All eyes were on the offensive linemen on Sunday for the Los Angeles Rams the NFL Combine. The offensive line finally took the field for athletic testing. Given it’s the Rams’ biggest position of need, it’s almost a guarantee that they were paying attention.
This is an athletic class on the offensive line and that was backed up with how they tested. Here are five players that stood out among the rest.
OT Blake Freeland, BYU
Coming into the NFL Combine, it was pretty clear that Blake Freeland had all of the athletic tools. That was confirmed during the testing portion on Sunday. Freeland had the highest vertical jump ever and also put up top scores in the 10-yard split and broad jump. The lower-body explosiveness was very clearly there.
Blake Freeland is a OT prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.82 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 23 out of 1227 OT from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/oLbFEGY4px #RAS pic.twitter.com/dT2zHJjQH0— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 6, 2023
The concern with Freeland comes with the tape. He’s very inconsistent. This is why the Combine is only part of the process. It’s possible that Freeland can get coached up, but he’s going to need to go to the right situation and be developed.
iOL Jon Gaines II, UCLA
Gaines is sliding under the radar as someone who played well at the Shrine Bowl and then tested well on Sunday. As a mid-late round prospect, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams keep Gaines II in the Los Angeles area.
IOL Athleticism Score Leaders— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 6, 2023
Jon Gaines II (@UCLAFootball)
Sidy Sow (@EMUFB)
Nick Saldiveri (@ODUFootball)
*Excludes bench press pic.twitter.com/u3b7WnVDn3
On Sunday, Gaines II had the sixth-fastest 40-time among offensive linemen which included the third-fastest 10-yard split. He led all offensive linemen in the three-cone and shuttle while placing top-three scores in the vertical and broad jump. Gaines II raised his stock at the Combine.
OT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
Duncan tweaked his ankle and therefore didn’t participate in agility drills or positional testing. However, if those drills had gone like everything else, Duncan likely would have nailed it.
Jaelyn Duncan RAS so far.https://t.co/cfsr5PD8HS #RAS pic.twitter.com/wWACKErgBB— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2023
Duncan recorded the fifth-best score in the broad jump and ranked seventh in the vertical. It would have been interesting to see his agility drills as those are so important for offensive linemen, but we may get those on Duncan’s pro day. Duncan solidified himself as a day-two prospect.
iOL Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
Stromberg is a player that is absolutely not getting enough attention on the interior and that’s even after testing well on Sunday. It just shows how deep this class is at the center position.
The Arkansas center ranked fourth in the vertical and sixth in the broad jump. Stromberg did well the Shrine Bowl and continued to display potential in Indianapolis. He’ll be a solid mid-round selection for a team that misses on one of the top centers.
OT Darnell Wright
Wright continues to be one of the most impressive offensive linemen throughout the draft process. That continued into the combine. He measured in well and then had one of the fastest 40-times, ranking seventh. He 9-foot, 6-inch score in the broad jump was also the fourth-best. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him sneak into the first round.
Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright ran a 5.01-second 40-yard dash at 333 lbs, the 3rd-fastest among offensive lineman weighing at least 330 lbs at the combine since 2003.@VolsFootball | #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/jz7c23rsXG— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 5, 2023
- iOL Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
- iOL Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan
- OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
"That was a phenomenal rep by Matthew Bergeron."— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) March 5, 2023
- #NFLCombine March 2-5 on @NFLNetwork pic.twitter.com/ydcs8fH18v
Matthew Bergeron has been one of my favorite tackle prospects who can move inside as a guard. He didn’t run the 40-yard dash, but in position drills, he showed his fluid movement and had the tenth-best vertical. This is someone to watch in the second round, especially if the Rams trade back.