After switching over to defense yesterday for linebackers, today we’re back on offense and kicking your Monday off with some big hogs up front. Today it’s my top 5 interior offensive linemen.
When talking about interior linemen, I don’t distinguish between centers and guards as in today’s NFL young offensive linemen have to be able to play at least two positions on the line to be valued and if they’re being picked on day 3 of the draft, if they’re to stand any chance of making a final 53 man roster, they better be versatile, otherwise they’re going to be out of a job.
1. Garrett Bradbury, RS Senior, N.C. State, 6’2, 306 lbs
Fits; Seahawks, Texans, Cardinals
Bradbury first arrived at N.C State as a tight end and you can see that in for he moves, Bradbury is a really good mover and I’d say he’s one of the more athletic prospects you’ll see on the interior offensive line. Great space blocker in the run game and gets to the second level and takes out his targets really nicely. Could play all 3 interior line spots but is probably going to be a center at the NFL level.
Bradbury does have pretty short arms but unlike other prospects, he has excellent tape and college production to show for it and prove he can overcome these shortcomings and in some senses being a shorter offensive lineman is an advantage considering the natural leverage it creates.
Bradbury barely ever gets beaten mentally or physically. He will be a seriously good center or guard in the pros.
2. Chris Lindstrom, Senior, Boston College, 6’3, 308 lbs
Fits; Vikings, Texans, Rams
Tough, powerful and athletic are 3 words that spring to mind with Chris Lindstrom… 3 things that everyone wants in a modern day guard. Lindstrom is also really smart and never gets bullied 1 on 1 on his reps. He’s not a Quenton Nelson but for me, he’s the best interior lineman available outside of Bradbury, who I see as being more than likely a center at the next level.
I see Lindstrom as a “plug-and-play” starter from day 1 in the NFL due to the athletic ability the performance levels I saw from him at Boston College
3. Michael Deiter, RS Senior, Wisconsin, 6’5, 309 lbs
Fits; Rams, Vikings, Texans, Bengals
Michael Deiter is another guy in my offensive line rankings who is experienced, versatile and strong but really mobile and athletic. These are generally the features and traits that I’m looking for.
Deiter has played tackle, guard and center at Wisconsin at one point or another and all at a good level. I think he’s better on the interior and the Wisconsin coaches must agree because he played at left tackle in 2017 before David Edwards played there last year and he kicked inside.
Wisconsin had an extremely talented line last year and Deiter would be my second favourite of those players in the draft after David Edwards (who as you will see when I release my tackle rankings, I’m higher on that most).
4. Erik McCoy, RS Junior, Texas A&M, 6’3, 303lbs
Fits; Seahawks, Texans, Cardinals
Erk McCoy has loads of experience under his belt, he’s played 38 college games despite only being 21 years old. McCoy is an athletic and extremely tough player at either center, where he played most, or at guard.
If you care about measureables, 33 inch arms aren’t ideal but despite that I don’t see McCoy get beat very often at all.
A&M play a zone scheme so he’ll be best suited to that in the NFL although I certainly wouldn’t limit McCoy to zone schemes in the NFL, in my latest mock draft, which I released yesterday (go and read it), I had him go as high as 29 to the Chiefs.
5. Dru Samia, Senior, Oklahoma, 6’4, 305 lbs
Fits; Rams, Cardinals, Texans, Vikings
Crazy athlete for the position, really moves well and finds a target at the second level. He’s tall but he’s under 300 lbs which can be a concern as he could be lining up across from some defensive tackles who are heavier than him. However, he counteracts that by playing really low and with good leverage.
Technically Samia is very sound and is also pretty savvy when it comes to pick up delayed blitzes, stunts and twists. Oklahoma was a very talented line, along with Wisconsin, they were probably two of most talented lines in college football and Samia was a big part of the unit over the past 4 years that he started for the Sooners.
Sleeper. Hjalte Froholdt, Senior, Arkansas, 6’4, 306 lbs
Fits; Eagles, Saints, Cowboys
Danish prospect, Froholdt is my sleeper for IOL. He actually came to Arkansas as a defensive linemen after coming to the United States in 2015, before switching to offense in 2016 where he started from 3 years for the Razorbacks.
You can tell he’s inexperienced when watching him on his early tape as as times he seems a little tentative in his movements. More recent games are much better and you can tell he has a handle on the position much more now.
Froholdt is a great athlete and moves well on space, he’s a great blocker on the move and light on his feet. In addition to that, considering he’s not been playing football at a high level for a many years, actually shows a really high football IQ.
He lacks power and does have super short arms (31 ¼ inch) so he will tumble down and sometimes completely off some teams draft boards because of that.
However, due to the fact that he has seemingly picked the game up so quickly and shown nice growth already, I feel that there’s potential in the Dane and with further film study, time in the weight room and reps on the practice field, there could be an NFL calibre lineman in there.