In a draft class where scouts are not excited about the offensive line, I see a lot of potential, especially in the interior. My series on evaluating each positional group in the NFL Draft continues with the offensive lineman. Who is the best player in the position group? Safest pick? Boom-or-bust pick? Underrated? Sleepers? Let’s dive in!
Best Player in the Position Group: Forrest Lamp, OL (Western Kentucky)
Lamp’s versatility really gets scouts excited. He played left tackle in college, but will likely move inside in the NFL. He could play anywhere from left guard to right tackle and be an excellent piece to an offensive line. Natural technique in how to handle speed or the bull rush. His versatility makes him the best player in the position group.
Safest Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, OT (Wisconsin)
Joe Thomas, Travis Frederick, Ricky Wagner, Kevin Zietler, and Rob Havenstein … that’s a pretty solid list. Wisconsin offensive lineman are easy to fall in love with because they are usually very fundamentally and technically sound. Ramczyk is another player who fits in that category as he is ready to step into the NFL as a bookend for a team looking for a young solution at tackle.
Boom-Or-Bust Pick: Garrett Bolles (Utah)
The talent is there, but there is concern that he is not strong enough to take on the power of NFL defensive lineman. The athleticism overall is very elite for an offensive lineman, but there is no indication about how strong he is and if he can take on the next level of competition. He is also 25 years old and does not have as many development years as other prospects.
Underrated: Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh), Dan Feeney (Indiana), Pat Elflein (Ohio State), Ethan Pocic (LSU)
I find plenty of underrated prospects in this year’s draft class. Johnson will be a starting guard in the league from his rookie year and play in the NFL for longer than a decade. He can also play tackle if in a pinch. Feeney is a starter for a team looking for a zone-scheme guard and will fit like a glove from Day 1. Elflein and Pocic have played guard and center at an elite level, which makes their versatility even more enticing as they can start at guard and fill in at center if necessary.
Sleepers: Isaac Asiata (Utah) & Levon Myers (Northern Illinois)
Asiata is a power based right guard prospect for a team looking to add a nasty offensive lineman for their run game. Teams like Seattle, Carolina, Buffalo and Tennessee will take a long look at him as a possible offensive lineman to have on their depth chart and possible eventual starter.
Myers is a very versatile player with athleticism. He can play all the positions along the offensive line if truly needed for a spot start. Teams and coaches who like versatile lineman like Kansas City, Indianapolis, Denver and Philadelphia might be eyeing him in the later rounds.