NFL Draft: Analyzing 2018’s Top Offensive Linemen
Time to get to the meat and potatoes of the offense. Any true football fan will tell you that if your offensive line isn’t good, doesn’t matter who your skill position players are, and they’d be right. As we finish up the offensive side of the ball today, we move on to the top 11 offensive linemen in the upcoming draft. So, without further ado, let’s get right into who I think are the top offensive linemen from the 2018 NFL Draft. (Players on the list are in order of my rankings)
Quenton Nelson – OG – Notre Dame
Nelson is 1 of the safest picks in the entire draft. He has everything you could want in an interior lineman. In fact, he has power, good feet, and most importantly, a high level of awareness. Also, he will be able to come in and start from day 1. With more of a priority now being on interior defensive linemen, someone like Nelson will move up in terms of importance to help block some of those monsters.
Isaiah Wynn – OG – Georgia
No one is on the same level as Nelson, but Wynn has all the makings of being a solid offensive guard for the next 10+ years. He may have to add a little muscle to his frame. He looks best fit for a zone blocking scheme but with some added strength, so still hold his own in a power blocking scheme.
Mike McGlinchey – OT – Notre Dame
McGlinchey is a very tricky person to rank. He was overrated at the start of the year when they thought he was the best LT in college football. However, now he seems to be a bit underrated as an OT overall. He may not be the best LT in this draft, but he fits perfectly to be the best RT in the draft. I think as long as he is drafted as such, he will not disappoint.
Will Hernandez – OG – Texas-El Paso
If you want an interior lineman for a power blocking scheme and can’t get Nelson, Hernandez is your guy. Hernandez tips the scale at almost 330 pounds. He can be a bit jumpy and impatient with his blocks, but as long as he calms down, he’s worth a mid to late 1st round pick.
James Daniels – OC – Iowa
Daniels is the top C in the draft. He’s another one that can come in and start right away and be solid. There are certain schools where they just know how to develop certain positions. For defensive backs, it’s Ohio State, LSU, and Florida State, for offensive linemen, it’s Wisconsin and Iowa.
Orlando Brown – OT – Oklahoma
Even though I have Brown ranked a little low, I think he was the best OT in college last year. The downside is this isn’t college anymore. He is bigger than most tackles and he fell below most on all the athletic test during the combine and his pro day. The biggest question for him is if he can translate his success in college when going against the better athletes in the pros. He’s a big gamble to take.
Connor Williams – OG – Texas
Williams was a LT throughout his whole college career. However, due to his length and size, many scouts point him towards being an OG. Another knock on Williams is the bad year he had last year. He missed all but 5 games. If he can play like he did in 2016, he’s a good, solid, starter.
Kolton Miller – OT – UCLA
Miller is more projected to be a good tackle than he actually has been. He has the ideal height, weight, and other measurements that you want for your starting LT. He had the responsibility of protecting one of the best QBs in college in Josh Rosen last year. You’ll hear his name in round 1, but he definitely is a risk.
Billy Price – OC – Ohio State
Price tied an Ohio State record with 55 straight starts. You love to see that kind of dependability in an offensive lineman. He has good potential but has a few things that need to be done in his development. He needs better discipline and needs work on his footwork.
Brian O’Neill – OT – Pittsburgh
O’Neill is another one that needs to add strength. He fits a zone blocking scheme. Because he can be a bit grabby, teams may try to move him inside. He also needs to bend his knees a bit more as he can be caught up high too much. Not great, but has potential. However, I wouldn’t start him year one.
Jamarco Jones – OT – Ohio State
Jones isn’t a spectacular player, but he has looked better every year of college. He has the look of someone who may not look good his 1st year but could develop into a solid starter after some added muscle. I am not his biggest fan, but I feel, due to his potential, he had to be at least mentioned.
The most important spot on the offensive line is typically the LT. Because of the lack of a strong LT in this draft, many consider this a weak draft for offensive linemen. There are a lot of solid players, and 1 great one in Nelson, but with no stud LT, it’s likely that none of these gentlemen go in the top 5.
For a part of the game that is so important, it’s a position that will probably be over-drafted and still see half of the names above called. The key will be how well these teams can develop them, I mean, they only will be protecting the most important position in the game, you starting QB.