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Draft Central | 2024

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Coach's Corner: Oklahoma OL coach discusses Guyton


FRISCO, Texas — The eight draft picks for the Dallas Cowboys will make their way to The Star this weekend to officially put pen to paper on their rookie contracts and to participate in rookie minicamp, as their NFL careers sit on the verge of their beginnings.

Entering as a rookie brings a lot of excitement, but also a lot of expectation. Especially for the current Cowboys rookie class, there will be a need for immediate contributions from the majority of the draft picks.

In Coach's Corner, we reached out to each of the draftees' college position coaches to find out more about their development in college on and off the field, their fits in Dallas and how it coincided with their time in college, and what they might need to work on before touching the NFL field.

Next up is first-round pick and Oklahoma offensive tackle Tyler Guyton, who we spoke to Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh about regarding these topics.

Q: When he made the transition from TCU to Oklahoma, what was the mentality he showed early on in Norman to prove himself on the field?

A: Well, he had to mature a lot when he got here and grow up, and he did. From the first time that he got here to the day he left – and I've told a lot of people – it's really kind of an astronomical change. He was a young kid, had some immaturity, didn't know how to work. And that's part of your job as a coach, help them understand what the standard is of how we work as an o-line here at Oklahoma and the expectations and all of those things. I thought it was OK his first year, but then his second year here, it was really good. He started to learn and gain confidence. He worked hard to get to the point where he's at right now. I think he's still got a long ways to go. He started 14 games and he's really played o-line for three years. The sky is the limit for him, and I know that's cliche but this guy can be as good as he wants. I've seen the growth and maturity that leads me to believe that he's going to be a damn good player in the NFL.

Q: From your perspective as an offensive line coach, him being on the right side but still protecting the blindside of the quarterback, how do you think he can take some of those same traits to the left side of the offensive line and still succeed?

A: Yeah, I think that's a little overrated quite honestly, not saying I'm right or wrong. Is it easy to transition to both sides? No, it's not. But it's like I say, you can get sacked from the left side as easily as you can from the right side. You better have two good tackles that can protect. I think it's going to be fine. Really, we played him at right tackle because Walter Rouse came in here and had a ton of experience at left tackle and didn't go through the spring. I was only here with him for a year and really on the field for only six months, so we didn't want to mess up that. Tyler started as a left tackle, started the first game [in 2022] and we had Anton Harrison who we moved back to left. With [Tyler], he's so freakishly talented and athletic – and he hasn't only just done right tackle his whole life. I don't think the transition will be as hard as it is for some other guys.

Q: From the beginning of last season to the end – obviously, that's a big bulk of his experience that he got in college – where would you say his biggest growth was on the field?

A: I think just his knowledge of football, really. Obviously, the talent speaks for itself but talent alone isn't going to get it done. You gotta understand football and understand defenses and understand how people are going to rush you and all of those things. I think that was the biggest thing. And he's still so inexperienced, that's only going to get better, but just his knowledge of football, his work, his time putting into learning football is the biggest thing that improved.

Q: Would you say he was a vocal leader this last season in the locker room? What went into that for him?

A: You know, it was better than his first year. I think what he did and what other guys saw was how he worked last year compared to the past, and obviously the talent and all that. Did he talk at times? Yeah, he did a lot more than the year before. He gained confidence and he was a really good player which guys look up to. I don't think it was anything off the charts but it did improve.

Q: His length and athleticism together, how would you say he uses that in the run game specifically?

A: I think what he is, he is a long guy. But when he does it right, he can play like he's 6'2". He can bend, he has flexibility. With him, everything is going to continue to grow. I probably slowed him down a little bit this year just focusing more on technique and fundamentals whereas the year before, he was out there playing a little more physical and aggressive. Not that it was bad. Some of it is on me. He's a guy that when he does things technically and fundamentally right, he's not going to get beat. He's just that good, so I focused a lot on that. Again, with a guy that's inexperienced, you gotta go in bits and pieces. But I think his overall tools and traits, I don't care if it's run or pass game, pulling, whatever he is doing, he's got everything you want to be an elite player.

Q: Being still raw going into the NFL, what would you say he needs to work on the most before touching the field?

A: Everything, that's any o-lineman. I don't care how much you played, o-line is a constant state of corrections. It's what many coaches in the league told me when I played, and it is. It's true, man. It's one thing after another. It's such an unnatural position, you don't walk around with bent knees and low pad level and your hands inside. It's not one thing. The talent is there, it's just refining all of the techniques and the fundamentals that he is going to get coached and working on those consistently. Like I said, when he gets to that point, he's got everything you want where he's going to be a dude that's going to be tough to beat.

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