Player Spotlight: Alabama Offensive Tackle JC Latham

By Dylan Edelman | Mar 22, 2024

Alabama v LSU
Alabama v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Name: JC Latham

Position: Offensive Tackle

School: Alabama

Age (Draft Day): 21

Height/Weight: 6'6", 342 lbs.


Alabama offensive tackle JC Latham was a 5-star recruit in the 2021 recruiting class from the renowned IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. After some limited appearances from the bench in his freshman season, Latham entered his second year in Tuscaloosa as the starting right tackle; where he would play for the rest of his collegiate career. JC has started 29 games for the Alabama Crimson Tide and has allowed 28 pressures and only 2 sacks, per PFF.


High-End Tools: JC Latham brings a remarkable tool kit to the NFL table. The young Alabama tackle has a dense lower half centric frame, with tremendous 35 1/8 inch arms. His size and length allow him to anchor bull rushes with ease and keep pass rushers at his finger tips. He also moves extremely well for his stature and has the hip flexibility to quickly cover ground in his pass sets.

Elite Power: Latham has been billed by many as possibly the strongest player in the 2024 Draft Class, and rightfully so. He regularly displaces defenders on gap runs, with an impressive amount of sheer force at the point of attack. When he smells blood in the water, Latham is very quick to strike, routinely putting run defenders on their derrières faster than they would care to comment on.
His hands serve devastating blows on double teams. He also gives very little ground at first contact against bull rushes, and rarely needs to churn his feet to re-anchor.

Strong and Precise Hand Usage: In tandem with his impressive power profile, is the strength and precision in JC's hands. The massive 11" mallets at the end of his wrists quite nearly put the weight of the world on defender's shoulders. He displays an impressive amount of polish for his experience level, throwing punch fakes and keeping his hands acting independent of one another. His timing and accuracy with those big mitts are admirable, and enable him to maintain control of his matchups from a safe distance. With all that said, the most imposing part of Latham's game is by far his grip strength. In most cases, when he's got you, he's got you. In both pass protection and as a run blocker, Latham's grip is all but a death nail on the rep for opposing players. It allows him to sustain blocks for a great length of time, keeping pockets clean and allowing for longer developing run plays to prosper behind him.

Patient, Feet-First Pass Blocker: For such a large individual, JC plays with a stellar amount of control in pass protection. His footwork is generally very clean, and he operates with great patience, knowing that his anchor is so rock solid. When locking up players in his grip, he does a great job playing with his feet first to restrict edge rushers from getting outside of his frame. In turn, Latham has a great understanding of when to release his blocks based on the situation around him, which allowed him to avoid unnecessary holding penalties. A trait that I find is underappreciated, is the ability to lose with dignity, which is something that Latham does well. He was very rarely outmatched entirely on a play, even when he was initially beaten. He also has alert eyes and processing that shut down stunts and line games quickly, and help him find work when uncovered.


Middling Movement Ability: Latham moves fairly well for 342 lbs. person, but in comparison to the other athletes in the NFL it is definitely a weak point. His feet can be sluggish at times in pass protection, leaving his outside shoulder susceptible to faster rushers. Consequently, he will sometimes overset to compensate against speedier defenders, and allow them to easily cross his face with an inside move. His lateral quickness is just not quite good enough to consistently mirror and recover on his inside shoulder in the cases where it is vulnerable.

Clunky Second-Level Blocker: Similarly, Latham's movement abilities hinder him as an open field blocker. He doesn't get out of his stance quick enough to consistently beat defenders to their landmarks at the second level. Generally, he doesn't take the best angles in space either, and mostly just serves as a big body in the way. He's not going to be a player that smart offensive coordinators will be asked to frequently pull or reach block on zone run plays.

Balance: In the plays where JC is beaten, the most common denominator is poor balance. He does have a habit of getting his shoulders over his toes, if only briefly, on his punches. This exposes him to some easy losses on push-pull moves. In the run game, Latham will sometimes get caught dipping his head and losing sight of his defender. This led to the most jarring of the misses that you'll see on his film.

NFL Comparison: Cam Robinson

Cam Robinson
Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Cam Robinson, like Latham, was a powerful point-of-attack blocker coming out of Alabama in 2017. He has since been a consistent starting-caliber lineman at left tackle for the Jaguars. Their athletic webs on are a 77.3% match; Both stand at 6'6" with nearly identical arm length and hand size. Entering the league, Robinson also struggled with his balance per Lance Zierlein's 2017 Draft Profile.

Draft Projection

JC Latham has an impressive amount of polish for such a young player. His hand usage and grip strength should immediately translate to the next level, in addition to the incredible power that he will bring as a gap scheme run blocker. His movement skill set is likely not going to be regarded as highly by zone-heavy systems, but I think for the right team Latham will be an immediate impact starter in his rookie season. I wouldn't think twice about taking a tone-setting mauler like him in the top half of round one.

Round Grade: Top 15 Pick