Analysis NFL Draft Opinion

Building an offensive line through the 2021 NFL Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft isn’t for another ten months but there is still plenty to talk about, especially with what is looking to be an overall solid group of offensive linemen. If an NFL team were to start their offensive line from the ground up with the 2021 Draft class here is how they should do it.

Left Tackle: Penei Sewell, Oregon

Sewell is not just the best offensive linemen in this draft, he might be the best player overall. Listed at 6-foot-6 330 pounds, he has the massive frame and incredible strength to play the position, but what makes him special is his open field athletic ability as well as his use of fundamentals to dominate opponents.

Depending on who is drafting first in 2021, Sewell could easily be the first overall selection, and whoever drafts him could be getting their blind side protector for the next decade. His film as an underclassmen shows he is already NFL ready, and with the season upcoming he will have more chances to improve his chances for the number one overall selection.

Left Guard: Trey Smith, Tennessee

Trey Smith looks the part and plays the part very well of an absolute mauler in the trenches. His physicality in the trenches created massive seams for the Tennessee run game this past season, and with long arms and a strong base he was one of the top pass blocking guards in all of college football.

Smith has the ability to play tackle or guard, but I am looking forward to seeing him progress at guard this upcoming season and expect him to be one of the top interior linemen off the board this spring. Violence wins in the NFL and Smith has plenty of it.

Center: Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

Wyatt Davis might be one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s draft because while he plays guard at a very high level for Ohio State, he has the potential to be a very special player at the Center position. The reason for this is that I like the way he works up to the second level off of double teams but also his ability to stay square in pass pro lead me to believe he could excel against larger head-up nose tackles or shades.

Davis has the size to play the position and the strength given his height and arm length those would also be a plus if he moved into play center. Snapping and playing is not an easy thing to do and playing guard might be an easier transition to the NFL for him but if he is able to learn the ability to snap he could go from being a very good guard to perhaps an elite center.

Right Guard: Aleric Jackson, Iowa

He fits the mold of almost every Iowa offensive linemen we have seen in the NFL over the past decade, but being a massive physical player who can dominate in the run game fits Jackson well. He has played the last 3 seasons at LT for the Hawkeyes but he is not a natural fit for the position in the NFL. With that said I think he makes a transition much like Pro Bowler Iowa alumni Brandon Scherff and transitions flawlessly to guard in the NFL.

Jackson could actually end up being a fit for the Chiefs, despite his massive size and ability to maul he has shown nimble ability to move in space as well as get out and run, which translates well to Andy Reid’s screen game. Jackson doesn’t have the natural ability to be a big time vertical pass setter in the NFL but he will still have a good career if he transitions to guard at the next level.

Right Tackle: Samuel Cosmi, Texas

Cosmi is going to be a player who will shoot up draft boards this spring after the combine and for good reason. He possesses nearly every physical attribute a team could want in a tackle and even has a nasty streak as a player.

Cosmi has some inconsistency in his pass blocking and his feet can get out of wack at times but he has the ability to correct this, as well as the want to to play the game. In run blocking, he is going to be a good RT because he possesses the physicality and length to consistently win outside zone or wide zone run reps and reach edge defenders. If he works to make his pass blocking more consistent he could be a top ten pick.

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