High School and College Career
Ryan Hayes from Traverse City West High School was rated as a 4-star recruit and joined the Michigan Wolverines football team.
As a freshman in 2019, Hayes made his presence known on the field by playing in 10 games and accumulating a total of 257 snaps for the Wolverines. During this time, he played left tackle for the majority of snaps, and the remaining snaps were played at tight tackle. Impressively, he only allowed two quarterback hurries, no quarterback hits, and one sack.
The following year, in 2020, Hayes played in just two games and a total of 139 snaps. However, he continued to perform at a high level and conceded only one quarterback hurry, no quarterback hits, and no sacks while playing at left tackle.
In 2021, as a junior, Hayes played in 14 games and accumulated a staggering 928 snaps. Although he gave up 19 quarterback hurries, 5 quarterback hits, and 3 sacks, Hayes was able to hold his own as a left tackle.
As a senior in 2022, Hayes played in 11 games and earned a total of 706 snaps for the Wolverines. During this time, he allowed 7 quarterback hurries, 3 quarterback hits, and no sacks while playing at left tackle.
Overall, Ryan Hayes is a tremendous asset to the Michigan Wolverines football team, and his commitment and hard work have not gone unnoticed. His consistent performance on the field and his ability to play at both left and tight tackle positions make him an invaluable player to keep an eye on in the future.
Ryan Hayes Scouting Report Introduction
Ryan Hayes, the left tackle for the Michigan Wolverines football team, comes from a family with deep ties to athletics and football. His brother played football at the University of Pittsburgh, his father played for Central Michigan, and his mother is in the CMU Hall of Fame for basketball. Hayes did not play as a freshman in Ann Arbor. However, he gradually earned playing time over the next few seasons, eventually becoming an experienced offensive tackle with over 2,100 snaps logged. Hayes played a crucial role in helping lead one of the top power-running offenses in the country in recent years.
At left tackle, Hayes’ size and frame immediately stand out. He displays a competitive drive as a run blocker, exhibiting a nasty streak in his game. He seeks to drive and displace defenders vertically and does a solid job in duo or double-teams blocking. Hayes also shows the athleticism and ability to climb sets to pick off second-level backers. He comes off the ball with decent explosiveness and burst, and his leg drive is admirable. Despite being a big and tall lineman, Hayes can seal and wall-off edge defenders that choose the inside rush path.
As a pass protector, Hayes uses his functional athleticism and size effectively to present a difficult task for rushers to defeat. He can recover and wash rushers around the arc if he is beaten and creates a wide barrier for rushers to work around. He also uses short or quick sets to square up rushers while protecting his outside shoulder and hip.
However, Hayes is not a quick-twitched mover, and his first step in his kick-slide leaves much to be desired. While he displays functional athleticism at his size, twitchier rushers can stress his outside leverage in pass sets. It would be beneficial for Hayes to gain more depth and diversity in his pass sets and use deep vertical or diagonal pass sets. If attacked from wider angles, he sometimes opens his hips, surrendering inside leverage. This can lead to teams isolating him on the perimeter, which presents a significant issue. Additionally, when forced to redirect too quickly, Hayes struggles with balance and his base.
Hayes is more of a waist than a knee bender, and his frame and size come with natural disadvantages. He struggles with leveraging and being the lower man in blocking sequences, and he lunges when attempting to strike smaller defenders, which is not efficient. Hayes needs to improve his hand placements and fits, as he tends to be a “clapper” and exposes his chest in the process, leading to issues with leverage and control. Powerful edge defenders can shock him with quick strikes to his chest plate.
Hayes has the size and play demeanor that NFL decision-makers will value. He is functional to solid in both run and pass blocking, but he is not a master of either. It is projected that he will be kicked inside to guard due to his arm length, as he is better battling in tight quarters where he can eliminate the issue of arm length/reach. While he may not be a long-term starting option for an offense at tackle, he is a viable backup in a pinch. A potential path for him at the next level is playing as a guard.
He is a physical and tough player, especially in the run game. Hayes displays great effort when it comes to finishing tackles.
Hayes also does a great job during the initial point of attack. He is able to push defenders out of the way, thereby opening up opportunities for his team is impressive. He also has decent block landing abilities when running in space due to his excellent footwork and technique.
When it comes to pass protection, Hayes is one of the best. He has a balanced and agile pass protection set, with excellent hand placement. Additionally, he gets out of his three-point stance with good knee bend and a wide base, which makes him even more versatile on the field.
A key issue with Hayes’ technique is that he tends to play too high, which can make it easier for opposing speed-to-power rushers to knock him back and off balance. Hayes needs to focus on his hand use. Specifically, he should work on improving his ability to use his hands effectively to create space and maintain leverage against opposing defenders. This will allow him to maintain his balance and prevent himself from being knocked off balance by speed-to-power rushers.
Another area in which Hayes needs to improve is his comfort level when moving backwards as a pass protector. He is often more comfortable moving forward to create space for the runner, but he needs to focus on improving his skills when backpedaling to protect the quarterback. This will require him to work on his footwork and positioning in order to maintain a solid base and prevent the defender from getting past him.
Hayes needs to work on generating more power off the line of scrimmage. He struggles at times to create movement because he tends to come off the line too high. This can make it difficult for him to generate the necessary force to drive his opponent backwards.
A way to improve this is to work on being less mechanical in his pass-blocking technique. He tends to overset and get beat inside, which creates a clear path for the defender to get to the quarterback. Hayes can become a more dynamic and effective pass protector by working on his footwork and technique.
Ryan Hayes is the 112th prospect on our draft big board.