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Feelin' A Draft: Early Look At Potential O-Line Prospects For 2015 Draft

The Cowboys offensive line has gone from a question mark to one of the better units in the NFL over the past few seasons, mostly due to front office's commitment to investing in the position through the NFL Draft.

But with starting right tackle Doug Free and left guard Ronald Leary currently in contract years – although the Cowboys have Leary's exclusive rights and will certainly retain him - the offensive line could again be a need area for the organization in the 2015 NFL Draft.

And even if the Cowboys don't address the position in the early rounds, offensive line depth is an area all 32 teams target each off-season.

Below are five offensive line prospects at the college level worth keeping an eye on:

OT T.J. Clemmings, redshirt senior, Pittsburgh (6-5 | 305)

A former defensive end, Clemmings made the transition to the offensive line during the summer of 2013 and has started the last 22 straight games at right tackle for the Panthers. He has explosive upper body strength with stone hands to knock defenders off their feet and lock out with his large wingspan. Clemmings sets up quickly with a wide base and possesses the foot agility to cut off speed rushers on the edges. He is still developing, but Clemmings brings moldable traits and tons of untapped potential to the field, making him worthy of top-30 consideration. Although he isn't widely talked about now, that will soon change.

OG Arie Kouandjio, redshirt senior, Alabama (6-5 | 315)

Alabama has had at least one offensive lineman drafted in five of the last six drafts and Kouandjio has top-75 potential for the 2015 class. He has started every game at left guard for the Crimson Tide the last two years, using his length and upper body strength to win at the point of attack and seal run lanes. He will slightly overextend himself at times, but Kouandjio does a nice job leveraging the line of scrimmage to set up shop with consistent intensity each snap. If his last name sounds familiar, Arie's younger brother, Cyrus Kouandjio, was drafted in the second round by the Buffalo Bills last May.

OT Daryl Williams, redshirt senior, Oklahoma (6-6 | 329)

A three-year starter at Oklahoma, Williams has seen playing time on the left and right sides, but is at his best at right offensive tackle, his regular position. He is a power player and people mover in the run game, using his physical hands to latch-and-drive defenders. Williams positions himself well in pass protection, engulfing rushers and blocking out the sun with his thick frame, but he needs to improve his consistency, often caught overextending at the waist. He has his flaws, but projects as mid-round option with possible starter potential.

OG Laken Tomlinson, redshirt senior, Duke (6-3 | 320)

Duke's football team is a great story in college football as head coach David Cutcliffe has built a consistent and competitive program with players like Tomlinson. A Jamaican native, Tomlinson moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 and was late to pick up the game of football, but with his God-given size and ability, he has started every game for the Blue Devils since 2011 (48 straight games). Tomlinson has a NFL body type and uses his eyes well to pick up twists and extra rushers, but he struggles to consistently bring his feet with him or sustain when asked to block in space. While limited, he is an intriguing day three prospect.

OT Rob Havenstein, redshirt senior, Wisconsin (6-7 | 327)

Wisconsin averages 325.7 rushing yards per game in 2014 and a substantial reason behind that production is Havenstein at right tackle, clearing holes for Melvin Gordon and the Badgers' ground attack. Havenstein has started the last 37 games at right tackle for Wisconsin, including all 14 games in 2012 with former Badger and current Cowboys' center Travis Frederick. Havenstein isn't the most athletic big man with a top-heavy build and tight footwork, but he uses angles well and relies on his upper body strength to bully defenders in the run game. A mid-to-late round prospect, Havenstein will endear himself to NFL coaches with his desire to eliminate defenders with his powerful hands and fierce temperament.  

*Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) is the Senior Analyst for, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with  *

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