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Don't Forget About Sam Tevi

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A pair of second-year offensive linemen continue to garner significant attention in last year's second-round pick Forrest Lamp and third-round selection Dan Feeney.

Don't forget about the team's 2017 sixth-round pick, Sam Tevi.

The former Ute emerged as a reliable, steady force in the trenches last year as a swing tackle behind Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale. He appeared in 14 games, most notably Week 16's win over the New York Jets when he started at left tackle.

However, if you think Tevi would be irritated to be the forgotten lineman from the 2017 draft, you'd better think again.

If anything, he relishes flying under the radar.

"I'm just here to play my role," he said. "It's not frustrating. It's kind of better for me. I have vets like Joe and Russ, and I am sitting back and just learning from them. I'm here to do whatever the coaches want of me. Tackle. Guard. Heavy tight end. Whatever it is."

A 6-5, 315-pounder out of Utah, the 23-year old is going into just his fourth season playing offensive line. He began his collegiate clear as a defensive lineman before switching to the other side of the ball in 2015.

Thus, the adjustment from the collegiate level to the NFL was quite the whirlwind for him in 2017.

What a difference a year makes.

"It's way different," he said. "Rookie year was just so tough. This year, it's just easier. I know everyone on the team. Last year I didn't really know anybody. Everything is just way easier. Russell and Joe, they've been like big brothers to me. Even more so a father figure type. They're vets. So I'm taking in all their knowledge and picking their brains day by day. It's really just helping my game more."

Okung and Barksdale are locked in as the starting tackles while last year's primary swing tackle Michael Schoefield was re-signed early in free agency. All three have proven to be reliable in the trenches on a consistent basis. 

Tevi is aiming to earn that same level of trust.

"I just have to carry myself like I am a starter," he decaled. "If something happens, I can't just go in there rusty. I've got to know what's going on and treat everything like I'm a starter. And show they can trust me."

To do that, the second-year tackle entered the offseason with specific areas he wanted to improve.

"Shooting my hands. Sometimes when I set, I tend to overset. Setting out there too fast. This year I think I finally calmed it down. My strengths are my footwork, but sometimes I think even that's too fast. So that is another thing I need to work on, but it's one of my strengths as well."

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