(Bumped to the front page by Van Ram...exhaustive look at the guards in this year's draft)
Usually, it is considered a successful season if an offensive lineman is able to play and start in 16 games. That's about the point where the guards on the Rams last year, Adam Goldberg and Jacob Bell, stop with their positive traits. They started 16 eventful games - for the wrong reason - in making one of the best running backs in the league have his worst season by far. And while Steven Jackson is fighting through injuries and declining, the guards are a large reason for his statistical flop last season.
Having a tackle pretend to play guard and a guard who lost whatever he used to have is a recipe for failure. And boy did this position fail. I think it is fair to say this position performed the worst of all the positions on the Rams. I cannot really support that given that it is hard to judge offensive lineman, but I doubt many would dispute and those who did could probably accept that they are close to the worst position.
And so that's where I start my post. I listed the OG position as the Rams #2 and #5 needs, but in the shuffle of making these posts, I forgot that I was supposed to make these in the order of my needs post. Oh well, no harm no foul. Anyway, since I won't be doing a center post (Jason Brown) or a tackle post (We could actually use a backup, but I don't have the time to do every position), I will post every possible guard even those who are probable tackles. If the scouting report says they can play guard, I'll list them. And if I miss anybody, feel free to name them in the comments.
1. Mike Pouncey, Florida - 6'5, 303 - 45 starts (28 at guard, 13 at center) - 21-years-old
Why get him - strong, active hands allow him to control opponent, very good upper-body strength, good balance, quick and athletic out of stance, good foot speed, shows nastiness in his game, can drive defender back away from ballcarrier, good character, is able to play center
Why not get him - inconsistent sustaining blocks into the second level, can get a little high with his pad level
Summary - Pouncey's natural position is guard even though he was forced to play center with the exit of his twin brother. I think #14 is too high for guard, but if we were to trade down, he would be an excellent choice.
Projected Round - 1st
2. Danny Watkins, Baylor - 6'3, 310 - 25 games (all 25 at LT) - 26-years-old
Why get him - powerful run blocker, good strength to seal man, can hit a target going into the second level, good athleticism, has a mean streak, has a wide base with strong legs to push lineman backward, good technique
Why not get him - Well his age is kind of a sore thumb, still learning how to explode from three-point-stance, lacks elite quickness, inexperienced, still learning to protect inside lane, short arms
Summary - He did a fine job replacing Jason Smith at left tackle, but he's only 6'3 and has short arms so tackle is not an option for him in the NFL. However, he should be a very good guard, albeit one that's very old for a prospect and inexperienced. And let's face it an inexperienced 26-year-old is not a great combination.
Projected Round - 1st-2nd
3. Rodney Hudson, Florida State - 6'2, 299 - 47 games (all at OG) - 21-years-old
Why get him - He's the opposite of Alex Barron (1 penalty in 832 snaps), agile with good footwork, can play center, strong and active hands, good trap blocker, good initial quickness, plays through whistle, great run blocker, a true leader at FSU
Why not get him - He's prone to lunging and leaning towards defenders, relies on quickness too much, needs to add bulk, undersized, on the ground too much, only average body control
Summary - Well, if you read between the lines, the weaknesses are almost all correlated. He is undersized and not as strong as most guards so he relies on quickness and he tends to lunge which, with his average body control, makes him fall. I like him, however, and I think most of his weaknesses are fixable and his strengths are normally not able to be taught.
4. Marcus Cannon, TCU - 6'6, 349 - started 37 games (24 games at RT, 13 at LT) - 22-years-old
Why get him - very athletic and light on his feet, strong enough to anchor bull rush, quick feet, can reach linebackers in the second level, good character and solid work ethic, very fluid in Combine drills
Why not get him - allows defenders too far into his body instead of extending arms, does not consistently get hands up, lacks flexibility, quick lineman will beat him off the edge, defenders often deflect off his blocks to make plays
Summary - Despite the fact that he's got prototypical size and is athletic not to mention played every game as a tackle in college, he has a ton of weaknesses that are better hidden as a guard. Make no mistake that the potential is there as a tackle as well, but he might be more successful as a guard.
Projected Round - 2nd
5. Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova - 6'4, 317 - started 53 games (all at OT) - 21-years-old
Why get him - He was both good at pass blocking and run blocking while playing at an FCS level, has good bulk and good length, good footwork, very experienced and durable, good agility
Why not get him - will be beaten on outside when he loses focus, awareness could improve, significant talent leap from FCS to NFL, occassionally loses snap count
Summary - He's another player that played tackle and will probably move to guard if drafted. He's kind of risky given where he played and the fact that he loses the snap count (read: false starts) scares me away.
Projected Round - 2nd
6. Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State - 6'3, 298 - 45 games (13 as center, 31 at RG, 1 at LG) - 22-years-old
Why get him - very good athleticism, great work ethic, good initial quickness, good range, very aware, experienced, gets good hand extension, adjusts well to inside defenders, durable, versatile
Why not get him - not very strong or powerful, only a fit for zone blocking schemes, limited upside, loses balance when reaching on occasion, could improve ability to get in front of running backs
Summary - As opposed to tackles expected to become guards, he is a guard expected to become a center. Nonetheless, if the Rams draft him, he'll be more than capable to play at guard. He'd be a solid guard to draft in Round 2.
Projected Round - 2nd
7. James Carpenter, Alabama - 6'4, 321 - 27 games (all at LT) - 22-years-old
Why get him - excellent technique as a tackle, impressive athlete, extends his arms well for pass protection, durable, can hit second level targets well, played in NFL-style offense
Why not get him - somewhat stiff in hips, doesn't change directions well, can be late off snaps (Read: false starts), legs are maybe too long
Summary - He's a tackle in both Walter Football and CBS Sports, but WF has his position as OT/G and Brad Noel mentioned that he lacks elite foot quickness necessary as a left tackle. Basically, he is an offensive tackle, but has some pretty serious concerns and could probably become an effective offensive guard.
Projected Round - 2nd-3rd
8. Orlando Franklin, Miami - 6'6, 316 - 39 starts (13 at LT, 26 at LG) - 23-years-old
Why get him - effective trap blocker, long arms and strong hands, good balance, good bulk and power, very tough as he played through torn meniscus, good flexibility
Why not get him - some injury concerns - that torn meniscus forced him to miss Combine, has tendency to let hands get too high and wide (Read: holding), is beat off snap too often, academic issues coming into Miami
Summary - Franklin is another probable tackle, but some of his issues could lead him to becoming a guard. WF has him as a guard, but I would count him as being a tackle. Again just listing ALL possible guards here.
9. Clint Boling, Georgia -6'5, 310 - 48 starts (18 at RG, 11 at RT, 19 at LT) - 21-years-old
Why get him - extremely experienced and versatile, quick feet and can get to the second level, extends arms well for pass protection, good technique, good character guy
Why not get him - not very athletic, plays high, may not play with knee bend and low center of gravity needed as a guard, struggled against elite competition
Summary - Well, I'M a huge fan for drafting this guy because he seems like a much younger Adam Goldberg. He seems like a low ceiling, high floor guy. You are probably getting a good backup with a slight chance that he'll be an average starter. With that said, the 4th round is about where I would draft him, nowhere higher.
Projected Round - 3rd-4th
10. Will Rackley, Lehigh - 6'3, 309 - 40 starts (13 games at LT, ? for rest of career) -
Why get him - strong and active hands, above average athlete, good balance, excellent hand placement to control his man, durable
Why not get him - Has not faced elite competition, is content to gain position instead of gain movement as a run blocker, not great length
Summary - Any team that drafts him will be betting on potential as you never know how he'll adjust. He was a left tackle in college, but projects as a guard for the NFL by nearly every board.
Projected Round - 3rd-4th
11. John Moffitt, Wisconsin - 6'4, 315 - 42 starts (27 at LG, 15 at center) - 24-years-old
Why get him - experienced, very versatile, very strong with a thick body, average technique, very entertaining in interviews and is a good locker room personality to have
Why not get him - not quick enough off the ball, relies on strength and body too much, painstakingly slow with a 5.55 Combine 40 time
Summary - "My 40 [yard dash] wasn't great. It was about a swift seven seconds." So I'm not a fan of his game at all, but he seems like a funny guy and fits the four pillars. However, I'd draft him as a player not a person so he's probably a no.
Projected Round - 4th
12. DeMarcus Love, Arkansas - 6'4, 315 - 36 starts (25 at LT, 8 at LG, 3 at RG) - 23-years-old
Why get him - very experienced against elite competition, versatile, long arms, strong and active hands, very durable, good initial quickness, productive pass blocker, good drive blocker
Why not get him - can be beaten inside, will get caught lunging for defenders causing balance issues, struggles against quicker DTs, can be beaten with pure speed
Summary - Interesting as Walter Football compares Love to Robert Gallery in that Gallery was a big hype prospect that was expected to be a franchise left tackle, but didn't and instead thrived as a guard. Love, however, has gone down on the draft boards and will probably stick it as a guard in the NFL.
Projected Round - 4th
13. Jason Pinkston, Pittsburgh - 6'3, 317 - 41 starts (38 at LT, 3 at RT) - 23-years-old
Why get him - bends knees and does good job of mirroring his defender, ideal wide body of a guard, good agility, good motor, can also play tackle
Why not get him - He had season-ending shoulder surgery freshman year, reaches and lunges at times, doesn't move feet at times, lacks flexibility
Summary - Here's a likely right tackle in the NFL that could possibly become a guard. All signs point to him becoming a RT, but he is fairly undersized and has the wide body and strength to become a guard. His issues as a tackle become less of issues as a guard.
Projected Round - 4th
14. Stephen Schilling, Michigan - 6'4, 308 - 51 starts (26 at LG, 23 at RT, 2 at RG) - 22-years-old
Why get him - well he's played a lot of games - A LOT, very versatile, durable, hard worker, athletic, drives off ball with authority, agile, gives ballcarriers good open space downfield, good strength
Why not get him - sometimes overextends and forgets to move feet, needs to sustain blocks longer, lets up on smaller defenders, slow as dirt with 5.43 Combine time
Summary - Schilling seems to have a lot of issues with focusing on doing what he needs to do. I'm not sure that is fixable if he hasn't figured it out in four years of starting already.
Projected Round - 4th-5th
15. Lee Ziemba, Auburn - 6'6, 317 - 51 starts (all 51 at LT) - 21-years-old
Why get him - those 51 starts were consecutive so he's both experienced and durable, massive run blocker, extends arms well, decent holding up against bull rush, long arms, powerful hands
Why not get him - plays too high, poor lateral agility, can whiff against quickness in pass protection, lacks good balance
Summary - Well he lacks athleticism and agility necessary to become a left tackle and probably tackle altogether. He is a run blocker and his pass protection is iffy. I'm tempting to jump at this guy because he is a massive run blocker, but we can't leave Sam unprotected.
Projected Round - 5th
16. Keith Williams, Nebraska - 6'5, 312 - 33 starts (all at LG) - 22-years-old
Why get him - good size, strong enough to push away most interior lineman, experienced, good length, physical and flashes a mean streak, great run blocker
Why not get him - plays too high as a pass blocker, struggles to maintain balance, not that agile, can be beat by quick moves, will lunge into players
Summary - Here's another player who is a much better run blocker than pass blocker. As you can see, nearly all of his strengths are run blocking and nearly all of his weakness are pass blocking. He's not very versatile so you'd have to be fairly confident in his potential to draft him as late as he's projected.
Projected Round - 5th
17. David Arkin, Missouri State - 6'5, 300 - 44 starts (31 at RG, 13 at LT) - 23-years-old
Why get him - good footwork, good body control, very physical and competitive, good strength at point of attack, good pass blocker, good at changing direction
Why not get him - hasn't faced elite competition, needs to add more bulk, can be beat by outside speed, doesn't bend the knees low enough
Summary - Make no mistake, Arkin is going to be a guard in the NFL. He was a celebrated offensive lineman (as much as an offensive lineman can be) at MSU and could be a late round sleeper.
Projected Round - 5th-6th
18. Justin Boren, Ohio State - 6'3, 309 - 38 starts (29 at LG, 8 at C, 1 at RG) - 22-years-old
Why get him - very explosive, very good awareness, gets good leverage, strong upper-body, has a knack for putting defender on the turf
Why not get him - poor agility, can be beat by a bull rush, does not hustle to get extra defenders, doesn't always sustain his blocks
Summary - Boren actually started his career at Michigan and then transferred after his sophomore season to Ohio State. Yes, he transferred from Michigan to Ohio State citing lack of values in Michigan. Well, they employed Rich Rodriguez at the time so that makes perfect sense. As a player, his weaknesses stand out to me more than his strengths.
Projected Round - 6th
19. Andrew Jackson, Fresno State - 6'5, 299 - 37 starts (all at RG) - 25-years-old
Why get him - Very big guard with strong and active hands, consistently gets hands inside of opponents, long and powerful arms, high effort, physical
Why not get him - will often stop moving feet laterally, leaves himself vunerable to swim moves, adjusts slowly to defenders coming downfield, miss seven games senior year
Summary - Jackson has a lot of the physical traits needed to be a guard in the NFL, but seems to miss some of the essential fundamentals.
Projected Round - 6th
20. Zach Hurd, Uconn - 6'7, 316 - 39 starts (13 at RG, 26 at LG) - 22-years-old
Why get him - good athleticism and quick feet for big frame, sustains blocks once he gets leverage, gets to second level quickly, strong upper body, explodes off line with pads low
Why not get him - lacks football instincts, uncomfortable as a pass blocker, doesn't keep legs running when engaged, gets lazy and doesn't block downfield
Summary - Hurd seems all potential at this point. He has some pretty great strengths offset by his pretty damaging weaknesses. Might draft him late and try to coach him into being a good lineman.
21. Darius Morris, Temple - 6'4, 319 - 27 starts (all at RT) - 22-years-old
Why get him - plays physical, has a mean streak, maintains pad level once engaged, solid agility and footwork, good awareness
Why not get him - lacks ideal arm length, out of shape, slow getting off snap, will lunge and lose balance at times, hand placement can get wide
Summary - This is starting to get in the late rounds so hardly anyone will be appealing, but Morris is a guy whose strengths are "solid" and his weaknesses are devastating. No thanks.
Projected Round - 6th
22. Jarriel King, South Carolina - 6'5, 317 - 23 starts (21 at LT, 2 at LG) - 24-years-old
Why get him - significant room to develop, "shutdown" flashes in pass protection, good athleticism, versatile, long frame with broad shoulders
Why not get him - lots of trouble with law - trespassing conviction, a theft charge, and an assault and battery charge, has tendency to reach for defender, lack of quickness, inconsistent hand placement, loses balance at times, lacks consistent footwork
Summary - Did anybody else think "Wow this guy sounds like a sleeper"? Well I did and then I saw the law problems... along with his other problems. Even if we weren't the Rams I'm not sure this would be worth the risk. He's also a probable tackle.
Projected Round - 6th
7TH ROUND PROSPECTS
23. Julian Vandervelde, Iowa - This undersized and wide-bodied guard didn't start until his redshirt junior season so that should tell you something about his lack of talent.
24. Mike Person, Montana State - FCS player who led MSU to the Big Sky Championship who has good size at 6'5, 296 and didn't allow a sack in the whole year
25. Daniel Kilgore, Appalachian State - This physical and intense player assumed a "utility role" after an early injury in his junior season so that should tell you something about his versatility.
26. Caleb Schlauderaff, Utah - Very experienced guard (4-year-starter) with good size at 6'4, 311 who can play left tackle if necessary.
27. Ray Dominguez, Arkansas - With little experience at guard and not quick or agile enough for tackle, this big bodied lineman at least has very good intangibles.
28. Colin Baxter, Arizona - Baxter is projected as a center, but his size and body could play well at guard as well (he played both center and guard in Arizona)
29. Carl Johnson, Florida - Johnson was highly recruited coming into Florida, but disappointed. In the NFL, he will get eaten alive as a tackle and could thrive as a guard in the right scheme.
30. Ricky Henry, Nebraska - Henry started all 13 games as the tenacious guard for Nebraska's outstanding running attack, but his 5.68 Combine will surely deter suitors.
31. Bryant Browning, Ohio State - Browning is a high character guard who was unable to participate in Pro Day and uninvited to Combine so there's not much information on him.
32. Jason Kelce, Cincinnati - This guard needs to add some bulk to his frame weighing "only" 280 pounds, however he used that "lean" frame to run an "elite" 4.89.
Just like last time, I'm sure I missed guys who would be drafted, but I included as much as I could. There are so many prospects that are borderline 6th-undrafted guys so it was hard to decide who was where. Also, if a guy's projected round looks off, well it probably is. Reason being is the high variance in some players. Someone who was a 4th-5th rounder for Walter Football was ranked 35th overall among guards on CBS Sports. Someone who is a 5th rounder for CBS Sports is not even listed on Walter Football. So that was difficult to do.
Lastly, these are most definitely not my opinion, just a collection of traits from scouting reports from Walter Football, CBS Sports, and other more minor outlets (And boy for some of these players, I had to search far and wide for anything).
What round should the Rams draft an OG?
1st (10 votes)
2nd-4th (257 votes)
5th-7th (24 votes)
Undrafted (1 vote)
292 total votes