The Philadelphia Eagles wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl in February without the league’s best. Those five guys gave their quarterback, who was the backup until the last few weeks of the regular season, time to make plays.
There is belief that picking toward the top of the first round should be geared toward players that score touchdowns. However, those players don’t get to make plays if the offensive line can’t block.
Here are the top 10 offensive linemen as well as an underrated, overrated and a sleeper prospect.
#1 – G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Nelson is as close to a sure thing as you will find in this draft. He is a dominant interior lineman that can play on the outside, but is a generational player at guard. He is technically sound, strong, athletic and has a take-no-crap attitude.
#2 – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
McGlinchey has emerged as the top offensive tackle prospect in this class. He is big (measured 6-feet-8-inches tall and 312-pounds at the combine), strong and athletic. His tape is inconsistent, which is a bit of a concern, but has more good than bad. He mirrors defenders well and plays through all levels of the defense.
#3 – G Will Hernandez, UTEP
Hernandez does not have the length NFL teams want at 6-feet-2-inches tall, but few are as strong and athletic as him. He has good technique, attitude and a passion for the game of football. He should be a lock to go in the first round.
#4 – G Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Wynn is another technically-sound, strong and athletic lineman. He can sustain blocks both on the move out in space and anchored down in the trenches. He is another lineman that should hear his name on Day 1 of the draft.
#5 – OT Connor Williams, Texas
Williams is certainly worthy of having his name mentioned as one of the best linemen in the draft. He is big and strong tackle with good technique and a bit of a nasty side at times. Some scouts are concerned about his length and frame as a tackle.
#6 – C Billy Price, Ohio State
Price has cemented his place as the top center in the draft with very good strength and power with the snap. He has the strength and explosiveness to dominate both speed interior rushers and big run stuffers. He can get overzealous and out of position. Defensive linemen will try to exploit him that way.
#7 – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller is a big (6-9, 310) athlete at offensive tackle. He has the measurables to be a dominant edge blocker, but his tape shows an inconsistency. He should be at least an above average starting left tackle in the NFL with the ability to be a yearly All-Pro.
#8 – C James Daniels, Iowa
Daniels is an athletic center that uses his quickness to get in front of defensive linemen in zone blocks. He needs to get stronger, but has enough to have some blocking scheme flexibility immediately.
#9 – C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Ragnow is a big, strong leader on the offensive line. He won’t be noticed for his speed or athleticism, but uses his high football-IQ to get in position. He has the size, strength and smarts to play multiple positions on the line.
#10 – OT Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
O’Neill is a big, athletic left tackle. His length, lateral mobility and ability to mirror defenders should make him a quality blindside protector. He will lose his technique and can get knocked off balance. He needs to maintain his consistency.
Underrated – G Braden Smith, Auburn
Smith is a big, strong, nasty guard. He is going to maul defenders and not let up until after the whistle. He needs to improve his footwork and ability to get to the second level, but he is going help the offense constantly move forward.
Overrated – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Brown is a massive tackle that lacks the athleticism to be a dominant blocker. He weighed in at 360 pounds at the combine, but has stated that he has been over 400 pounds in his life. The combination of 14 bench press reps and a 5.85 40-yard dash does not look good.
Sleeper – C Brian Allen, Michigan State
Allen is considered a late round or priority free agent projection because of his size (6-1, 300) and athleticism. However, the former Spartan is tough, smart and never takes a play off. He will be an offensive line coach and fan favorite with his non-stop motor and physical attitude.