Chris Hairston

Chris Hairston

College:  Clemson

Age:  21 years old

Experience: Senior (5 years)

Starts at LT:   36 games

Starts at RT:  0 games


Height:  6 feet 6 inches

Weight:  326 lbs.

Arm Length:  35.25 inches

Hand Width:  9.25 inches


Projection:  Offensive Tackle

Projected Round:  2nd – 6th Round

Combine Results (Pro Day Results)

40 Yard Dash:  5.43 seconds

3-Cone Drill:

20-Yard Shuttle:

Bench Press:  33 reps

Vertical Jump:  29.0 inches

Broad Jump:  97 inches


Speed: Hairston isn’t particularly fast, and his 40 time backs this up. He doesn’t have great down field speed, limiting his ability to act as a lead blocker on screen plays, but he is fast enough to trap and pull effectively. In all honesty, Hairston has got good speed for his size, but really lacks leg size and strength to capitalize

Agility: Hairston has very good agility, and is considered to have exceptional lateral movement. He shows a good tenacity in keeping with defenders around the edge. Hairston is considered light on his feet despite carrying over 320-pounds on his frame. He did not participate in agility drills at the Combine, but will likely post results at his Pro-Day. Regardless of how he performs, it will still be necessary for teams to invest in training to develop Hairston’s lower body. He has good agility, but can improve even more with concentration on strengthening his legs.

Experience: Hairston is a fifth year senior, but was Red-shirted as a Freshman, and again as a sophomore where he played in a reserve role. As a Junior, he took over as the starting left tackle for the Tigers, and went on to start in 35 games over the next three years. In the spring of 2010, he won the Strength Training Award during spring training, an award given to offensive tackles who show significant improvement in the weight room to improve their strength. Hairston shows numerous signs of having a strong work ethic and desire to improve himself. Despite not performing very well against higher level competition, Hairston has experience operating under pressure. He started in 4 Bowl games for Clemson, and generally performed well.

Size/Build: While Hairston is given high marks for being a very well framed offensive tackle with considerable experience, he is very top heavy. He carries almost all of his bulk above the waist, making him look heavier than similar sized prospects who are more evenly distributed. He has very long and strong arms, but lacks great hand strength. His legs are alarmingly frail looking for an offensive tackle, and given his moderate injury history, it will be of great concern to teams looking to draft him if he can bulk up his legs or not. His very meager broad and vertical jump highlight the lack of strength in his legs, and game film shows his inability to drive forward when having to rely upon digging his feet in and pushing a line. He had the second best bench press score for all offensive linemen, showing how well developed his upper body is, and why he won the Strength Training Award last year, but he will have to show the same diligence with working his legs to really have a chance to get a serious position in the NFL.

Pass Blocking: Like Anthony Castonzo and Nate Solder, Hairston excels as a pass blocker because he has lateral agility to such a degree that he can keep with most pass rushers around the edge. That said, Hairston doesn’t have particularly impressive cutback speed and gets duped on double moves by top tier defensive ends as well as generally under-performing against higher caliber competition. Hairston is able to wrap up defenders with his strong arms, and usually that takes them out of the play, but his lack of leg strength prevents from really setting a base and gaining complete control. He is nimble enough, though, to stick with defenders even when the play takes a while to develop. To really find a home in the NFL he will have to work at improving his lower body strength so he can pair his strong upper body with a solid base and anchor point to stand up to elite pass rushers in the NFL.

Run Blocking: Run Blocking is where Hairston really starts to show his lack of strength below the waist. He has a good reaction to the snap, but doesn’t have the initial burst power to knock a defender off his spot and drive forward. Hairston is an intelligent blocker though who shows an intrinsic ability to understand schemes and how his assignment fits into the play as a whole. This understanding and a solid grasp of fundamental blocking techniques allows him to assert himself as a run blocker by utilizing his arm strength to position a defender how he wants despite not being able to drive the defender off the line consistently. As with pass blocking, an increase in strength training for his lower body would greatly improve his ability to excel as a run blocker.

Health: Hairston has had some mild health issues through his collegiate career. He is not currently injured, but he missed 2 games in 2008 and another 2 in 2009 due to injury. He missed two games early in 2008 after a moped accident landed him on the bench to recover, and he sustained a concussion late in the 2008 season as well, taking him out early in the first half. He was healthy through 2010, but he still carries a mild concern due to his history. 


OVERVIEW: Draft Tek has the Colts taking Hairston in the second round, while almost everywhere else projects him to be drafted sometime at or after the fourth round, even as late as the sixth. Hairston is yet another project player that may have been an option in years past, but is not the immediate impact player the Colts will be looking for in the first couple rounds. He has a high level of intelligence, as well as an obvious drive to excel, both of which are traits the Colts typically value highly. It is very possible that the Colts may look at him in the 4th round as his technique is there, but he needs intensive physical training, making him a possible impact player now that can be developed along the way.