowess. His vulnerabilities could be somewhat neutralized with the shorter pass sets required on the inside, and he has the athleticism to execute kick out blocks. His experience blocking in both power and zone schemes at Wisconsin make him a nice option for both in the NFL, but his best fit would be in a more zone oriented offense. Teams looking for a position versatile OL can find him available on Day 3.

What to watch in 2020:

Van Lanen has a solid foundation upon which to build, but will need to address some technical flaws in order to create more of a name for himself. He will need to fix the technical issues of his pass sets by getting more depth while doing so with more width in his feet. His punch needs to be more accurate and to be executed with better timing. Bending more with his knees instead of his waist should help eliminate any forward lean, as well as help him generate even more drive. Improving the technical aspects of his game will allow him to be a much more favorable option in the eyes of NFL front offices.