With people paying close attention to the skill position players at WR, QB, and RB, it can be easy to overlook the big boys upfront. The game starts and ends in the trenches, and this year’s draft class has some exceptional talent up front. It’s time to take a look at the top 20 OL products in the draft this year.
- Tristan Wirfs (OT)
The #1 player on my ranking has the perfect combination of size, length, athleticism, and physicality. Absolute presence in the run game and consistently pancakes opponents. Maybe the best technique of any linemen in the draft. An incredibly powerful player could play Either tackle or guard. Feet are excellent, in protection, tremendous anchor. GREAT hips and lateral movement.
2. Jedrick Wills Jr. (OT)
Wills has a solid all-around game, has the athleticism to play tackle but will fare much better at guard. Can work up to LB’s well on the backside as well as when pulling or in the screen game. His long arms and violent hands help him tremendously in the passing game. He plays fast and seems to be a very instinctual player.
3. Mekhi Becton (OT)
His nimble feet and gigantic frame make him an outstanding pass protector. Took good sets and was able to combat speed rushers, as well as power moves. His hands have a ton of pop. Has a good feel for how long a QB will be in the pocket. Once he is on a man he will stick with them till the whistle. Very good bend for being so big.
4. Cesar Ruiz (OC)
The best center in the draft. He has incredibly active feet and hands. Very twitchy for an IOL. Locks on and keeps his feet moving. Great hips, can sit on bull rushes in the passing game and fire out and get an extension in the run game. Works up well to backers and can move in the screen game. Will project well at C or G.
5. Andrew Thomas (OT)
Thomas is a highly aggressive run blocker and knocks opposing players off the ball nearly 5 yards. Long levers and quick feet help him in pass pro. He was a long time starter at Georgia and has big-game experience. Very smooth in the screen game and on pulls works up well to backers.
6. Ben Brendeson (OG)
He is an aggressive mauler who plays hard every snap. He comes in under control and squares up bigger or smaller defenders. Very good run blocker, combo blocks are good and will drive men off the ball. High IQ, ability to pull should translate to the screen game. Does all the things that you can’t teach an offensive lineman well. Good at passing off twists and stunts in pass pro.
7. Prince Tega Wonohago (OT)
He is the most underrated player in this year’s draft class. An outstanding pass protector whose length and size with quick feet and good base make him a natural. Handled speed rushers well as well as inside moves. Lined up in multiple positions depending on what Auburn was running. Plays physical and aggressive when taking on pass rushers.
8. Matthew Peart (OT)
Peart has a great first step and explosion in the run game, locks on and drives his man. He can create huge amounts of wash and opens up big cutback lanes when blocking on the backside of the zone. Good anchor in pass protection. A very strong player.
9. Lucas Niang (OT)
He is an impressive athlete with good hips and is a good anchor in pass protection. He moves his feet well in the run game and can seal the edge on outside runs and work up to backers well.
10. John Simpson (OG)
He has physical hands in both run and pass games. Rarely driven into the backfield and a good base. Good strength against the Bull Rush in pass protection. When he anchors himself into the ground he is very hard to knock back. Nasty run blocker, finishes plays downfield, plays to the echo of the whistle. His long arms can help him against shorter defenders in the run game.
11. Netane Muti (OG)
His play gets stronger as the game goes along. A road grader in the run game with a solid anchor in pass protection. He was athletic enough to play LT as an underclassman. While he is best suited at guard, he could move in and play center.
12. Solomon Kindley
A mountain of a man, most comfortable in a fistfight in a phone booth. Can move people off the ball in the run game in double teams or 1v1. Physical hands and surprising quickness despite size when working up to linebackers as well as in the screen game. Longs arms and a great anchor give him a tremendous upside in pass protection. Very physical in close quarters.
13. Saahdiq Charles (OT/OG)
Charles is a mauling run blocker who has great pop in his hands and a good base. He moves people off of a spot. He finishes a play and is looking for contact. Not many people can bull rush on him given his great length and good hip strength.
14. Lloyd Cushenberry III (OC/OG)
A very alert player, he sees twists and blitzes before they arrive. Does a good job of keeping his eyes in the gap of whatever slide protection he is going against. Uses his long arms to his advantage in the pass game, solid anchor and can set well laterally. Processes things quickly. Moves well in space and up to backers. Blocks well in double teams for zone plays.
15. Isaiah Wilson (OT)
Wilson physically dominates defenders in the run game and uses his body to create huge amounts of movement on double teams. When he gets up to backers or smaller players. He is coming out after only 3 years so he will be a good player to continue to develop.
16. Cameron Clark (OT)
He plays with a chip on his shoulder and has a motor that never stops running. He finishes his man through the ground and plays to the whistle. He could play G or T. Good in double team blocks, keeps his feet moving through the play. Good length as a player, very long arms.
17. Josh Jones (OT)
Jones moves well in space for a big man and does a good job in the outside zone of sealing the end as well as moving on screens/pulls/option type plays. Long levers and active hands give him an advantage in pass protection. He can get good movement on double teams.
18. Tyler Biadasz (OC)
A center with the ability to snap and pull is harder to come across in the days of spread O’s in college. He is a rugged run blocker who works well to the next level. He has a lot of experience and rarely makes mental mistakes.
19. Robert Hunt (OT/OG)
A jack of all trades, projects to be able to play guard or tackle in the NFL. Physical run blocker excels at pulling and down blocking. Plays strong, rarely see him pushed off the ball. Good discipline in run fits. Played RT, adequate in pass protection.
20. Kyle Murphy (OT/OG)
He has played all 3 positions in his time at Rhode Island. His measurements give him the ability to compete at any position. Mauler. Very physical run blocker with active hands and short choppy steps. Has the mentality that the position requires, finishes every block.
Other players of note: Calvin Throckmorton (OG), Justin Herron (OT), Jonah Jackson (OG), Darryl Williams (OG), Jake Hanson (OC), Trey Adams (OT), Ezra Cleveland (OT), Matt Hennesy (OC).