Everyone is familiar now with the top guys in this Offensive Line class, from the certain top 10 pick of Penei Sewell, to the versatile Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker. There are also a few second tier offensive lineman who will land in the first-round, and plenty more will go on day 2.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential day 3 guys who have caught my eye…
Brady Christensen (6’5” 302lbs) BYU
When watching quarterback Zach Wilson’s tape, it wasn’t difficult to notice the elegant and smooth left tackle protecting his blind side. Christensen is a finesse player, who has excellent athleticism and technique. Strong in pass protection and run blocking, I saw him control and frustrate many edge defenders in the games I watched this season. His worst reps came against defensive end Peyton Turner of Houston, who is a decent prospect in the draft too, and even in that game Christensen won the majority of those matchups. He was flawless in that exciting Coastal Carolina game, and dominated in what turned out to be his last college appearance, in the bowl game against UCF.
PFF grades Christensen as the top rated OL who played this past season, and if that isn’t enough, his 2019 tape was graded as third best only behind Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater!
He also (quietly) dominated at the BYU pro day. While all eyes were (rightly) on Zach Wilson, Christensen put up some obscene numbers for a 300lb man. He ran a 4.90 40, with a great 10-yard split of 1.71, showcasing the quickness he has. He then put up great jump numbers too, with a 34” Vertical, and a 10’ 4” broad, both exceptional, which back the explosiveness you see on the tape.
So, what’s the catch then? Well the only real knock on him is that he’ll be a 24-year-old rookie, having served a Mormon mission whilst at BYU. For some teams that’s a red flag, as will be his shortish 32 ¼ “ arms, which may lead them to believe he is a limited upside player, a high floor, low ceiling type.
Now with these Pro Day numbers out there, and the great tape, he may not make it to day 3. I can easily see a tackle needy team, who wants a plug and play type taking him on day 2, but if he falls to Round 4 this is a massive potential steal.
He reminds me of a poor man’s Joe Staley, and if that’s what he becomes, he’ll certainly out play his draft slot.
Larry Borom (6’5” 322lbs) Missouri
Borom first caught my eye last year in a game against South Carolina. He was excellent in the run game when going up against last year’s first round pick defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, and then shut down defensive end D.J Wonnum, (who was drafted in the fourth round in the 2020 draft last year) in pass protection.
This season was a continuation of that level of play. He held up well against Alabama’s big ends and edge defenders and did the same against LSU who had a similar base defense. He did have a rough outing against Georgia, but surprisingly it wasn’t top edge prospect Azeez Ojulari who gave him trouble, it was the 5-tech Malik Herring. Herring (who I like a lot, but unfortunately tore his ACL at the senior bowl), managed to get inside Borom easily, either via counter move or just with a bull rush. Borom has a knack of over committing to the outside, leaving him open to be beaten back inside, but what Borom does extremely well is recover.
As long as he can get hold, he can redirect defenders away from the QB, even when in an initial bad position. He is an early declaration with two years starting experience, and you can see right now he is learning on the fly. The potential here is high, as he is a good athlete who when he initiates contact can take the defender away from the action easily.
Most rankings have him as a guard, probably due to concerns with playing in space, but for me he has the physical tools to stay at right tackle. With the proper coaching, he could possibly be this year’s Michael Onwenu (who was a 6th round selection by New England last year) and be a steal in the mid-rounds.
Carson Green (6’6” 319lbs) Texas A&M
Now you could probably include the other 3 senior members of the Aggie offensive linemen on this list, as they have all put out some very good tape at times over the last couple of seasons. However, I like right tackle Carson Green the most out of this bunch, and he seems to be the lowest ranked of them all!
He is a long offensive tackle prospect with 34” arms and uses these very effectively when his hand placement is good, riding edges wide outside the pocket or steering them back inside to the waiting guard. He had some very good outings this year, but his best display was against Auburn. Here, he helped pave giant holes on that right-hand side in the run game, as Texas A&M rushed for a whopping 313 yards and two TDs in an easy win. Green’s biggest weakness has been in pass protection. He can be beat straight off the snap by quick edges, and although he didn’t give up any sacks this past season (which is impressive playing in the SEC), QB Kellen Mond’s mobility certainly got him out of trouble, and that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet!
We don’t have any Pro Day numbers yet for Green, but I’m doubting he’s got a good athletic profile, so I can see why he isn’t ranked higher. The tape at times screams early day 3 to me, though most seem to have him later than that. He was at the Senior Bowl too, and although he didn’t dominate there, by all accounts he didn’t hurt himself either.
We’ll see where he ends up, but I think he should be the 1st of those 4 Aggie offensive linemen taken.
Cole Van Lanen (6’4” 305) Wisconsin
As you’d expect from a Wisconsin offensive linemen, Van Lanen is great in the run game but there’s more to him than that. He is a very well rounded prospect, who has good tape when up against pass rushers not named Chase Young (Van Lanen got destroyed twice by him last year), and did particularly well in last years bowl game against Oregon, and their potential top 10 pick Kayvon Thibodeaux. He was part of a dominant run blocking offensive line that helped record setting running back Jonathan Taylor get drafted early last year. I only managed to catch two games this year due to the Big Ten’s COVID shortened season, but graded both games (Michigan and Indiana) highly. It must be noted that in the Michigan game, neither lauded Edges Kwity Paye or Aidan Hutchinson played, so we completely missed the chance to see him against elite pass rushers, as they didn’t play Ohio State either this year. The Pro day numbers for him are above average, including a fantastic 10-yard split of 1.7, dispelling the myth that all Wisconsin offensive linemen are just big, road grading brutes.
I like Van Lanen a lot, and he won’t be the last offensive lineman abused by Chase Young, just ask the veteran NFL offensive tackles who came up against him this season.
Best of The Rest
I’ll list a few more guys here who I like, and who I believe are under rated right now.
Stone Forsythe, Florida: Plays tall (which at 6’8” I guess it’s hard not to), which leads to problems with leverage and balance. When locked on he can be dominant, and looks reasonably athletic too, and you don’t get to start at left tackle at a top SEC program by being average….
Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame: I like Liam Eichenburg (Notre Dame left tackle) quite a bit, but you can certainly argue that Hainsey put out better tape this year than his more illustrious teammate. Struggled against Clemson in the ACC Championship game and followed that up with an average outing against Alabama in the Playoffs, so those games cause concern, but still worth a mid day 3 pick for me.
Tristen Hoge, BYU: Hard not to notice Hoge when watching the Christensen tape. A very angry young man, who moved people easily in the run game. Missed time the last 2 seasons, so there are injury concerns, but certainly worth a late round flyer on.
David Moore, Grambling State: Not much Grambling offensive line tape out there, but the 2 games I did watch were worth it! Moore is huge, moves pretty well and just destroys people. The Alabama A&M film might have been the best offensive line watch of the whole cycle. Someone has to draft him, so I didn’t watch that film in vain!
This looks a decent group in general, but these are some of the Day 3 guys who I believe have a chance to start in the NFL, or at the very least be that swing backup that teams need on gameday.