(Editor’s Note: With the draft still about three months away, Bryan Broaddus has already begun his draft research although we’re still early in the game. Each day of the next two weeks, we’ll focus on a position, with Broaddus profiling a handful of top players, going off mainly their college film. Today, we’ll focus on the offensive line.)
Here are a few offensive linemen to keep an eye on as we get ready for the 2013 NFL Draft:
- Luke Joeckel , OT (6-6, 310), Texas A&M
A Junior that was the starter at left tackle for the Aggies…majority of his work is out of a two point stance…nice set and base…ease of movement…gets to the edge quickly…plays with initial quickness…able to adjust on the twist…stays square…passes stunts…gets movement in the running game more through athletic ability than true power…more of a stalemate blocker…can easily get to outside in space on screens and tosses….second level blocker…will cut on the backside at times which surprises me because he is athletic enough to stay on his feet and work his head across…will punch and work to keep his hands in place but there are times where the defender is able to separate from him….Floyd of Florida was able to knock him off balance on a bull rush…did a much better job of sitting down on Montgomery of LSU…really tries to finish his blocks…best trait is his athletic ability, where he struggles is when he has to deal with a defender that plays with power.
- Eric Fisher, OT (6-7, 305), Central Michigan
Don’t let the school he attended throw you off base because he played well against some better competition in 2012 and did just fine…Is just as athletic as Joeckel of A&M….is very light on his feet…can mirror andlide with rusher…showed the ability to bend his knees and play with some flex…no problem adjusting to rusher…really does a nice job of playing with leverage…when he gets hooked up on his man, he stays that way…nice on second level…he sees the target and hits the target…nice body control…keeps in position…if he has an issue it is when he sets, he tends to carry his hands too low and not in the ready position to deliver a blow to stop the rushers charge…Baxter of Northern Illinois, Okafor of Texas and Jones of UCLA gave him some trouble because they were able to get on him quickly and it caused him to have to scramble to get his hands inside…right now plays with more strength than Joeckel.
- Lane Johnson, OT (6-6, 302), Oklahoma
In is the line of Joeckel of A&M and Fisher of Central Michigan in how smooth he plays…not much wasted movement or steps….played both left and right tackle in games I studied…is not the most powerful player but impressed how he is able to finish blocks…rarely do you see him on the ground or badly out of position…will at times set play with a wide base because he really doesn’t trust his strength…is going to struggle when he has to block a defender one-on-one straight up, but allow him to get on the edge to reach, can more than do the job…like Joeckel will struggle some when he gets bull rushed…Fields of TCU was a handful when this happened….no problem adjusting when a rusher tries to take him wide or to the inside, then the athletic ability takes over….can keep the rusher from turning the corner on him…will do a nice job of keeping the width of the pocket…think he needs more strength to play on the right side but really has a lot to work with.
- Chance Warmack, OG (6-2, 322), Alabama
Will not be the most athletic guard in this draft but maybe the one with the most nastiness to his game….old school blocker that comes off the ball with power and strength…is a physical player that can dominate defensive tackles in a small area…gets movement right off the snap…sets square and can handle the depth of the pocket…you do not see him get knocked back at all…can really anchor down when rushers try and take him down the middle…plays with upper and lower body power…not going to be the best for pulling or getting out on screens…is a little bit of a plodder…is not initially quick and will struggle some when he has to deal with a quick defender…had some problems with the LSU rushers…had some trouble on the backside cut off and went to the ground several times in the Missouri game…did a nice job in the Notre Dame game when he had to block back…able to seal the defender without any problems…didn’t see any mental errors or busts…looked smart enough to make adjustments…mental errors inside are killer and he looked fine…plays a position that is not typically drafted high but his toughness is impressive.
- Jonathan Cooper, OG (6-3, 310), North Carolina
Cooper is the starter at left guard for the Tar Heels….he is the opposite of Warmack of Alabama when it comes to athletic ability…very easy pull and adjust…plays on his feet…offense calls for plenty of boots and waggles and he is always the one pulling to the outside to get in position…can set and mirror the rusher easily…does a nice job of riding his man past the quarterback on the outside rush…hardly ever see him on the ground…very good knee bend and can anchor down when he has too….not able to always get the push that you would from Warmack but his sustain is outstanding…when he hooks up on the block, he is able to work his hands inside for control…plays a lot of his snaps from a two point stance….would not call him a dominating run blocker but more of a tie up and control with athletic ability….on film you can see him make the line calls and adjustments….feel like offensively you can do more things with his skill set than that of Warmack but he doesn’t play with that nastiness…think you could play this player at center and I don’t believe you could with Warmack.