Best Offensive Linemen
Mar. 16, 2002
Depending on how some of the top prospects turn out, this could be one of the weakest offensive line classes to come out for some time. Here's a look at who's available and where they are likely to be selected on draft day.
McKinnie ranks as an elite prospect. He's not a finished product, but has everything the NFL is looking for in a left tackle. He dominates as a pass blocker.
Ranking: No. 5, 1st Round.
Williams is a step below McKinnie in most scouts' eyes. He's a dominating run blocker and may eventually play guard in the NFL. Right now he looks to be a solid right tackle prospect that may get a shot to play the left side. He also has a knee issue that some teams think will require surgery soon. He may slide on draft day if the knee problem proves to be an issue.
Ranking: No. 9, 1st Round.
Gurode appears to have all the tools to develop into an excellent NFL guard. He's very versatile and could play center if need be. Pass blocking wasn't something he was asked to do much of in college; he'll need to improve in this area.
Ranking: No. 23, 1st Round.
Fonoti is the most dominating run blocker of this class. His inexperience in pass blocking may cause him to slide on draft day though. His weight may also prove to be a concern because he tends to get a little heavy.
Ranking: No. 25, 1st Round.
Pearson is an early entry candidate, who may eventually prove to be the best overall player to come out of this class. He's very tall and lanky and is more of a finesse player at this point.
Ranking: No. 29, 1st Round.
McKinney is one of the most experienced players in this class starting all four years in college. Overall he's not an outstanding prospect, but should be starting somewhere in the NFL for a long time to come.
Ranking: No. 40, 2nd Round.
Jones played defensive tackle early on in his career and still is learning the to play on the offensive side of the ball. Overall he looks like a prototype NFL left tackle, he just needs more time to develop.
Ranking: No. 47, 2nd Round.
Bentley has more upside than fellow center prospect Seth McKinney. He's not as experienced and tends to play out of control a lot of the time though. He'll likely be a major steal or major bust.
Ranking: No. 59, 2nd Round.
Simmons is a good but not great prospect. He played a lot at tackle in college, but his size projects him to guard at the next level. He's very versatile and will likely land a starting job early in his career.
Ranking: No. 70, 3rd Round.
Metcalf is another tackle prospect that projects as a guard. He's a great run blocker and his pass blocking improved dramatically this past season. He could prove to be the best guard of this class.
Ranking: No. 88, 3rd Round.
Gonzalez played opposite Bryant McKinnie at Miami. He's gets by on technique and is one of the better all around tackles in this class. He's not overly athletic or strong, but has the skills to play at the next level.
Ranking: No. 95, 3rd Round.
Colombo is another tall lanky prospect. He's a very good athlete who needs to add bulk. Overall he looks like a backup at this point who could develop into a better than average player.
Ranking: No. 106, 4th Round.
Peters is a powerful player who struggled this past season. He has good mobility and is a true leader. He appeared to be the top center in this class after his junior year. He should be a solid starter in the NFL.
Ranking: No. 115, 4th Round.
Hill is another former defensive lineman making the transition to the offensive line. He's very athletic and appears to have all the tools to make a good NFL tackle. He's a project who may develop into a starter down the road.
Ranking: No. 118, 4th Round.
Fowler has all the tools the other center prospects have, but also carries some baggage with him. He's had shoulder problems, which resulted in two surgeries early on in his career.
Ranking: No. 123, 4th Round.
Kirk-Hughes is one of the more dominating run blocker in the nation. He'll have to improve a lot in many other areas, but his impressive strength will get him drafted. Shoulder and ankle injuries are also a slight concern.
Ranking: No. 124, 4th Round.
Hicks would be our sleeper prospect of this class. He has all the tools and great size. He doesn't dominate the way he should and appears to just be going through the motions at time. He may be one of the better tackles to be drafted, if he has the desire to do so.
Ranking: No. 139, 5th Round.
Jones projects to play right tackle in the NFL. He has great size and strength, but rarely plays up to his potential. He'll have a lot to prove, but has the tools to start at the next level.
Ranking: No. 144, 5th Round.
Pierce is a dominating run blocking guard. His pass protection is more than adequate. He's a little inexperienced, and doesn't play with a lot of purpose.
Ranking: No. 153 5th Round.
Mitchell played tackle in college, but will likely move inside once he's drafted. There is a chance he can play right tackle if he drops weight but right now he's a little too slow. As a guard he looks to be an average prospect.
Ranking: No. 156, 5th Round.
Weary is one of the more athletic prospects in this draft class. He's also versatile and can play center if needed. Durability is a big question mark though. He has fought through ankle injuries for the past couple seasons.
Ranking: No. 159, 5th Round.
Rogers looks like a first rounder until he hits the field. Overall he's too slow to play tackle and may be too slow to play inside. He's also had multiple ankle and knee surgeries. He needs to drop some weight and add quickness if he's ever going to be more than a backup.
Ranking: No. 163, 6th Round.
Pitts will get drafted on potential alone. He's very inexperienced, but has the talent to develop into a very good player in time.
Ranking: No. 168, 6th Round.
Walker is one of the biggest players available in the draft. He doesn't use good technique and gets beat a lot. He needs a lot of help, but could develop into an average right tackle.
Ranking: No. 169, 6th Round.
Money is a gifted left tackle that looks to small to play the position at the next level. He may be moved to guard, or he may surprise and be an effective smaller tackle.
Ranking: No. 172, 6th Round.
Paige is the prototype NFL tackle, with the exception of one thing. He is lousy in pass protection. He may have to move to guard if he can't become a more effective pass blocker.
Ranking: No. 178, 6th Round.
Coleman is one of the strongest players in the draft. Unfortunately he hasn't learned how to effectively use his strength on the field. He could be an above average right tackle if he is allowed to develop.
Ranking: No. 181, 6th Round.
Volk was a very good college tackle. He appears to be too slow to play tackle in the NFL, and may not be strong enough to move to guard. He will probably catch on as a backup somewhere.
Ranking: No. 186, 6th Round.
Vollers still really hasn't found a position. He's a former defensive lineman, who played everywhere for Notre Dame. He projects to be a very versatile backup lineman.
Ranking: No. 187, 6th Round.
Osika is a converted tight end, so you know he's a good athlete. He's still learning the position, but appears to have the talent to develop into a very good NFL center.
Ranking: No. 192, 6th Round.
Romero played tackle, but probably will have to move to guard if he's going to make somebody's roster. For his size he's rather slow and may be hard pressed to earn a backup role.
Ranking: No. 197, 7th Round.
Alexander is a rare prospect. He played tackle this past season, but also has played center in his career. He is a good pass blocker and should earn a roster spot due to his versatility.
Ranking: No. 200, 7th Round.
Bibla looks like a marginal pro prospect. He didn't stand out for Miami, but that may have been partly due to the talented players he played with. He's a solid late round pick that may prove to be a surprise.
Ranking: No. 201, 7th Round.
Moody looks to be a very good guard prospect. He's a converted defensive lineman who's very athletic. Injuries are a major concern though. He hasn't played a full season since he switched to offense.
Ranking: No. 211, 7th Round.
McCauley is an underrated prospect with experience at both guard and tackle. He started his career at Texas A&M, but failed a drug test and was kicked off the team. He appears to have his head on straight now, but his past problems will cost him on draft day.
Ranking: No. 217, 7th Round.
Smith played tackle, and was dominating at his level. The problem is he projects as a guard right now. It's anybody's guess how he'll make the transition. He definitely has talent, but may not have a position that fits him.
Ranking: No. 221, 7th Round.