Laken Tomlinson, a former guard for the San Francisco 49ers, was available for free agency and recently signed a three-year deal with the New York Jets.
Tomlinson, who is now 30 years old and described as 6’3″ tall and weighing 323 pounds, was selected in the first round in 2015 after graduating from Duke. He was a member of the Pro Bowl for the first time at the end of the previous season after spending the previous two years with the Lions before going on to San Francisco.
Laken Tomlinson Career
Tomlinson enrolled at Duke as a redshirt freshman in 2010 after being rated a “three-star” prospect. In 2011, he was thrust into the starting lineup, and he spent the next four years there, improving each year.
Tomlinson was voted to the All-American team after being named to the all-ACC second team as a junior.
Tomlinson was drafted by the Lions in the 2015 NFL Draft, with the 28th overall pick. He was selected after participating in the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine. He was a 24-game starter in his first two years but was a little letdown that led to his trade to the 49ers after preseason 2017 for a fifth-round pick.
After a shaky start with the 49ers, Tomlinson has become an integral part of the team and is now thriving. Although the Jets might have shown some interest in signing him in 2018, he was able to secure a contract extension for $18 million over three seasons, which was far less than what was anticipated.
He has started 80 consecutive games at his position, and at the end of last season, he was given the accolade of being named to the pro bowl. Tomlinson signed a three-year contract with the Jets worth a maximum of $41.2 million.
Is Laken Tomlinson good?
While Tomlinson’s exercise results at the scouting combine were disappointing, he improved his numbers in practically every category at his pro day, posting above-average marks in all but one category.
It’s clear that his success since joining the league has dispelled any doubts that his athleticism would be a limiting factor.
Since being traded to the 49ers, Tomlinson has only played on the left side of the offensive line. With the Jets, though, he may switch back to his natural position on the right side. The good news is that he’s been in similar situations before.
He started at right guard all four years at Duke and started 124 games at that position for Detroit in both the regular season and preseason. He should not have to relearn too much to get back into the swing of things in his new role.
Early in his career with the Lions, Tomlinson had also played a few snaps as a jumbo package tight end.
Tomlinson is a seasoned athlete with a reputation for being highly coachable and motivated by a sense of mission. His experience and maturity suggest that he will serve as an excellent role model for younger players like Alijah Vera-Tucker.