I wanted to know what DraftTek’s Offensive Line Analyst had to say about the offensive line crop eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. Known to all in Texas as Longball, Chuck was a lineman at North Texas State back in the day. Longball describes himself as a “long-time Cowboy fan, may have missed a total of 10 games (either TV or in person) since their inaugural year of 1960.
“Played, coached, and got paid to scout (contract basis) the “Big Uglies” positions before I got too damned old to get into a stance.” Longball is responsible for ranking the draftable Tackles [here], Guards [here], and Centers [here] on the DraftTek site. The “Change” column shows each player’s trend up or down through the season.
What is Longball thinking about the potential of the “Big Uglies” this year, and who might be a fit for the Buffalo Bills (marked in blue)? I asked. He told me (and I quote):
“I could talk all day about Jonah Williams . . . he’s my #1 OT prospect. The underclassman is not only strong and athletic, but fundamentally sound . . . a true technician who can efficiently execute a variety of blocks without seemingly breaking a sweat! Williams has a solid anchor due to a low center of gravity (even at 6’5″) and natural strength, the footwork of a “dancing bear” in pass protection, which includes an extremely quick kick-slide, compact well-timed punches, and vice grips where his hands should be! He will require your RD1 pick, but you can plug him in at LOT for the next decade.”
I’m a big fan of both Ross Pierschbacher and Beau Benzschawel, athletic players who will most likely cost an early- to mid-RD2 selection.
Michael Deiter is a waist-bender and I believe he would be better served being coached up as a developmental OT prospect, playing in 2-3 years (Early RD4).
Tyler Biadasz is one helluva OC . . . Normally, Badger OL stay in school longer . . . as a result, I didn’t rank him. I’d be surprised if he declared for 2019.
Dalton Risner is athletic, but he’s like Connor Williams who the Cowboys took from Texas . . . he needs time in the weight room to play inside at the next level (late RD3/early RD4).
Garrett Brumfield might not be a bad developmental prospect . . . I think he could be had as 7th/UDFA, but he’s not ready to help immediately.
Michael Jordan I would stay away from . . . I have him graded RD5 but may drop him further. He benefits from the team around him.
I like Max Scharping, but I would want to develop him as an OT . . . not saying he couldn’t start inside, but you should probably get more immediate help from a RD3 investment.
Trey Smith is another redshirt sophomore who I question if he’s ready to come out.
Ben Powers is more PBS (Power-Blocking Scheme); he struggles at getting to the 2nd level.
Hjalte Froholdt . . . I know you’re higher on the Razorback than I am . . . maybe I should send you my video of the North Texas / Arkansas game as the Mean Green DL had their way (and no, Joe Greene was not playing LOL!)
I like Martez Ivey, had him ranked last year . . . he has the OT footwork, and gets to the 2nd level well. He would fit your ZBS (Zone-Blocking Scheme) and probably only cost a RD4.
Derwin Gray – I need to go back and look at some other games, as I based my grade a lot on the first game against Texas. He may have the footwork; In fact, I originally thought “ROT prospect”. At OG, I had him ranked just above Froholdt. [followed up]: Gray was damned grabby at LOT and he’d be out on an island at ROT, as well. You are well aware that with DC’s playing match-up, the days of the “Power ROT” are pretty much over. Having said that, if he shifts inside to OG, he’ll need to play in a PBS.
Kyle Trout – Another one I need to go back and look at, my initial thoughts are that he doesn’t have the flexibility you would want for your ZBS, but let me double-check. [followed up]: Urban Meyer went to bat for him in his transfer from Ohio State to Cincinnati . . . my notes at the time were, “If he can’t play for Ohio State, what makes him draftable to the NFL?” Naturally, the answer to that is “size”, but he was too stiff and I just don’t see him in a ZBS.
Alex Bars – This is a guy I could really see the Bills targeting. Good position flex and might be available early RD5. [Author’s Note: Bills scouted the Notre Dame-Pitt game on October 13]
Nate Herbig – PBS, think your money would be spent better elsewhere.
Erik McCoy – Dandy technician, smart, makes all the OL calls at OC . . . I have him as a Top-100 prospect, so he might require a RD3 investment.
Elgton Jenkins is a solid OC, but probably not maneuverable to be a 3-position interior player in a ZBS . . . as a matter of fact, I noticed I had him ranked just before Erik McCoy and I probably need to flip-flop those two. You might be able to get him with an early RD4, but I think there are others that fit the Bills’ scheme better.
You’re right in calling Bobby Evans a mauler . . . his time at ROT might provide the footwork to play some ZBS, but he’s more of a power-blocking OG. Depending on the team, he’s RD5, maybe RD4.
Jake Hanson needs to build up his lower body with squats. Spindly legs aren’t pretty on a 300-pounder. . . developmental prospect. Oregon’s offense allows his “shielding” pass-protection technique to work, but I think he’ll be available in the late rounds.
Adam Holtorf – UDFA and may have to go to Canada.
Dru Samia – not enough talent to offset attitude concerns; I wouldn’t have him on my team.
Tyler Bowling is stiff, and at his height, does not possess the athleticism to play ZBS . . . and he would probably be pretty limited in a PBS.
I had Alex Bookser in the database, but probably won’t rank him, as I’m hearing a number of teams have removed him from their boards. Tulsa had a reputation for taking chances on players with character concerns that dates back to the 60’s and 70’s.
I have Jesse Burkett as my #1 OC due to his intelligence . . . he is real quick at line calls, fairly athletic, but looks even more so due to his outstanding technique. Early RD2.
Before you categorize Chris Lindstrom as too small, watch his technique and how he utilizes leverage . . . I think he would be a steal in RD4 or RD5 (since the Bills may be drafting early).
Tanner Farmer, Cole Minshew, and O’Shea Dugas (I watched him at length against North Texas) are all PBS prospects . . . I don’t think you’d be interested in them.
I currently have Keegan Render RD7/UDFA but may want to move him up . . . he’s another that utilizes leverage real well.
I don’t have Patrick Vahe or Javon Patterson ranked. Darryl Williams is UDFA.
From here on out, I’ll pick out the prospects that I think have potential . . . if I don’t call their name, they’re probably not draftable:
Sam Mustipher – I have him #8 among OC, could be a late RD6 pick, but most likely RD7/UDFA. He’s quick, but gets overpowered some.
Isaiah Prince – Maybe . . . his teammate Gray is PBS, while Prince pulls a lot. Prince is a late-round pick at best.
Colton Prater – He needs to stay in school and hit the weight room . . . has some athleticism about him, but without building himself up, he would be UDFA.
Ben Bredeson – Dropped him to UDFA, pretty stiff in the hips . . . not what you’d want for ZBS.
Brandon Fanaika – Ranked below Prater on my list. As small as he is, Fanaika would fit PBS better.
Nick Linder, Lester Cotton, and Sean Krepsz – All UDFA grades.
Editor’s babble: My vote goes for getting another guy from Stanford… let’s get Jesse Burkett on that side of the ball to complement “Horrible Harry” on the DL. We are so blessed to have Dean Kindig contributing to our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.