Packers draft preview: Top offensive guards

May 6, 2014
UCLA v Nebraska
UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo (56) is the top-ranked offensive guard in the draft. / Getty Images


1. Xavier Sua-Filo, UCLA 6-418, 307, Round 1/2

Started at left tackle as a true freshman, did a two-year Mormon mission, returned to start at left guard in 2012 and split time between left guard and left tackle last season. Bad body, one scout said. From the lower down, he looks like (Hall of Famer) John Hannah, from the top he looks (terrible). He needs work in the weight room in the upper, you can see it in his pass protection, he gets pushed back a little bit. Was voted UCLAs offensive MVP last season. He has the size and the mental toughness to handle those battles inside, a second scout said. Nasty. Has an edge to him. I just loved this guys attitude when I had the chance to visit with him, theres just something about this kid that makes me a fan. He looks like one of those guys that you just plug in and go play with. Ran the 40 in 5.04 seconds, had a 25-inch vertical and 8-6 broad jump. Did 25 bench reps. Hes probably got better feet, but Gabe Jackson has more girth and power, a third scout said. You cant beat hes pretty damn good. Hes not (Chance) Warmack, kind of between (the first-rounder) Warmack and (third-round Larry) Warford kid that went to Detroit last year. Hes good.

2. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State 6-3, 336, Round 2

Four-year starter at left guard, reportedly didnt allow a sack in his final two seasons. Hes up there (in weight), a scout said. Im not sure how much youre going to get out of him for four quarters in the NFL. Hes one of those guys that kind of cruises a little bit. He should be more physical than he is. Hes a big body, but he doesnt its another of those two-point stance, option read teams. Its hard to project those linemen. Ran the 40 in 5.56 seconds, had a 29-inch vertical and 9-0 broad jump. Really amazing to watch how well he does move, a second scout said. He can set the depth of the pocket because he is not going to be knocked back. Hes one of my top 50 players in this draft. Did 30 bench reps. The weight thing bothers me, another scout said. Hes gained 20-some pounds since the end of the season. I think he might eat himself out of the league. Tough, physical kid.

3. Joel Bitonio, Nevada 6-418, 302, Round 2

Three-year starter at left tackle who might be able to play tackle in the NFL, but more likely is a guard. I see him as a guard, a scout said. If you had to throw him out there at right tackle in a pinch to finish a game, youd get away with it. Has 3378-inch arms and played mostly guard at the Senior Bowl. Hes a good football player, a second scout said. His level of competition isnt as good as the other kids, but I think hes going to be a good pro. Where? Thats a great question. He probably has positional versatility, hes probably a better inside guy. If he can get a little more strength, hed be a tackle. But hes a good player. Tied for the fourth-best 40 (4.97 second) among offensive lineman at the combine. Also had a 9-6 broad jump, 32-inch vertical and did 22 bench reps. Hes one of those linemen that doesnt do anything great, but you rarely see him get beat, a third scout said. I might even consider playing him at center.

4. David Yankey, Stanford 6-558, 315, Round 3/4

Redshirt junior entry started at left guard in 11, left tackle in 12 and left guard last season. In 12 was named the Pac-12s best offensive lineman. I hated that guy, I think hes awful, a scout said. I hope hes the first guard picked like all those experts are saying, because that means theres going to be a good player falling down. He has a good agent and theres a lot of hype, but that guy, hes on the ground. (If) you like a guy thats on the ground, youre going to draft him because hes on the ground a lot. I dont think hes strong enough. People keep on talking about his ability to pull, but when he pulls and gets to the spot, he doesnt hit anybody. Ran a slow 40 (5.52 seconds), had a decent vertical 28 inches and 8-7 broad jump. Did 22 bench reps. At the right spot I like him, a second scout said. Hes got some technique flaws, Id like for him to stay on his feet more. Hes not a first- or second-day guy. Was born in Australia to a Ghanaian father and Slovakian mother, moved to Georgia at age 8 and played there in high school. Hes a bit stiff-legged, a third scout said. Has some issues with his balance when he pulls. Hes good when he can lock up with his man and handle him that way.

5. Dakota Dozier, Furman 6-358, 313, Round 3/4

Four-year starter at left tackle at the FCS level. Pretty good, one scout said. You look at him from his neck to his chest, hes narrow in the shoulders, and he hasnt been in a big-time weight program. Hes just started to train with one of those offseason guru guys. You see him move his feet, and hes playing left tackle, and hes playing some good schools, you see him play against LSU, I think (he gave up) one pressure or hit on the quarterback. He needs to get a little bigger and stronger, but he does have good feet. Has 3378-inch arms. At the combine, ran the 40 in 5.35 seconds and had a 24-inch vertical. He can get away with some mistakes in Southern League games, another scout said. Id like to see him do a better job of running through his man when he gets in space. Hes a much better finesse player than he is a power one. But hell be a nice fit for a team that plays zone scheme because he can move and adjust.

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