The offensive line class hasn’t been a flashy group to analyze this draft season but there is still plenty of names that deserve recognition. This version of The Hard Count analyzes the top offensive linemen in the 2017 NFL Draft class.
|Offensive Line Rankings|
|1) Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky|
|2) Garett Bolles, OT, Utah|
|3) Cam Robinson, OG/OT, Alabama|
|4) Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana|
|5) Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin|
|6) Pat Elfein, C, Ohio State|
|7) Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburg|
|8) Dion Dawkins, OG, Temple|
|9) Taylor Moton, OG/OT, Western Michigan|
|10) Danny Isidora, OG, Miami|
A brief explanation of why I rank people where I ranked them, and things I see and would like to see.
Lamp is a very fast riser this offseason, and for very good reason in my opinion. I love Lamp’s game and any player who can stone wall Alabama’s defensive line gets my attention, especially when they come from a smaller school. Lamp plays with good technique and excelled at left tackle despite lacking some length, but he will need to move to guard at the next level.
Lamp plays with good hip torque and it helps him generate power. Forrest Lamp loves to play with a little extra grit, and can frequently be found punishing defenders who have the misfortune of being near him. Lamp does a good job of getting to the second level when run blocking and seals running lanes.
Comp: Zack Martin
After he attended a junior college Bolles moved on to Utah. While at Utah for the last year, Bolles has made a name for himself as one of the top tackles. The most promising part of Bolles’ game is his potential, as he hasn’t really had much experience with top level coaching.
Bolles is a very good mover and was asked to pull from the backside tackle to play-side kick out, which isn’t a common practice for collegiate tackles. Bolles is an effortless mover to the second level, at least until he gets to the point of contact. No one can or should make the things Bolles does to smaller defenders look effortless.
Comp: Lane Johnson
After being marked as the number one tackle before the season by some, Robinson has disappointed many of those hopefuls. I believe that is because he is a guard, as he lacks some of the top end agility to be a bookend at the next level.
Robinson is a real mauler, capable of creating a ton of movement at times. Robinson does a good job of working his feet around to get between the defender and the ball carrier. In space, Robinson gets a little bit out of control because he loves to go for the big hit on smaller players.
In pass protection, Robinson has the ability to close the door on pass rushers, or force them inside then run them into the clutter. However, Robinson lacks top end agility, which will limit him to the inside the majority of his career.
Round: 1st– 2nd
Comp: Laremy Tunsil
Feeney is possibly the most consistent offensive lineman in this year’s draft, having only allowed two sacks in 3,278 snaps. Dan Feeney also totaled more than 50 pancake blocks this year alone, which is outstanding. While Feeney isn’t a real mauler he is a good run blocker, but more in a zone scheme.
Feeney has powerful hands and keeps defenders off of his body with his arm extension. Feeney doesn’t really lack any skills other than elite strength to be a mauler, which isn’t as necessary as madden would have you believe. Dan Feeney is my 3rd guard, but he was my second until Robinson decided he would be willing to transition.
Comp: Joel Bitonio
Ramcyzk rocketed up draft boards mid-season and plummeted down them when his hip injury made its way into the light. His hip is a major red flag for many teams and will have to be thoroughly checked before a team takes a shot on him.
My pet peeve for an offensive lineman is a lack of ability to create movement. Ramcyzk gets his body in run lanes but doesn’t expand the lane by getting any movement. He also carries defenders down the line, effectively turning runs back inside, exactly what the edge defender wants. Ramcyzk bothers me as he consistently sets too shallow which gives up the edge, but then always does an excellent job of taking the defender around the outside.
Comp: Hal Vaitai
The biggest riser in my rankings Elfein has done some things you don’t see asked of many centers in college. Elfein has overtaken Pocic in my rankings, for a few reasons, but I’ll only list what Elfein does well.
Elfein does a lot of things well, including movement. He can pull from his center position and get out taking on edge rushers, which is an insanely difficult task to ask of anyone, much less a center. Elfein does have the ability to really create some movement in the run game, and he loves to finish blocks. He is probably one of the meanest players in this year’s draft.
Comp: Cody Whitehair
Johnson has a strong punch and good functional movement, but not really an exceptional mover. He carries his weight well, and while he weighs 300 pounds he could continue to add weight to his frame. Johnson is has a good understanding of how to pull, he just isn’t the smoothest at it. If I was a coach I wouldn’t pull him any further than B gap to B gap.
Johnson isn’t the very top of the draft class of guards, but for a team looking for a guard in the middle rounds, Johnson is a very good option. He can step in very early on and contribute; he even has the ability to possibly turn into a very good guard. I have even seen comparisons to Jack Mewhort.
Comp: Jack Mewhort
Another tackle from this draft that will more than likely make the transition inside to guard, Dawkins is very strong and has an anchor to prove it. He struggles with hand usage, mainly the fact that he likes to carry them wide and punches wide. This loses him some of his power, but he has plenty to go around.
Dawkins could probably play outside at tackle for a few games at the next level if needed, but I think he’d be better inside. That ability to be a swing tackle, but also start inside at guard is very valuable to teams who need offensive line depth, but don’t have the roster space to have multiple extra linemen.
Comp: Allen Barbre
The second most popular name in draft circles that is related to Western Michigan is Taylor Moton. The tackle has experience at guard and right tackle. Moton is a mountain of a man, with the ability to get between the defender and the ball carrier. When Moton is in front of the defender they simply cannot reach around him to make the play.
Moton has good movement skills, but the move to guard should suit him due to his lack of ability to set consistently and a very suspect game in space. Taylor Moton definitely is not an island blocker but is more of a guard-type pass protector. Moton should excel when he is inside and can use his size to prevent defenders from making a play on his quarterback.
Comp: Zach Fulton
|1) Cleveland Browns||Myles Garrett|
|2) San Francisco 49ers||Reuben Foster|
|3) Chicago Bears||Solomon Thomas|
|4) Jacksonville Jaguars||Jamal Adams|
|5) Tennessee Titans||Marshon Lattimore|
|6) New York Jets||Haason Reddick|
|7) Los Angeles Chargers||Mike Williams|
|8) Carolina Panthers||Garett Bolles|
|9) Cincinnati Bengals||Jonathan Allen|
|10) Buffalo Bills||Malik Hooker|
|11) New Orleans Saints||John Ross|
|12) Cleveland Browns||Gareon Conley|
|13) Arizona Cardinals||Zach Cunningham|
|14) Philadelphia Eagles||Quincy Wilson|
|15) Indianapolis Colts||OJ Howard|
|16) Baltimore Ravens||Derek Barnett|
|17) Washington Redskins||Leonard Fournette|
|18) Tennessee Titans||Takk McKinley|
|19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Taco Charlton|
|20) Denver Broncos||Forrest Lamp|
|21) Detroit Lions||Corey Davis|
|22) Miami Dolphins||Cam Robinson|
|23) New York Giants||Ryan Ramczyk|
|24) Oakland Raiders||Fabian Moreau|
|25) Houston Texans||Mitchell Trubisky|
|26) Seattle Seahawks||Marlon Humphrey|
|27) Kansas City Chiefs||Patrick Mahomes II|
|28) Dallas Cowboys||Dan Feeney|
|29) Green Bay Packers||Christian McCaffrey|
|30) Pittsburg Steelers||John Ross|
|31) Atlanta Falcons||Malik McDowell|
|32) New Orleans Saints||Jarrad Davis|
*Mock draft indicates what I think will happen, not what I think should happen.