Ranking the NFL draft prospects: Offensive linemen
The Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn assesses the top offensive linemen in the NFL draft April 27-29. Included is each player’s height, weight, 40-yard time and projected round.
1. CAM ROBINSON, Alabama (6-6, 321, 5.15, 1): Probably played his best game Oct. 22 against Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett. “At least you know what you’re getting,” said one scout. “Guy’s been a three-year starter (at LT) in the SEC. You can certainly see the potential. He has poor upper-body strength. He missed the entire spring before last season with shoulder surgery and it really affected his ability to play. I think he started overcompensating and got into some poor habits from a technical standpoint.” Third-year junior with 35 ½-inch arms and 10 ½-inch hands. “He hasn’t got better since his freshman year,” said a second scout. “He’s a right tackle to me. I don’t trust him to protect (his team’s quarterback).” Arrested in May 2016 on drug possession and gun charges. Although the DA didn’t prosecute, Alabama imposed various requirements in order to stay on the team. Scored 16 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. Shoulder issues concern teams. “Very, very erratic,” said a third scout. “Lot of penalties. Up and down play.” From Monroe, La.
2. GARETT BOLLES, Utah (6-5, 299, 4.98, 1): Will turn 25 next month after a troubled past in which he was kicked out of five schools and arrested for vandalizing a rival school’s field. “You name it, I’ve done it,” Bolles told kutv.com, adding that he was headed “down the wrong path to prison.” A married couple became his guardians, and his life began to turn around. Played two seasons in junior college and one for the Utes before declaring a year early. “Tough past,” said one scout. “One-year player. Very athletic. You like the up side. Concerned about the package.” Added another scout: “Tell me how many guys have been first round that are 25 or older? I’ll say this. Teams that have spent time with him, he gets football. Loves it. He’ll give you every ounce of soul, that kid.” Scored 9 on the Wonderlic, leading to questions whether he can retain an NFL system and make rapid pre-snap adjustments. “He saw the light,” said a third scout. “He’s got great feet and range. He’s aggressive and tenacious.” From Lehi, Utah. Married, couple has a son. “Really athletic and tough … he’s the most talented of all of them (tackles),” a fourth scout said. “He’s got to get stronger. That’s his weak point. Plays hard. You wish he was 21 or 22.”
3. RYAN RAMCZYK, Wisconsin (6-5 ½, 309, no 40, 1): Fourth-year junior was starting LT for UW-Stevens Point in 2013-14 and for Badgers in ’16. Worked on the scout team as a redshirt transfer in ’15. “Very talented,” said one scout. “He’s smart, competitive and a good athlete. He’s a run blocker. He’s good with his angles. He’s aggressive.” Enrolled at Winona State out of Stevens Point Area Senior High School but stayed less than a week. Spent time at two technical colleges pursuing a degree in welding before returning to his hometown and playing for the Division III Pointers. “The guy goes from a technical school in 2012 to a first-round pick,” said another scout. “I don’t have one negative thing about him except his hip surgery. Excellent pass blocker. Quick set, slides, mirrors, range, anchor. Really good.” Arms were 33 ¾, large hands (10 7/8). “He’s not very powerful and he’s really not a wow athlete,” said a third scout. “For a left tackle you expect a little better movement. Supposedly he hurt his hip early in the year so you don’t even know what you’re looking at. Is this guy better than this, or is it because he’s hurt? Whatever. This guy might be a guard when it’s all said and done but there’s just no tackles.” Wonderlic of 20. “He’s not a dancing bear,” said a fourth scout. “He’s got good balance but the range isn’t there. Paul Gruber was more of a technician and a better athlete, better player. In a lot of drafts this guy would be a second-rounder.”
RELATED: Ramczyk goes from 'fascinating story' to mystery man
4. DION DAWKINS, Temple (6-3 ½, 312, 5.10, 1-2): Started 40 of 44 games, including all but one at LT. “He’s a big mauler,” one scout said. “He’s got some power and tries to finish you. He has some edge issues. Not going to be a great second-level guy. Not a bad athlete. Love his length.” Used his long arms (35) to compensate for marginal height, leading some scouts to think he has a chance to remain at tackle in the NFL. “Yes, he could start, but his mental is not real good,” a second scout said. “That would be your concern as a rookie.” Improved his Wonderlic score from 9 to 12 on his second attempt. “He’s just a big, square dude that I can see walking in and starting Day One,” a third scout said. “Thing about him is his test score will hold him back a little bit. He’s a good kid. He’s a guard.” Always asks a ton of questions, which could help him in the NFL. From Rahway, N.J.
5. ANTONIO GARCIA, Troy (6-6 ½, 301, 5.13, 2-3): Started at LT for 3 ½ years. “Intriguing guy,” one scout said. “You know how it is. You can’t find those guys (athletic left tackles). He is athletic. He’s raw and he’ll make mistakes, but I like his tenacity. If you just said left tackle, he’d be second behind Bolles.” Has the shortest arms of the top-10 tackles (33 3/8) but posted the best vertical jump (31). “The flashes say Day Two,” said another scout. “From a consistency standpoint, I’m not there yet on him. He’s not (good) in the run game. He played in a two-point (stance) the entire time. He didn’t tee off the ball on people. This guy starts off as a backup and, with the right coach, he can evolve into a starter.” From Atlanta, where he was a standout prep basketball player. “Not very football intelligent,” a third scout said. “At the combine he looked shell-shocked. Didn’t know where the hell he was. He’ll get drafted late. Not a big fan. That’s just me.”
6. JULIE’N DAVENPORT, Bucknell (6-6 ½, 317, 5.44, 3): Led the tackles in arm length (36 ½) and the Wonderlic (28). “He’s a project,” one scout said. “Going into the Senior Bowl you compared him to Garcia, but Garcia is leaps and bounds better. Kind of soft. You take a chance because of the length.” Four-year starter at LT. “If you’re drafting him on looks alone he’s wow,” another scout said. “But he needs a ton of work.” Two-time captain with the longest wingspan (87 ½) of any player at the combine. From Paulsboro, N.J., where he also excelled in basketball. “Grew up in a really bad area,” said a third scout. “Very smart. Kind of kid I’d like to work with.”
7. ZACH BANNER, Southern California (6-8 ½, 353, 5.59, 4): Biological father is Lincoln Kennedy, a two-time Pro Bowl RT for Oakland. “If he wanted to play he could play forever,” one scout said. “He’s just lazy. He is gigantic. He could just play from being big. But he’s an underachiever. He’s slow-moving but you can get away with that if you’re as big as he is. He just doesn’t give you effort.” Weighed almost 390 at one point in 2015. Started 37 of 38 games at LT but projects as an NFL RT. Had a terrible time trying to pass protect from there in the Senior Bowl. “He’s kind of got the size of maybe Aaron Gibson but not the same level athlete,” another scout said. “He is an absolute giant. Zach Strief (6-7, 320) came out of Northwestern and ended up starting a long time for New Orleans. Maybe one of those teams that puts a premium on size will take him.” From Tacoma, Wash.
8. CONOR McDERMOTT, UCLA (6-8, 309, 5.19, 4): Started 31 games at LT. High-effort player. “He’s unassuming and gets his job done,” one scout said. “He’s a better athlete than you realize. He’s like Nate Solder. He won’t go that high but he plays like that. He could be a starter.” Voted Mr. Basketball as a Tennessee prep (Nashville). Huge hands (11). “I think he’s too strength-deficient, to tell you the truth,” said another scout. “Not a bad athlete. But he doesn’t play with any power and he doesn’t bend real well. Got bad shoulders. Hurt all the time. You want to like the kid but he’s 6-8 and can’t anchor because he’s not a good bender. He’s got long enough arms (34 ¾). Like his feet. I don’t see it.” Brother, Kevin, is the Vikings’ long snapper.
9. DAVID SHARPE, Florida (6-6, 343, 5.48, 4-5): Third-year junior and two-year starter at LT. “Very interesting because of his size and talent,” said one scout. “He’s just so inconsistent. Even though he’s 350 he wants to play like he’s 300. He’s got starting upside.” From Jacksonville, Fla., where he was an outstanding basketball player. Overweight and soft. Legally blind in one eye. “I don’t know why he would come out except somebody probably told him it’s such a bad year,” a second scout said. “Pusher, low hand carriage, top-heavy.” Arms were 35 3/8. “I hope somebody takes him high,” said a third scout. “He’s a fifth- to seventh-round talent.”
10. RODERICK JOHNSON, Florida State (6-6 ½, 300, 4.96, 5): Third-year junior and 2 ½-year starter at LT. “Never should have come out but he’ll probably make more money this year than next year,” said one scout. “Great intangibles. Can run fast in a straight line. He gets bull-rushed all over the place. Gets knocked around. But he could develop into a good player.” Long arms (36), big hands (10 ¾) and Wonderlic of 23. “You love the length but awkward athlete, not very strong,” said a second scout. “Got a lot of developmental to him.” From Florissant, Mo.
OTHERS: Aviante Collins, Texas Christian; Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh; Cody Wheeler, Southern California; Jerry Ugokwe, William & Mary; Will Holden, Vanderbilt; Levon Myers, Northern Illinois; Justin Senior, Mississippi State; Javarius Leamon, South Carolina State; Jylan Ware, Alabama State; Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M; Dan Skipper, Arkansas; Cole Croston, Iowa; Sam Tevi, Utah.
1. FORREST LAMP, Western Kentucky (6-3 ½, 307, 5.01, 1-2): Started 51 games, all but three at LT. “Might be the toughest guy in the draft,” said one scout. “He probably is maxed out (physically), but guys like that play. But (expletive), no, he’s no first-rounder.” Tied for second among O-linemen in the bench press with 34 reps. Arms, however, were just 32 ¼. From Venice, Fla. “He comes from absolutely nothing,” another scout said. “He could be a complete (expletive) and he’s a great kid. Two-year captain. People are falling in love with who this kid is. He’s an undersized left tackle who has intangibles and athletic ability, and that makes me think of a center. He’s got that kind of leadership. He’s a really good third- or fourth-round pick that will get overdrafted based on no linemen.” Wonderlic scores of 23 and 25. “Best O-lineman that I did this year,” said a third scout. “Did a hell of a job against Alabama (Sept. 10) and two really good rushers. Really like him as a guard.” Projects better in a gap scheme than a zone scheme. “He played left tackle, which is what you want to see at a small school,” said a fourth scout. “He played the premier position, and played it well. He’s the best interior prospect. Ideally, you don’t want to take a guy like that in the first.”
2. DAN FEENEY, Indiana (6-4, 302, 5.26, 2): Started 46 games, including 41 at RG and the final five at RT. “He was one of our more consistent players (in the draft),” said one scout. “They ended up having to play him at tackle, and it was kind of an injustice to the kid. He has the intangibles and the intelligence (Wonderlic of 29) to be a pretty good center. I thought he was a plug-and-play guy.” Named Hoosiers’ MVP in 2016. “He’s the old-school, run-blocking guard who needs to work on his pass pro,” said another scout. “On the ground a little bit (too much) for my liking. He’s a center-guard combination guy.” From Orland Park, Ill. “I don’t think he can play,” said a third scout. “Weak in his lower body. His only chance is at center. Maybe in a pure zone scheme like Atlanta and San Fran’s running he’d have a chance to be pretty good. He’s a great kid and he’s tough, but if he gets in the wrong scheme he’s going to fail.”
3. TAYLOR MOTON, Western Michigan (6-5, 320, 5.20, 2): Helped himself immensely at the Senior Bowl, combine and pro day. “Every exposure I felt better about him,” said one scout. “Athletically, he tested pretty well.” Physical specimen with a 29 on the Wonderlic. Started at RT in 2013, ’14 and ’16, and RG in ’15. “You go back to ’15 film and watch him play right guard and he played pretty good,” said another scout. “He’s just a big, physical guy.” Much better suited for a power run game than a zone scheme. “He’s a mauler,” a third scout said. “Not a great athlete. Little bit of a waist-bender but he’s big and can maul you.” From Okemos, Mich.
4. ISAAC ASIATA, Utah (6-3, 323, 5.40, 2-3): Made 32 starts at LG, seven at RG and four at RT. “He’s all maul,” said one scout. “I love him. He always tries to kill guys. He’s got a degree of athleticism. He just plays the game really tough.” Matt, his cousin, was the Vikings’ hard-charging backup RB from 2012-16. Led O-linemen on the bench press with 35 reps. Better fit for teams with power run games. “He’s big and impressive physically but I don’t like the guy at all,” a second scout said. “Thing is, he never plays square. He’s always trying to take a side on people. He pulls OK and is quick to his target. He’s a leaner and a waist-bender.” From Spanish Fork, Utah. Will turn 25 late in the season.
5. DORIAN JOHNSON, Pittsburgh (6-5, 300, 5.29, 2-3): First All-American offensive lineman at Pitt since Ruben Brown in 1994. “Two years ago, they ran more power and Dorian had a really good year,” said one scout. “Last year they went to more motion spread with about 10 jet sweeps a game and it didn’t suit his game. He’s more of a power scheme guy.” Started 42 of 51 games, including 39 at LG. “He’s very smart (Wonderlic of 24),” said another scout. “He’s got really good length (35 ¼ arms). His lower body scares the crap out of me. Weak.” Topped guards in broad jump (9-6) and hand size (10 7/8). “He has a chance to start, sure,” a third scout said. “Pretty good athlete. He needs to get a little stronger but you like the way he plays. Tries to finish you. Little bit of a slow blinker.” From Belle Vernon, Pa.
6. DANNY ISIDORA, Miami (6-3 ½, 311, 5.03, 3-4): Selected Miami over Wisconsin and Florida State. “He’s a really good athlete,” said one scout. “His biggest issue is he needs to control his base. His base gets wide so consequently it looks like he’s going to whiff on blocks. It’s a technical thing. Athletically, there’s no better tester from the guard position.” Team captain. From Weston, Fla. “At his pro day he didn’t look like he could really unroll his hips and hit the bag and knock people back,” another scout said. “He’s got good tape, he’s got bad tape. I graded him more on the bad tape. He’s OK.”
7. NICO SIRAGUSA, San Diego State (6-4, 315, 5.34, 3-4): Three-year starter at LG. “Big, huge body,” one scout said. “Kind of a box area type. Not sure how much passion he has for the game.” Free-spirited personality from Chula Vista, Calif. His Wonderlic of 31 led guards. “Square, athletic for his size,” another scout said. “Pretty good with his hands in pass pro.” Primarily a basketball player at Mater Dei High; played just two years of football. “He is big and he is strong,” a third scout said. “He’s a guard and he just destroys people.”
8. DAMIEN MAMA, Southern California (6-3 ½, 338, 5.81, 4): Showed up at USC pushing 400 pounds. “He’s had some weight stuff,” one scout said. “But he’s big and athletic. He can do everything you want but he doesn’t play very smart and he ran a 5.8. I don’t know if there’s ever been a 5.8.” Third-year junior with 30 starts, all at guard. Largest hands of the guards (11) to go with long arms (35). “Big, powerful guy,” another scout said. “But he’s young and raw and inconsistent.” From Moreno Valley, Calif. “He’s awful,” a third scout said. “If he gets drafted I’ll be in shock.” Added a fourth scout: “Plays the game better than he tests. He’s a 5.77 40 guy so that crushes him automatically.”
9. JESSAMEN DUNKER, Tennessee State (6-4 ½, 318, 5.00, 4-5): Began career at Florida, had legal troubles and was suspended, and transferred to the FCS level at Tennessee State. Started 43 of 46 games at both guards and LT. “Hasn’t matured,” said one scout. “Needs life skills. Doesn’t work at it. Needs reps.” Fastest of the leading guards. “He’s got starter’s physical ability,” said one scout. “It’s just going to depend on the mental part of it and how fast he can get acclimated and mature. He’s more athletic than a lot of starting tackles in the NFL. Let him fail at tackle before you move him inside. I don’t think he has the power to be an inside guy. Everything happens so much faster inside. You might put him in the zone scheme and he can second level (block) and things like that.” From Boynton Beach, Fla., where he played only two years of prep football.
10. BEN BRADEN, Michigan (6-6 ½, 330, 5.07, 5): Started 36 of 38 games, including 17 at LG, 12 at RT and seven down the stretch last year at LT. “His best film was at left tackle,” said one scout. “That, to me, says something. When you put a guy out there at that spot that hasn’t been his position and he plays well, that’s a green flag. Really a big guy. I think he can play everything but center. Natural bender.” From Rockford, Mich. “One of the top testing guards but he doesn’t play that way,” another scout said. “He plays soft. Just kind of positions. Gets in the way. As big as he is he really doesn’t move guys.”
OTHERS: Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M; Cameron Lee, Illinois State; Collin Buchanan, Miami (Ohio); Nate Theaker, Wayne State (Mich.); Corey Levin, Tennessee-Chattanooga; Ethan Cooper, Indiana (Pa.); Kyle Kalis, Michigan; Zack Johnson, North Dakota State.
1. ETHAN POCIC, Louisiana State (6-6, 314, 5.14, 2): Versatility is the operative word. Started 27 games at center from 2014-16, nine at RG in 2014 and one at RT in ’16. “He’s definitely smart enough to play all the positions so that enhances his value,” one scout said. “You’d want him on your team because if somebody goes down he can flip and play another spot. Good traits. He had the problem with the hip (August 2016). Good player.” Regarded as too tall for center by some teams. “But I don’t think that will keep him from playing there,” said another scout. “He’ll be a long-time interior player whether it’s guard or center. He is tough, technically sound, aware. Smart player. Got an NFL body.” Won’t turn 22 until August. Wonderlic of 29. “Not elite physical talent, obviously,” a third scout said. “But he does have elite size for guard or center. He’ll become a mid-level starter and, if he gets on a good team, he’ll look better than he really is.” From Lemont, Ill.
2. PAT ELFLEIN, Ohio State (6-2 ½, 301, 5.29, 2-3): Played several positions off the bench as a redshirt freshman in 2013 when Corey Linsley was the Buckeyes’ senior center. “They’re pretty comparable,” said one scout. “At this point I think this guy is ahead of where Corey was coming out.” Elflein started 28 games at both guards in 2014-15 before making a smooth switch to center in ’16. “I’ve studied it at length,” said a second scout. “Believe it or not, I thought he played better last year (’15). I like him better at guard than center. He’s really tough and smart (Wonderlic of 21). He didn’t test well enough to go second round.” Top-shelf prep wrestler at Pickerington, Ohio. Two-time captain for the Buckeyes. “I don’t like him but he’ll probably play for 10 years,” a third scout said. “I saw an undersized guy that wasn’t that great of an athlete and wasn’t that strong (22 reps on the bench; Linsley did 36). But he’s got all these intangibles and all that.”
3. JORDAN MORGAN, Kutztown (6-2 ½, 310, 5.40, 4-5): Gene Upshaw Award winner as the top lineman in Division II. “He’s an athlete,” said one scout. “It was mixed at the combine but he’d be an interesting mid-round guy. He’s light on his feet.” Started 43 games at LT but projects more to center and guard. “He was at the Senior Bowl and held his own,” another scout said. “Jahri Evans is the bench mark for that league (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference). Sounds like this guy is the same kind of guy.” Longest arms of the centers (34 5/8). “Sleeper type kid,” a third scout said. “He’s got a lot of up side. He’ll make it.” From Philadelphia.
4. SEAN HARLOW, Oregon State (6-4, 301, 5.19, 5): Started 37 games (23 at LT, 14 at RT) from 2013-16 working around a steady stream of injuries. If healthy, one scout said he had the talent to be a second- or third-round choice. “He fits a zone scheme,” said one scout. “Center is more of a projection.” Father, Pat, was drafted 11th in 1991 as a LT and went on to start 94 games for the Patriots and Raiders. Harlow’s biggest problem if he plays anywhere except center might be his short arms (32). Physical run blocker. “I’d call him an athletic blocker,” a second scout said. “Good athlete but not strong.” From San Clemente, Calif.
5. CHASE ROULLIER, Wyoming (6-3 ½, 310, 5.51, 6): Made 27 of his 28 starts from 2013-15 at LG before shifting to center last year. “He’s a quiet, mature, two-time captain,” said one scout. “He’s got enough size to create movement.” Wonderlic of 31 led the centers. Short arms (32 ¼), small hands (9 ½). “Not a great athlete at all or a good-looking body,” a second scout said. “But he should get drafted because he’s played guard also.” From Savage, Minn. (Burnsville H.S.).
OTHERS: Kyle Fuller, Baylor; Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia; Cameron Tom, Southern Mississippi; J.J. Dielman, Utah; Jon Toth, Kentucky; Erik Austell, Charleston Southern; Daniel Brunskill, San Diego State.
Cameron Tom, C, Southern Mississippi: Four-year starter, including three at center. Should have opened eyes with pro day numbers that put the higher-rated centers to shame: 4.88 40, vertical jump of 32 and broad jump of 9-8. Arms were 34 1/8, Wonderlic was 28. Tom (6-3 ½, 300) is a smart, versatile player who could ascend.
Chad Wheeler, T, Southern California: Off-field issues, injuries and a brutal offseason leave Wheeler (6-7, 301) in the precarious position of being off boards and possibly falling to free agency. He started 45 games for the Trojans at left tackle. His weight was down to 296 at pro day, his shuttle times were awful and he managed a mere 13 reps on the bench press.
Packers' Pick to Remember
Dave Croston, T-G, Iowa: Third-round pick from Iowa in 1987. Spent all rookie season on injured reserve (elbow), started one of 16 games in ’88 and was back on injured reserve (shoulder surgery) for all ’89 after being in line to start. Entered Plan B free agency in ’90 but was never signed, ending his career. His son, Cole, walked on at Iowa and ended up starting 18 games at tackle in 2015-16; he projects as a priority free agent.
Quote to Note
AFC personnel man: “You play offensive line from the waist down. You don’t play it from the waist up.”