Justin Pugh, T
- Height: 6-foot-5
- Weight: 298 pounds
- School: Syracuse
An All-Big East selection in 2010 and a first-team honoree each of the last two years, Pugh decided to declare for the draft with a year of eligibility remaining. He was instrumental to Syracuse's success, blocking for three consecutive 1,000-yard rushers and protecting the blind side of Ryan Nassib, who finished among the top quarterbacks in school history. After redshirting in 2009, Pugh started all 13 games at left tackle the next season and again in 2011. He still earned first-team conference honors in 2012 despite missing the first four games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The Orange lost three of four games in his absence before winning seven of nine - including a victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl - upon his return. Syracuse averaged 187.0 yards on the ground in 2012, the program's highest ground total since 2004. Pugh's greatest asset may be his versatility. Though he spent the bulk of his college career at tackle, he also saw time at guard and that may be where he's best suited to play in the NFL due to his short arm length (32 inches). A good combination of quickness and athleticism helps Pugh excel in pass-blocking and he works well in space with very good lateral ability. While he could contribute in the NFL right away, Pugh is far from a finished product. He needs to continue filling out his frame, improve his core strength and work on his hand technique. Pugh's athleticism was on display at the combine, where he ran the 40 in 5.14 seconds. He did not participate in the bench press there, but put up 22 reps of 225 pounds at Syracuse's pro day, proving he's fully recovered from his shoulder injury. As a versatile lineman with good upside, Pugh could be selected as early as the second round.
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