Mason Cole out of Michigan has a chance to be the first interior lineman drafted in 2018.
Standing at 6’5 and 305 pounds, Mason Cole has the length to play at all three interior line spots. Depending on his arm length, Cole might actually be able to play right tackle in a pinch. Cole is going to line up at center this season, but I project him as a guard in the NFL. Cole is tall for an NFL center, only two inches shorter than Ethan Pocic, who also is in the process of moving to guard with the Seattle Seahawks.
Cole has the length to keep defenders off of his body. Cole does a good job of setting his anchor, and he might be better in pass protection than run blocking. Cole does a good job of mirroring pass rushers, however as a center it isn’t showcased. That raises the question of whether or not he excels at it, or hides it.
According to a report, Cole has been working at left tackle this season. Cole should still project as an interior lineman during pre-draft evaluations.
As a run blocker Cole does show some flashes. When Cole is a part of double teams he generates good push, and moves to linebackers with ease. Cole flashes the core strength to toss defenders out of his way. Cole has the mean streak to bury defenders or at least do his best. Cole doesn’t blow linemen off the ball, but he does a good job staying engaged.
As an interior offensive lineman, Cole will need to add 10-15 pounds. A few seasons in an NFL weight room should do a good job of bulking Cole up by at least 10 pounds. If a NFL franchise decides to leave him at center, he will have to really focus on his pad level. Standing straight up against NFL defensive tackles will result in a center being sat down in his quarterbacks lap. The bottom line is that Cole could go anywhere from 2nd to 4th round.