One of the more under-the-radar prospects that could end up hearing his name called at pick 33 is Matt Peart out of UConn. So far, many scouts are all over the place on him in terms of his placement in their offensive tackle rankings. However, as the pre-draft process plays out, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him erase the doubts some have about him, allowing him to rise up boards.
He’s slated to show off his skill set to the Bengals this week at the Senior Bowl. It will be a prime opportunity to flash his athleticism and potential. The Draft Network’s Jonah Tuls had this to say about Peart and the Senior Bowl,
"Many may not know Matt Peart’s name, but that will change in January. The Senior Bowl is an opportunity for lesser-known players to have their breaking out party. Think about guys in recent years like Nathan Shepherd and Terry McLaurin. I think Peart could be one of the biggest risers from this event. His physical profile, style of play, and background is very similar to Branden Albert, a former Pro Bowl offensive tackle who played guard in college. Like Albert, Peart is a former basketball player with most of his college experience at guard. However, it is clear that his home in the league is at tackle with his athleticism and length. If he can hold up well against some of the event’s top pass rushers during the week of practice, he may rise into early-round consideration."
The three-year starter will have a lot on the line at the event, considering he didn’t get an opportunity to consistently play against high-level competition in the AAC. Offensive line coach Jim Turner will undoubtedly be paying close attention as he matches up against some of the best players in the nation.
Much like Jackson, Peart has the insane arm length that is highly sought after around the league. Beyond that, he moves really well for his size, something that will allow him to get out in space on screenplays. Adding to his value, he has experience playing guard, giving him the versatility that the Bengals love.
Perhaps most importantly, he has great durability, starting 36 straight games. For a Bengal’s team that often seems to have injury issues, Peart could help in that regard.
It’s still too early to tell if Peart will fall in this range of the draft. There is usually one player that always rises up the ranks to become a surprise early selection and Peart appears to be a candidate to do just that.
With his natural talent and upside, the former UConn right tackle gives Bengals fans somebody to look out for beyond the more well-known prospects.