Alabama's JC Latham wants NFL teams to try him at left tackle

INDIANAPOLIS -- Alabama's JC Latham is known among NFL talent evaluators as one of the most powerful right tackles in the draft, with one knockdown block after another on his game video.

But Latham said Saturday at the scouting combine that he hopes, and wants, to show he can be a potential solution for a team at left tackle as well and with that help his draft standing.

"I'm waiting to see if I'm asked to do anything out of a left tackle stance,'' said Latham, who is the No. 22 player on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board. "I would do that so I can show my versatility.''

Asked why that was important to him, Latham said he believed it would help him move up draft boards and the contract that would come with a higher pick.

"Obviously it's a question mark, I'm a right tackle,'' Latham said. "So, you know, usually tackles taken extremely high are left tackles. I feel I can break that kind of narrative, and also it would help me showcase my ability to play left [tackle]. I have the ability to be dominant regardless.''

Latham said he suffered a high ankle sprain on the final play of Alabama's loss to Michigan in the College Football Playoff, so he will not run the 40-yard dash or do the jumps in the on-field work for the offensive linemen Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. But he said he will do position drills and is prepared to do those drills out of both right tackle and left tackle stances.

A two-year starter for the Crimson Tide at right tackle who also played guard in 2022, Latham said Saturday he had not even played much offense until a slew of injuries forced him to move to offensive tackle when he was at IMG Academy to finish high school.

He had been a left tackle as a high school player, but when he arrived to Alabama, Evan Neal, now with the New York Giants, was the left tackle so Alabama coaches put him on the right side.

"I just jumped in right away and played a little bit of guard,'' Latham said. "... Wherever I'm needed to play, I'll adapt and get the job done.''

Latham's physical style, when he often steamrolls defenders off their feet in the run game, has been noted by scouts and personnel executives. Alabama coaches graded him with 41 knockdown blocks in 813 snaps last season -- 3.2 per game. Latham said he believes he could bring that at left tackle as well.

"Being physical, being aggressive, the willingness to attack at any given moment, that's just the mentality that I had,'' Latham said. "If I'm at left, I'm still going to be aggressive.''