by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Marshall University Athletics.
At Draft Nation, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Marshall, Tackle, Ethan Driskell
Name- Ethan Driskell
HT/WT- 6’9” 329 lbs.
Home – Louisville, KY
Ethan Driskell attended Holy Cross High School in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. There he was a two-sport athlete who played center on the basketball team as well as offensive tackle and defensive tackle for the football team. He originally announced he was going to attend Kentucky, but soon after committed to Marshall.
Driskell did not see the field in 2019 and took a redshirt. In 2020, Driskell participated in 9 out of 10 games, mostly on special teams. He was a physical presence and made an impact, including blocking a kick for the Herd. He also played tackle sparingly in 3 of the games, playing a total of 19 snaps.
In 2021, he appeared in all 13 games as a reserve offensive lineman. He played a total of 237 snaps, mostly at right tackle. He grew more consistent as the season progressed, and overall, he gave up 8 quarterback hurries and 1 sack.
In 2022, Driskell moved into a starting role at left tackle and started all 13 games for Marshall. He helped pave the way for one of the nation’s better rushing attacks with Khalan Laborn and Rasheen Ali. Driskell entered the 2023 season as a Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team selection. He started all 13 games for the Herd and played a total of 909 snaps at left tackle. He allowed 14 quarterback hurries, 2 quarterback hits, and 3 sacks.
Ethan Driskell plays with the athleticism of a basketball player. He is fluid in his movements and when asked to, he can make precise blocks on the second level. At 6’9”, he uses his length fully to his advantage. He is able to strike an opponent quickly off the snap and has a strong punch that lands in the opponent's chance to get an upper hand. He does a good job of recalibrating when a defender stunts or cuts inside. He understands combo blocks and is aware of his surroundings and what is needed to get the job done. In the run game, Driskell shows a viciousness and a temperament to follow through until the end.
On the downside, Driskell can easily lose his base and get off-balance. He’s impatient at times and will reach for a defender instead of waiting for him to come to him. When he does this, he loses a lot of his power and stability. He does not generate the power that he should in pass protection and seems to be uncomfortable at times with speed rushers. He can play with too much bend, and often, when he makes contact with an opponent, he drops his head. He will need to adjust to the power and speed of the NFL and prove that he can anchor down against the bigger and faster opponents.
Draft Nation is reminded of Blake Freeland when watching Ethan Driskell. Freeland was a 4th round pick of the Indianapolis Colts out of BYU in 2023. Freeland was an ex-basketball player who's built more like a tight end than a tackle in the NFL. Driskell has a long way to go to get to Blake Freeland’s level, but all the tools are there for him.
Too much bend
Ethan Driskell is not the most polished tackle in this class, but his athleticism and size will be hard to stray away from late in the draft. He will need some work and a team will have to show some patience, but there is a bit of a ceiling with him.
Draft Nation Draft Projection - Round 6 or round 7