2023 NFL Draft Profile: Hawaii OL Ilm Manning
One of the Mountain West’s most experienced prospects in this year’s NFL Draft, the Warriors offensive tackle is an intriguing dark horse.
Knowledge and reps in spades.
College football fans know that Hawaii football means exciting late-night television on Saturdays, but NFL fans may not be quite as familiar with what an athlete like offensive lineman Ilm Manning can bring to the pros if they weren’t staying up past their bedtimes.
A Glendale, Arizona native, Manning came to Hawaii in 2018, when Nick Rolovich was in the middle of rebuilding the program, and cemented himself almost immediately as a stabilizer by winning the left tackle job as a true freshman. The following year, the Warriors won their first and only West division title on the strength of one of college football’s most prolific passing offense, a year in which Manning protected Cole McDonald’s blind side, and he continued to cover for quarterbacks for five seasons altogether.
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler)
Height – 6′ 2 1/8″
Weight – 294 pounds
40-yard time – 4.97 seconds
10-yard split time – 1.76 seconds
Arm length – 32 5/8″
Hand size – 9 3/8″
Wingspan – 80″
Vertical jump – 30 1/2″
Broad jump – 9′ and 2″ (or 110″)
Shuttle time – 4.70 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.93 seconds
Bench press – 25 reps
— Matt Owen (@ProfessorO_NFL) April 6, 2023
— Ilm Manning (@ilmstreet) February 11, 2023
If you’re looking for experience in this year’s draft class, Manning may have more of it than literally every other prospect at any position. To wit, he started 60 games at left tackle for Hawaii across five seasons, holding that position down through multiple offenses. In particular, he’s had plenty of reps as a pass protector in the run-and-shoot, first under Nick Rolovich and later under Timmy Chang, and it may not be a coincidence that, according to Pro Football Focus, his three best pass-blocking grades, including a high of 78.7, came in 2018, 2019, and 2022 under those two coaches.
Additionally, as you might expect from someone with so much playing time on their resume, Manning is also a very sound technician in the trenches. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler and Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline both mention how well he uses his hands, and Brugler adds that he “stays light in his movements”.
After spending five years as an anchor at left tackle for the Warriors, Manning will have to move inside because he’s definitely undersized among his peers in this class. Even at guard, coming in under 300 pounds could be a huge strike against him, especially when compared to mammoths like Peter Skoronski who will be off the board by the end of the first round.
Another thing mentioned by multiple draft analysts is that, for as well as Manning does some things, there is room for improvement in others. Pauline and CBS Sports both point to leverage, or the occasional lack thereof, as a potential hindrance.
Unlike some other Mountain West players in this year’s draft, Manning’s wealth of experience doesn’t come at a cost because he won the job in the first place as a true freshman. That means he’s still relatively young and may entice coaches to believe there’s still a ceiling to be reached. Because he’ll have to play inside, though, it’s a 50-50 proposition as to whether he’ll be drafted and I think the best bet is that he’ll sign somewhere as an undrafted free agent.