For me, the 2 biggest needs here are a starting level center and tackle. After that I want to fill out my roster with a bunch more guys at the position, because this draft is deep with good linemen. The good thing is that my roster does not have a lot of holes besides OL and RB, meaning that if I make sure I nail those two I should have a competitive team.
Tier 1: Center
Cesar Ruiz – 1st – 2nd Round
Ruiz is my favorite center in the draft and probably the best interior O Lineman. Overall he is a 3 year starter in a pro style system with good football instincts and awareness. He is also extremely athletic and explosive with a good anchor. I like him in interviews and he seems to be a silent leader. If he does not thoroughly convince as a C in his first year he can always use his positional flexibility as a Guard. I will do everything to take him in the first round, which also means over-drafting on what is probably an end of first round / beginning second round talent.
Tier 2: Center
Lloyd Cushenberry III – 2nd – 3rd Round
If I miss out on Ruiz, then Cushenberry will be my fall back option. He is a solid guy in the center with long arms and good core strength. He is the first C in Tiger history to be awarded with the legendary no.18 for a player who exemplifies the Tiger attitude. The problem I have though is watching him in interviews he is just not someone who I can see as a fit for my organisation, I don’t know why. Just a weird feeling for someone who has the potential to be very successful on the next level.
Tier 3: Center
Nick Harris – 3rd – 4th Round
Molds his game after Jason Kelce. Self proclaimed “film geek”, tough, hard worker. Small for the OL which limits him to the C position and should see him drop to the 4th round at least. When playing he uses his size to his advantage though for leverage. Prides himself on being a vocal leader. Has a really weird vibe to him when you watch him in interviews. Sometimes I find him really irritating and other times I completely love him. Watching his tape though he seems to be a real impact player.
Teir 1: Guard
Note: I think that some of the bigger and less mobile tackle prospects might move in to Guard, also there are no “pure guards” this year who I will target in the first or second round.
Ben Bredeson – 3rd – 4th Round
He is a guy with a mean attitude. Strong and technical guard who will beat people with power and has a nasty streak. He has pro ready traits, the only thing taking him out of round 2 for me is that he is not the most athletic dude. He is less polished in the passing game than the run game, where he could dominate in the right scheme. Might struggle if he is asked to pull out into space too much. Nice and thick lower body to anchor. Has a really good football IQ and a lot of experience as a 4 year starter. Confident player and interviews like a pro.
Hakeem Adeniji – 3rd – 5th Round
Love his athleticism (tested in the high 96/97th percentile for vert and broad jumps as well as a 73rd percentile 40), his hand size, arm length and bench press were average but his height and weight are a bit below what you want at tackle. He played LT/RT in college where he had some good reps, but I feel like a lot of the “negatives” in his game and with his size would be negated by a move to guard. Nonetheless, if someone on the line gets injured, versatility is always useful. Adeniji prides himself on being a presence in the locker room, he is a three sport athlete with basketball and as a shotput thrower. Red flag is that he has 2 serious surgeries behind him, although he played through all games. Nonetheless, this would put him to day 3 for me.
Tier 2: Guard
Damien Lewis – 3rd – 5th Round
Came from a JUCO to LSU and became starter. Held his own, to some degree, against Raekwon Davis and Derrick Brown. He is a beast in the run game, but not the best in pass-pro.
Kyle Hinton – 4th – 7th Round (possible UDFA)
Hinton is a small school player who projects at guard at the next level but could also cover at center. He is not the heaviest guy, but has good athleticism and strength, including a ridiculous 4.86 40 time. I think that he is the type of player where an organisation could fall in love with him and he could end up going in the 4th, or people go for the safer options and he slips.
Tier 3: Guard
Jon Runyan – 6th Round – UDFA
His father was a pro-bowl OLineman in the NFL. Runyan lacks some technique, which could be improved by moving inside. He does have a high football IQ, which gives you something to work with. Good Depth option.
Tyre Phillips – 6th Round – UDFA
Philips is a mountain of a man: 6’5”, 331lbs (with potential to carry more) and a fantastic 35” arms. This does, however, come at a price: his athleticism in every category is below average. He is a powerful run defender at the moment who lacks refinement in pass pro. He will do well to move inside and he needs a scheme, which will maximise his size, i.e. anything that doesn’t ask him to move too much. If a team thinks that they can ut him in the right spot then his big size could push him up to the top of day 3.
Simon Stepaniak – 6th Round – UDFA
Has the body, especially legs, of what you would want in a OLineman, but struggles to generate enough strength out of it. Maybe that will improve with NFL level coaching. When he has good reps they are dominant.
Tier 1: Tackle
Tristan Wirfs – Top 10
Extraordinary athlete, which is something you cannot teach and will be something that helps him a lot at the next level. Add to that the fact that he was a multi athlete with shotput and wrestling and you have a very exciting player who is sadly out of my reach because I decided to trade down. I do, however, believe that there is suitable replacements later on.
Mekhi Becton – Top 10
Not only is he an absolute mountain of a man, but he can move too. Again, a very rare blend who will be gone before I have my pick.
Jedrick Wills – Top 15
Excellent movement, combined with good technique and a tough attitude make him the third tackle to go in the top 15. The only slight thing that might make him fall is the distinct lack of LT experience. However, I think it is fair to say that he is regarded as the overall best pro-ready Tackle in the class.
Andrew Thomas – Top 15
Thomas is a starter with experience on the right and on the left. He is athletic with very long arms. He is strong in both pass-pro and in the run game, the only slight weakness he has is blocking in space and his feet. Strong and very good hand placement. High football IQ and also a highly academic individual with experience in a pro scheme. Passionate musician.
Teir 2: Tackle
Isaiah Wilson – Round 1
Fellow Georgia Bulldog who is bigger than Thomas to give him rare size but a slightly less impressive athletic profile. Also slightly less polished in his technique but has room to grow, especially because he is a younger prospect.
Josh Jones – Round 1
4 year starter (4 different OL coaches). Can play G, LT and RT. Highest win rate of any T at the senior bowl, with excellent hand work (possibly best in the draft). Excellent athleticism. Bit older than the other Tackles at 23. His feet in pass pro are not so good. Has a basketball background. What I find most worrying about him is how College DEs push him around, he has a lot of improvement left in him.
Austin Jackson – Round 1
Raw prospect who started the 2019 season coming off a bone marrow transplant for his sister. In his reps you see pretty rough technique, which sees him pushed out of his balance too often. Has the physical traits and athletic profile, but still has a while to develop.
Tier 3: Tackle
Robert Hunt – 2nd – 3rd Round
Was injured for the combine and the Senior bowl, which may make him a bit of a steal in this draft. Started at both Tackle and Guard, but should be a Guard on the next level with the ability to help on the RT position if needed. Big guy, similar to Tyre Phillips, but he can move a lot better. 4 years of starting experience. Needs to polish up his pass-pro but is a beast in the run game. May take some time to develop but is a scheme diverse player who does more than his own assignment, helping his fellow linemen. Needs to make sure that he doesn’t go too far with his blocking opening up gaps behind him. Like his interviews.
Matt Peart – 2nd – 3rd Round
Occupational Psychology major, intelligent on and off the field. Blocks really well into the second level and I could see him being used as a 6th lineman in his first year. 99th percentile arms! Can play both RT and LT. I would be really excited to make him my swing tackle for next season.
Tier 4: Tackle
Alex Taylor – 4th – 7th Round (or UDFA)
Long player. Taylor is athletic with long arms and big hands. Confident guy with a basketball background. Has a long way to develop in terms of technique, but could follow a similar path to George Fant. I find him a very intriguing and high upside draft pick for the late rounds similar to Kyle Hinton but if a team falls in love with his size he could go earlier.
Jack Driscoll – 4th – 7th Round
Has good technique, especially with his hands, but lacks functional strength. He is good on the second level but doesn’t do well holding his blocks for longer time. Has experience at LT and RT and could be an option late in the draft or as an UDFA.