Our friends at Pro Football Focus just released their annual PFF College 50, a ranking of the top 50 players in college football based on the outlet’s database of stats, grades, and information. One Kentucky Wildcat made the list, and I bet you can guess who it is. Offensive tackle Darian Kinnard is No. 31, earning kudos from Anthony Treash for his run-blocking.
31. OT Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
While Kinnard’s pass protection is good, he gets the nod largely because of his impact in the run game. The 6-foot-5, 345-pound right tackle has consistently paved holes for ball carriers over the past two years, generating run-blocking grades of 89.1 in 2019 and 91.9 in 2020. Both marks ended up being among the 10 highest in college football.
Kentucky employed heavy doses of inside zone in that span, and zone concepts just happen to be Kinnard’s bread and butter. No tackle has managed a higher zone run-blocking grade since 2019.
Last month, Kinnard was named First Team Preseason All-American by PFF. The senior has played in 33 career games with 26 consecutive starts and in 2020, he graded at 88 percent in 10 regular season games with 40 knockdown blocks and 138 blocks at the point of attack. He also was a candidate for the Outland Trophy, give to college football’s best interior lineman. Kinnard has also earned preseason All-America honors from Athlon Sports (first team), Walter Camp (first team) and Phil Steele (second team).
You can see the rest of the PFF College 50 here. Let’s finish this post out with some photos of Kinnard simply because he’s a beast.