NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS - interior offensive line

Click on the names of the prospects below to see their draft profiles:

IOL #1: CESAR RUIZ, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 319lbs

PRO’S: Power and strength from top to toe. Aggressive out of his stance and into contact. Incredible anchor - not one snap (Penn State, Iowa 2019, Wisconsin 2018) did I see him have to take a recovery step backwards after initial engagement.Always looking for work - will help a colleague if nothing comes his way. Strong arms to help lock out tackles and lower body torque to drive them away from the football. Athletic! So quick off the line, dancing feet and hands up ready for action. Gets downfield in a flash and attacks the second level. Great balance throughout contact. Has played guard as well as center.

CON’S: Lack of length may negate his history at guard and make him a center-only prospect, albeit an excellent one. Sometimes too keen to land his hands on someone. Weight fluctuated throughout college and could potentially be a problem without discipline. Lack of width means his play strength will be tested in the NFL.

SIMON CARROLL: “A highly regarded recruit coming out of high school, Ruiz’ final season in Ann Arbor has cemented him at the top of his position group. An unparalleled blend of power and athleticism makes him an immediate starter at center in the NFL. He’s scheme-diverse and despite the lack of positional respect for interior linemen may hear his name called late day one if a team falls in love with him”.

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

IOL #2: LLOYD CUSHENBERRY, LSU TIGERS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 312lbs

PRO’S: Strong interior lineman. Huge arms that he utilises well, getting them into the defenders numbers and locking them out of the play. Core lower body strength gives him a stout base against big interior defenders when he has to get into a short set and dig in. Elite athleticism for the position - short area quickness, loose hips and balance all excellent. Tidy footwork and movement around the line of scrimmage is impressive. Low pad level with good knee bend.

CON’S: Run blocking lacks consistency. Doesn’t drive defenders away from the football. Plays over his toes in the run game looking for something to get hold of. Still a little raw and work on fundamentals is needed. Hands require the most work - speed and power of first strike and tends to place them too low.

SIMON CARROLL: “Cushenberry’s long arms and deceptive power give him the tools to be an effective starter in the NFL, and should match up favourably with the big nose tackles in the league. He predominantly played center at college and you can expect the same at the next level. He’s a little further behind the curve than Ruiz, with some technique that needs cleaning, but there’s not a whole lot of difference in the two prospects”.

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

IOL #3: MATT HENNESSY, TEMPLE OWLS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 302lbs

PRO’S: Lean, athletic lineman that is ultra smooth and quick in short space. Excellent balance when moving from one block to the next - in complete control of his body. Excellent technique - footwork and hand placement consistently on point. Shows good knee bend and wins the leverage battle in all block forms. Fast arms with a tough jab style to his punch that keeps defenders away from the ball. Ultra smart with good game knowledge and positioning. Able to get downfield in the run game and deliver clean blocks at the second level.

CON’S: Undersized, although looks to have the frame to add more weight, which he will definitely need to do for the NFL. Lack of mass equals a shortfall in play strength too - stoutness all comes from his fundamentals and technique. Never played guard at any level.

SIMON CARROLL: “One of my favourite players in this draft class, Hennessy has all the traits of a starting center in the NFL. I truly believe he can add the muscle mass necessary to appease scouts, and he’s probably already doing that throughout the pre-draft process. If he does that and is able to maintain his smoothness around the line of scrimmage I can see him sneaking into the second round”.

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

IOL #4: ROBERT HUNT, LOUISIANA RAGIN' CAJUNS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 336lbs

PRO’S: Aggressive, powerful lineman who played predominantly at right tackle at Temple but is likely best suited as a guard in the NFL. Monstrous frame that holds his weight well. Good length. Elite play strength that borders on unfair against smaller defensive linemen. Brutal first contact. Nightmare to shed once he’s got his hands inside and on you. Remarkable short-area quickness for a man his size. Able to get ahead and make blocks downfield in the run game. Good knee bend aids his leverage. Versatile - should be able to hold down the right tackle spot for an NFL team in a pinch.

CON’S: Quick, but footwork is a mess. Balance is sometimes awkward and plays with his weight too far forward when looking for contact. Very much likes the feel of jersey and fails to stay patient on occasion. Hand technique needs work - he strikes high on the chest and can slide north off a defender. Timing can be a tick off upon engagement. Arrested with a number of other Lousiana football stars after stealing from the dorm room of a teammate that had just been kicked off the program.

SIMON CARROLL: “Hunt is either a high-upside guard or a low-floor tackle, whatever way you look at it. Having played predominantly on the outside for the Ragin’ Cajuns, he might well get a shot there first at the next level. But his sheer power and body type means he looks every inch an NFL guard. This versatility will help his draft stock and he should come off the board day two”.

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

IOL #5: BEN BARTCH, ST. JOHN'S (MN) JOHNNIES

Height: 6’6”. Weight: 305lbs

Pros: The Division III prospect inevitably dominates on game film. There was therefore an element of the unknown as to how he’d hold up at Senior Bowl week. No need to worry however, as he not only survived, but thrived, winning the majority of his 1-on-1s. The converted tight end has done an incredible job of piling on good weight to his frame. Bartch has good initial pop out of his stance and a quick first step. He backs that up with aggressiveness at the point of attack. His hands are quickly on the attack with an early punch. While he’s likely to move inside, as a left tackle in college, Bartch got good depth in his pass sets, utilizing his long strides. Footwork, coordination and balance are all pluses in his game. Bartch demonstrates good recognition and overall football IQ to identify and handle pressure and late blitzes. An appealing balance of brain and brawn, his smart play is joined by a propensity to deliver some nasty finishes to his blocks in both pass protection and as a run blocker.

Cons: While there’s potential to offer versatility both inside and outside, Bartch’s arms measured in at below the common threshold of 33”. A move to the inside seems more likely but could still provide tackle depth and has the potential to excel at guard. His relative inexperience and playing at a lower level are obvious cons to list. The Senior Bowl was encouraging but some early transitional struggles wouldn’t surprise. While Bartch’s quick hands are a positive, his placement is one of his biggest technical issues, limiting the impact of his punch. His frame could still use additional bulk, despite what he’s added to this point. Though he has good movement to make plays in the run game in space, accurately executing those blocks can be hit and miss, literally, at this time.

Rebecca Rennie: “While there’s a steep learning curve to the NFL from DIII, Bartch has physical and mental traits to work with, and the potential to start as a rookie. At the same time, he could use further development of his frame to fully unlock his ceiling. There are technical flaws to correct but has the mental approach to take to the coaching required.”

NFL Comparison: Mitch Morse

Prediction: 3rd Round

IOL #6: TYLER BIADASZ, WISCONSIN BADGERS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 321lbs

PRO’S: A three-year starter at Wisconsin, Biadasz has 41 games under his belt for the Badgers. High motor, high effort lineman who hustles every play. Showed elite athleticism in his first two years - loose hips, quick change of direction, keen to get downfield on run blocks. Well coached technique - good accuracy and power with first strike, like his balance throughout contact, and neat and tidy footwork maximise his protection ability. Strong hands and he’s difficult to shed once locked on. High football IQ - called out protections and changes at the line at Wisconsin. Team leader and locker room asset.

CON’S: Concerning athletic regression in his final year in Madison. Not as smooth or as quick -could this be to do with the hip surgery he had prior to the season? Medical teams will be on the hunt for clues. Seems to have lost a little confidence and trust in his fundamentals too. Scouts feel he may be at the top of his game already and there’s little room for growth. Narrow base which inhibits his anchor against power rushers. Lack of length, which he has consistently mitigated with excellent timing.

SIMON CARROLL: “The inconsistency in the game tape from 2018 to 2019 has cast a huge shadow on Tyler Biadasz’s draft prospects. Did the surgery and lack of preseason conditioning limit him throughout the season? And if so, will his game bounce back to what it was before? Prior to this year Biadasz was considered the premier interior offensive lineman in this class, and provided the medicals come back clean he should very well go on to have a lengthy and successful NFL career”.

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

IOL #7: BEN BREDESON, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 316lbs

PRO’S: Big, wide prospect with a dog-like work ethic and nasty demeanour in the trenches. Brings physicality on every rep. Excellent drive blocker, getting under the pads of defensive linemen and bulldozing them out of the way. Power rushers do not scare him one bit. Excellent anchor to withstand first attack. Good knee bend creates advantageous leverage. Eyes are everywhere and sees the danger before it’s a problem. Lieks to keep busy and will help his linemen if he has no work. Ultra-smart footballer and leader of the Michigan offensive line. Team captain material.

CON’S: Subpar athleticism and at a distinct disadvantage against speed rushers. Lateral agility limited and struggles when defenders cut across his face at speed. Play strength evaporates when he has his arms extended and has to play outside of his body. Needs to keep his man close but sometimes lacks the speed to do so. Won’t get down the field in run blocking. Hands need plenty of polish.

SIMON CARROLL: “Your classic NFL guard, the league is getting faster and that doesn’t particularly play to Bredeson’s strengths. Having said that he brings enough to the table to eventually be a starter at the next level, particularly in a power running offense. His work ethic, leadership and mental attributes will make him an important part of the unit”.

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

IOL #8: SHANE LEMIEUX, OREGON DUCKS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 316lbs

PRO’S: Broad and thick lineman who brings the work ethic every down, every day. Freakish upper body strength - out-grappled most of the defensive linemen he faced. Powerful hands that wake opponents up when he lands them. Mauler who enjoys driving his man backwards and creating running lanes, usually far beyond the point of necessity. Enjoys moving and blocking out in space. A fierce competitor.

CON’S: Sub-standard athleticism. Speed further inhibited by poor footwork before he reaches his set. Good effort in mirroring pass rushers but looks unnatural, and lateral agility further impedes him. Speed rushers causer him trouble, which he tries to mitigate by having a wide base or setting further out. This leads him vulnerable to inside counters or speed to power moves. Bends at the waist a little. Needs to stay lower to aid leverage.

SIMON CARROLL: “Watching Lemieux in the run game is as fun as it gets when scouting offensive linemen. His tenacity and eagerness jump off the screen, and as a guard in a power running scheme he should be more than comfortable as a low-level starter in the NFL. His lack of effectiveness in pass protection means his game is somewhat one-dimensional, but I can see him appealing to some teams and should be a top 100 pick”.

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

IOL #9: LOGAN STENBERG, KENTUCKY WILDCATS

Height: 6’6”.   Weight: 317lbs

PRO’S: Dogged lineman who will work overtime to make sure he does his job on any given play. There’s a tension to his game that borders on intimidation. Loves nothing more than getting his hands locked on and finishing the play to the point of annoyance for the opponent. Has worked hard and been coached up well - footwork nice and crisp, hand placement ideal, and plays with good bend despite height. Mentally dialled in - not often caught out and can be seen warning teammates of potential dangers prior to snap.

CON’S: So tall and lean it’s nigh on impossible for him to win the leverage battle. Skinny frame for an interior lineman, although he’s rarely beaten on bull rushes and his anchor is solid. Speed across his face is an issue, as is blocking out in space. Average athleticism - height again restricting lateral movement. Arm length adequate for the interior but provides no reliable tackle versatility on tape. Will attract flags in the pro’s with his constant holding and general annoyance of defenders.

SIMON CARROLL: “Playing with controlled anger and a chip on his shoulder, Stenberg was always going to be one of my favourite prospects in this draft class. Not averse to dipping into the dark arts, there won’t be many defensive linemen out there who will enjoy playing against him. His lean frame and lack of short-area quickness limit his upside. But ultimately he consistently won most of his battles - and up against SEC competition too. He’ll be a complement to any NFL O-line group”.

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

IOL #10: MICHAEL ONWENU, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 350lbs

PRO’S: Big and WIDE - it takes an age to run around Onwenu with his arms by his side, let alone extended. Has the power and strength that his frame suggests. Great pad height and good knee bend - attacks from low and drives up into the defender in run blocking duties, and takes them for a walk. Remarkable athleticism for his size - quick and aggressive out of his stance. Quick enough to reset his feet and recover when beaten early on a play. Good length for an interior lineman - holds danger away well in pass pro. Unbelievable anchor - like his feet are set in cinder blocks. He’s going nowhere.

CON’S: Short area quickness gives him enough lateral movement and recover ability, but blocking out and in space is a problem for him. Not comfortable without a guy in his face. LikEs to find someone and will go reaching if it’s not there. Lack of patience letting the pass rusher come to him - ends up playing over his toes and off balance. Grip strength is a concern, and too easy for defenders to disengage from. Fails to sustain the block throughout the play.

SIMON CARROLL: Of all the day three interior linemen in this class, I think that Onwenu has the most upside. He has the size and strength needed for the NFL, and acceptable athleticism considering his measurements. If he can improve his hands and learn to be disciplined throughout the entirety of each play then he’s going to be a huge steal for someone. Best suited to a West Coast Offense where the ball comes out quick.”

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

IOL #11: NICK HARRIS, WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Height: 6’1”.   Weight: 293lbs

PRO’S: Quick feet and quick-witted. Extremely athletic center who uses his speed to gain an early advantage in a rep. Gets into his set tidily and plays with a low center of gravity, aided by his relatively short stature. Lateral movement impressive - can shade away pass rushers smoothly and has the quick hips to change direction against pass rush moves. Twitch off the snap allows him to get good depth on long sets. Strong hands and can lock on. Ultra smart - understands protections, easily identifies the Mike, and has a nose for danger.

CON’S:Small - very small - for an NFL center. Lack of play strength is compensated with athleticism but will be harder to hide at the next level. Can get rocked back into the quarterback on quick power rush moves that catch him off guard. Won’t drive defenders backwards in his run blocks, preferring to twist them away. A flag magnet - holds too much jersey when he feels a play slipping away from him, and has struggled with the cadence on occasion.

SIMON CARROLL: Harris is a prospect that is so smart and quick you can’t help but root for him to make it in the NFL. His size and strength is a significant hurdle but not insurmountable, though he’ll have to max out the rest of his attributes to ever become a starter. He’s a center-only prospect whose draft stock will likely be lower than it deserves for the career he could eventually have”.

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

IOL #12: NETANE MUTI, FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 307lbs

PRO’S: Oozing with strength and physicality. Wide, thick frame that holds his weight well and could probably add some more muscle mass. Knocks the wind out of defenders with his initial punch, and usually gives a similar second blow too. Jolts off the line in an almost scary fashion. Keeps low and gets under his opponent’s pads well. Plus athleticism for his size - excellent short area quickness allows him to get there quickly. Operates in space comfortably and is natural downfield or out on screens. Able to maintain grip throughout the rep.

CON’S: Technique a bit of a mess. Footwork is uncoordinated - if he can lose the wasted steps he’d bring even more quickness to his game. Hands can be erratic and strike point is wild. Balance is inconsistent - gets caught leaning when he tries to find someone to latch on to. College career decimated by injuries - he missed the 2016 season to an achilles injury, had another ruptured achilles that ended 2018, and needed surgery on a foot injury last year.

SIMON CARROLL: “If it weren’t for the durability concerns, scouts would be getting very excited about Netane Muti right now. His major flaws are a product of a lack of game action and can be corrected with coaching. But you can’t teach size or speed, and Muti has both of those. Sadly, the injury history will likely mean he is a high-upside day three prospect”.

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

IOL #13: DAMIEN LEWIS, LSU TIGERS

Height: 6’2”.   Weight: 329lbs

PRO’S: Calm, quiet demeanour built on a reassurance that he’s bigger and stronger than you. Denies defenders access like a doorman dealing with a drunk teenager. Lewis is HUGE. Smooth out of his stance and transfers from speed to power upon contact, at which point he’s moving you wherever the hell he likes. Absorbs initial pressure with comfort. A road grader that will clear a path for his running back to move the chains.

CON’S: Limited short-area speed. Won’t be a guy leading the way on pulls, screens, or at the second level. Lack of length, coupled with slow feet, means he’s a guard and nothing else. Struggles to keep up with speed rushers and shade them around the arc and away from the quarterback. Needs to work on hands - too slow to get them up and into the defenders chest, and placement often off target. Derrick Brown took him to school at The Senior Bowl, but to be fair Lewis got better as the week went on.

SIMON CARROLL: “Lewis is a man amongst boys and what he can do, he does extremely well - which is dominate with his power and down block in the run game. His lack of athleticism and positional versatility in a passing league means his draft stock has a low ceiling, but could possibly sneak into day two if a run-heavy offense identify him as their perfect guard”.

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

IOL #14: JOSH SIMPSON, CLEMSON TIGERS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 330lbs

PRO’S: I would not like to be on the receiving end of Simpson’s first punch. Powerful hands that shock pass rushers and have them on their heels from the off. Grew up in a tough neighbourhood and you can see he has a real nasty streak to his game - although it should be noted that despite the circumstances of his upbringing he was never in trouble. Good anchor - a result of a well-proportioned and dense frame from top to toe. An absolute nightmare to disengage from once he has his hands on you. Clemson offense required him to get ahead and block in space, which he was able to accomplish fairly consistently.

CON’S: Significant athletic deficiency, despite his best efforts. Speed rushes that need lateral agility catch him flat footed and reaching. Slow out of his stance and sluggish before contact. Despite relative success blocking in space in Death Valley it will never be strength to his game, and his lack of quickness will be more exposed at the next level. Heavy feet and lumbers to his spot. Grabby and will be penalised a lot in the NFL when he tries to salvage plays where he’s beaten for speed.

SIMON CARROLL: “Like others in this group of interior linemen, Simpson is a physical freak and strong as an ox. Whilst his limited quickness precludes him from being an early round pick, his calmness in space and ability to mask his deficiencies will see him come off the board before similar prospects. Teams in tough divisions (AFC North springs to mind) will love his bully mentality”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

IOL #15: JAKE HANSON, OREGON DUCKS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 295lbs

PRO’S: A four year starter at center in Eugene, Hanson impresses with technique. Positionally aware, good balance through contact, takes good angles to the block and impressive hand placement upon engagement. Despite being under 300lbs able to match up with big defensive linemen, keep his arms inside and his grip is difficult to break from. The linchpin of a highly successful offensive line at Oregon, Hanson enjoys calling out defensive tells and sliding protections to accommodate them. Mentally ready for each snap. Solid base against power rushers and shows reasonable athleticism in space.

CON’S: Stiff hips - loses motion fluidity and power when not square. Sluggish off the snap and feet look like they weigh a tonne. Lateral movement speed limited despite lack of heft. Struggled with speed rushers using cross counters where he had to change direction and block whilst not square. Tapered body denotes lack of stout base.

SIMON CARROLL: “Teams are gooing to love Jake Hanson. A real coach’s player he epitomises the team mentality and will deliver the playbook to the field. Hanson is let down by short-area athleticism and strength concerns and will need to find a home that allows him to work in close quarters and showcase his technique and handwork. He’ll be a backup that could eventually work his way to the starting center. Once he’s there, teams will be happy to ride with him”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

IOL #16: KEITH ISMAEL, SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 300lbs

PRO’S: Ultra-versatile linemen who has split thirty-nine starts in three years at San Diego State between left guard, center and right guard. Ismael is lightning quick for a lineman. Happiest operating in space as a zone blocker, he shows shocking acceleration off the snap and gets good depth on his sets. Mirrors quite beautifully, leaning on his quick feet and smooth kick slide to aid balance and control. Able to get out in front on the run and be an effective lead blocker downfield. Dogged once he engages in contact - a pest to shed.

CON’S: Core strength underwhelming. Lack of length doesn’t help, and garners little in the way of punch on his first strike. Masks this deficiency with breathtaking speed at first, but struggles to maintain through the rep despite his nifty ability to recover. Considering he’s a three year starter he’s still a bit green to stunts and pass rush moves, overpursuing and leaving himself vulnerable to misdirection or disguised inside moves. Feels a bit raw without the guarantee of a higher ceiling than his fellow draft prospects.

SIMON CARROLL: As much as scouts will be wowed with the play speed that Ismael brings to the table, there will be genuine concerns about whether he will be able to hold up against the big bullies in the NFL. There’s some correctable deficiencies that will allow him to max out the affects of his athelticism - the question is will it be enough for him to start or just be an extremely versatile backup?”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

IOL #17: JONAH JACKSON, OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 310lbs

PRO’S: Smooth, tidy pass protector. Has a graceful kick slide and plenty of lateral quickness to mirror off interior rushers. Oily hips and good pace when changing direction mean he can catch out pass rush moves or defenders sliding across his face, against the grain. Knows to come out of his stance physical, and hands are active and feisty upon contact. Smart footballer, understands developed blocking schemes and slanted protections at the line. Has the speed to be moved and pulled when necessary.

CON’S: Lacks the natural play strength to frequently win his battles. Lack of sand in his pants causes backwards steps. Power rushers will enjoy attacking him, and at his best he’s a neutraliser in the run game and not a mover. Shortish arms will be more exposed at the next level. Balance is good but sometimes loses focus through a rep, finds himself out of position, and leans out for contact.

SIMON CARROLL: “Jonah Jackson has had an effective career at Ohio State, playing both guard positions and also moonlighting as a center at times. This versatility alludes to his footballing smarts, but his game is limited and at best he’s a backup that teams will like because he can play in multiple positions”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

IOL #18: COHL CABRAL, ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 304lbs

PRO’S: Left tackle cum center who has flitted between both positions when needed throughout a solid career in Tempe. A Sun-Devil icon due to his team-first mentality and work rate, Cabral shows the football smarts that will impress NFL scouts, calling protections at the line of scrimmage. Vocal leader and team captain. Despite lack of play strength isn’t overwhelmed by bigger defensive linemen, utilising his good base and balance to remain competitive. Enough athleticism to be relied upon getting out in front on run blocks.

CON’S: Kind of average in all measurables - average play strength, average length, average quickness. Competitive edge gives him an advantage early in the rep but by the end of it he’s often hanging on. Got to use his hands better - be more aggressive on first contact and focus more on planting them right in the numbers. Despite awesome balance in general, eagerness can sometimes see him play over his toes and reach out for jersey.

SIMON CARROLL: “Cabral is a legend at Arizona State and it’s easy to see why. He’ll do whatever is asked of him and do it to the best of his capabilities play in, play out. How can you not want a guy like that on your team?! Sadly he lacks elite traits to be at the top or even middle tiers of this draft, but offensive line coaches will be banging the table for this guy in the later rounds”.

PREDICTION: 6TH ROUND PICK

IOL #19: DARRYL WILLIAMS, MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 310lbs

PRO’S: Multi-positional interior lineman with high character, high work-ethic and good football IQ. Positional sense is key to his blocking success. Ultra-alert for danger before and during the snap. Keen for work and will help out his teammates when at a loose end. Solid first punch when engaging. Continues his blocking throughout the rep and finishes plays. Patient when waiting for his man to come before contact at the second level. Enough upper body strength to lock out defenders in the run game.

CON’S: Lacks play strength and athleticism - really the two pre-requisites of the position. Relatively sluggish out of his stance, and fails to transfer any power or aggression into contact. Visibly struggles with power rushers and is overwhelmed by the bigger nose tackles. Plays high and battles with no leverage. Just doesn’t have the anchor or the torque to consistently get the job done. Interior pass rushers test his athleticism to the limit. Lack of lateral quickness makes it difficult for him to mirror defenders away from the quarterback.

SIMON CARROLL: “You can’t be a fraud in the SEC. Darryl Williams has gone up against elite competition for three years at different spots on the line, and got the job done. To say he’s done that with his dedication to his game and good football IQ isn’t intended to be an insult. But the traits you look for in a lineman just aren’t there, and you wonder if he can compete with the bigger and faster defenders in the NFL”.

PREDICTION: 6TH ROUND PICK

IOL #20: KYLE MURPHY, RHODE ISLAND RAMS

Height: 6’3”. Weight: 316lbs

Pros: Has started at tackle, guard and center in college, with the potential to offer versatility at multiple spots. His 6’3” height might seem prohibitive to offering depth at tackle, but his arms are close to 34”. Murphy shows outstanding balance, body control and leverage as a pass protector. His pad level, length and coordination are impressive, as is his consistency over the course of games. While he plays at a lower competition level, Murphy performed well in a key matchup with Virginia Tech in 2019. His play at tackle featured smooth athleticism to ride pass rushers round and behind the play. That movement results in some impressive plays upfield in the run game, seeking out blocks on the second level. He often destroyed defenders, finishing them emphatically to the turf.

Cons: Murphy has solid power, particularly for the FCS level. However, his anchor came under question at times at the East-West Shrine event. He flashes imposing, nasty play in the run game, but could do so more consistently. Hand placement is decent but is off target more often than ideal. In addition to having to make a step up in competition, switching back to the interior and against more powerful pro defensive tackles could be a challenge early. He could take a little time before being ready to start.

Rebecca Rennie: “Murphy does not get a lot of attention, even among the small school prospects. He’s very worthy of his place among the few FCS prospects who received a Combine invite. His balance and coordination in pass pro are up there with the best in this class, regardless of level. He has length, moves well and plays with a calm and composed demeanor. It might take a season or two, but he could be looked back upon as a shrewd draft pick by the team who selects him on Day 3.

NFL Comparison: Forrest Lamp

Prediction: 6th Round

IOL #21: TYRE PHILLIPS, MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 342lbs

PRO’S: Woah. This dude is HUGE. A destroyer in the run game - bring your strongest man and watch him get bulldozed out of the way. Feet seem to churn faster the minute he makes contact and runs through the defender. Pretty dainty feet for such a big man too and doesn’t get clogged down as you’d expect. Played left tackle at Mississippi State but road grader tendencies make him project better as an interior blocker in the NFL.

CON’S: Raw. Feels like technique and fundamentals have been ignored and brute strength leant on to get the job done. Naturally lacking in athelticism - side to side speed, quickness off the snap, and fluidity around the arc all lacking, particularly for a prospect who played the blindside every game of his senior year. Hands need to be more consistent in placement. Lack of knee bend coupled with height put him at at a disadvantage with leverage. Nervous in space - you can see it’s not natural for him.

SIMON CARROLL: “Phillips is going to be a project for an NFL team. He reminds me a little of Jordan Mailata, the Eagles lineman who formerly played rugby league; a huge man with obvious physical assets but not a clue about the intricacies of the game. Philly took him in the seventh and have been coaching him up for two years. The curve might be quicker for Phillips, but the plan will be the same. Don’t expect to see him 2020”.

PREDICTION: 6TH ROUND PICK

IOL #22: DUSTIN WOODARD, MEMPHIS TIGERS

Height: 6’2”.   Weight: 285lbs

PRO’S: Athletic center prospect who wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. Impressive lateral movement and short-area quickness - in The Tigers’ dynamic offense he was asked to pull and block on the move frequently and looked natural in doing so. Comfortable in space, lining up blocks and waiting for the contact to come. Got a mean streak about him and likes to let defenders know he’s there with a jarring first punch. Good balance through engagement. Excellent pad level (height helps).

CON’S: Doesn’t have the measurables. Lacks height and length, and will desperately need to put on weight to compete at the next level. Frame looks like it could hold a little more without compromising athleticism. Hand placement is generally good but can ride high when his concentration lapses. It’s going to be a long day for him when he comes up against the NFL’s biggest nose tackles.

SIMON CARROLL: “Memphis have been an exciting team to watch for the past couple of seasons, and that’s not just limited to the skill positions. Dustin Woodard is quick and tenacious - it’s not often you watch a football game and wonder who the center is. Having said that, it’s always going to be an uphill battle for him to prove to scouts he’s big and strong enough to be comfortable in the NFL. Some team not willing to bid for him after the draft should take a flyer on him late on day three”.

PREDICTION: 7TH ROUND PICK

IOL #23: YASIR DURANT, MISSOURI TIGERS

Height: 6’7”.   Weight: 330lbs

PRO’S: Broad and stout, Durant is a mountain to circumnavigate. A fighter - enjoys a physical battle with bigger d-linemen and will compete on every snap. Has an abundance of upper body strength that he uses to overwhelm his opponent, complemented nicely by a low center of gravity and stout anchor. Basically he’s a load and tough to move. Uses his good length to frame out pass rushers. Played predominantly as a left tackle at Missouri and offers potential positional versatility.

CON’S: Speed is a problem. Comes out of his three-point stance slow, lateral movement is slow, getting to the second level is slow. Relies on reach and power to stave off defenders. Doesn’t flash the nasty demeanour you look for and rarely takes his man for a walk. You don’t see him impose himself on an opponent like you’d think a man of his size could. Subpar fluidity and is just not quick or smooth enough on his kick slide to be a permanent fixture on the outside, particularly the blind side. Projects much better on the interior with right tackle potential in a pinch.

SIMON CARROLL: “Durant is similar to Tyre Phillips in that he’s a big dude with limited athleticism that could fill multiple spots on the line as a depth chart filler. He doesn’t however possess the upside of his counterpart, and it’s hard for me toenvision anything more than a swing tackle/guard that can backup the starters”.

PREDICTION: 7TH ROUND PICK

IOL #24: SOLOMON KINDLEY, GEORGIA BULLDOGS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 336lbs

PRO’S: Born an interior offensive lineman - perfect body shape for an NFL guard. Probably competes with Stenberg for least likeable lineman in this draft class, which is a good thing! Junk yard dog who won’t stop talking or battling with defensive linemen all game. Destroys the rush-move plans of defensive linemen. Huge mass is sometimes impossible to relocate for defenders. Not athletic but can get around the line comfortably.

CON’S: Could lose some weight, maintain play strength and improve his athletic ability. Blocking form is woeful. Reaches into contact, often weight over his toes and unbalanced. Has no bend and poor pad level and leverage just doesn’t exist - he wins or loses based on strength. Lack of athleticism doesn’t hinder him on the move so much as it leaves him flat footed against rush moves. Has a scary penchant for lowering his helmet into the defender.

SIMON CARROLL: “The Bulldogs putting Solomon Kindley in at guard is like putting the biggest kid in goal at soccer - you hope his sheer size helps out. Because outside of his superior play strength, Kindley has little left in his arsenal to offer. It’s going to take years of coaching to get the bad habits out of is game, and even then his limited speed stops him from getting out in front and being a true asset in the run game. I just don’t see how this kid gets drafted”.

PREDICTION: UDFA

Feature Image Credit: Dion Norman (Create A Vision Productions LLC)

Simon

Simon Carroll

CFB/NFL DRAFT EDITOR

PREVIOUSLY THE FOUNDER OF NFL DRAFT UK, SIMON HAS BEEN SCOUTING DRAFT PROSPECTS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.  HE FULLY MIGRATED TO THE TOUCHDOWN AS HEAD OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND NFL DRAFT CONTENT IN JULY 2019. ALL THE RANKINGS ABOVE ARE HIS OWN, AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF ALL THE WRITERS AT THE TOUCHDOWN. FOR DISCUSSION OF ANY OF THE DRAFT PROSPECTS ABOVE, HIT HIM UP ON TWITTER @NFLDRAFTSI.

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