NFL Draft Position Rankings 1.0: Interior O-Linemen
By Jim Johnson
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Ranking the ACC, SEC, Sun Belt, and SoCon 2017 NFL Draft prospects.
The 2017 NFL Draft is just a couple of months away and, as always, the bulk of the top talent is coming out of our coverage area -- the ACC and SEC (with some Sun Belt and SoCon players as well) -- so I will be releasing fluid position rankings throughout the run-up to April 27th. This ranking only includes players from teams that we cover, meaning some of the major players from the other conferences will not be included. Curiously, the rankings wouldn't look much different even if they were, though.
1. Ethan Pocic, LSU
Versatile, can play any position along the offensive line. Excellent lateral agility allows him to slide and pick up extra pass rushers in either direction. Patient. Above average body control leads to high block connectivity in the open field. Great run blocker, adequate pass blocker. Taller than most centers, struggles with leverage against some defensive linemen. Needs to get stronger, but the mere roster flexibility he allows for is worth a high draft pick.
2. Dorian Johnson, Pittsburgh
Solid, explosive athlete. Good burst off the line of scrimmage and initial punch at the point of attack. Doesn't always lock in, allowing himself to get beat by spin moves. No glaring weaknesses. Needs to bulk up and improve strength, but could start right away.
3. Danny Isidora, Miami
Pretty good size for a guard. Great instincts. Uses leverage against taller interior defensive linemen. Gets to the second level quickly. Showed that he could be overpowered at the Senior Bowl. Needs to play with a more firm base to avoid being knocked off balance. Success will be largely scheme dependent.
4. Kareem Are, Florida State
Powerful at the point of attack. Talented, but raw. Very good in the ground game. Needs work in pass protection. Will be a project, but has the upside to eventually be a good NFL starter.
5. Jon Toth, Kentucky
Knows his strengths and weaknesses and plays to the former. Uses his hands superbly. Good body control. Has very obvious athletic limitations. May never be an all-pro due to the lack of general athleticism, but could be a very good starter in a ground and pound scheme.
6. Avery Gennessy, Texas A&M
Athletic competitor that gets great burst off the line of scrimmage. Played tackle at Texas A&M and may stay there if he doesn't get stronger, but is probably better suited as a guard. Good kick slide, mirrors defenders well.
7. Jay Guillermo, Clemson
Ideal size for a center. Great instincts, a heady player. Funtional playing strength. Needs to improve his technique. Won't start right away, may be a bit of a project, but has the potential to one day be an impact player on the right team.
8. Corey Levin, Chattanooga
Another versatile interior linemen, allowing for roster flexibility. Great athlete for the position. Good awareness, picks up on blitzes. Won't have much use as a drive blocker against NFL defensive linemen. Could stand to put on some weight, but Levin has all the tools.
9. Greg Pyke, Georgia
Played out of position, as a tackle, at Georgia last year. Is a true guard. Still, the expereince could allow him to fill in adequately on the edge in a pinch. Very good run blocker, with some work to do in pass pro, that could thrive in his proper spot.
10. Alex Kozan, Auburn
Kozan stood out at the East-West Shrine Game. He's a tough player, with the attitude to survive in the trenches. His hand placement needs some work, but he could be a day three steal.