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2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Offensive Line
By Jonathan Hull

Offensive Tackles

1. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

Put me on the bandwagon. As far as LT skills go, Texas A&M's Luke Joekel might have a bit of an edge on Fisher. However, it's not so much that Fisher doesn't pull in front of Joekel by a nose thanks to his elite athleticism. It was plain to see Fisher moved better in open space than Joekel at the Combine. Fisher has been soaring up draft boards since his performance at the Senior Bowl. Now he's clearly become one of the elite prospects this draft has to offer.

 

2. Luke Joekel, Texas A&M

This doesn't mean I think Joekel is out of the running for the No. 1 overall pick. I should probably list Fisher as 1A and Joekel as 1B. Both are great LT prospects, and should translate as such in the NFL. Joekel doesn't have some of the athleticism and potential Fisher does, which is why I place Fisher slightly ahead of him on my draft board. But I will not be shocked if Joekel is still the No. 1 overall selection.

 

3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

Johnson gives this draft class a third LT prospect who could be selected in the top 10. He was as impressive as Fisher at the Senior Bowl, and was solid at the Combine as well. In fact, you could argue he's more athletic, based on his 4.75 40. Johnson isn't as clean in his pass protection as Fisher or Joekel, but he's not far behind, either. There's just a bit of separation between him and the top two tackles. He absolutely top 10 worthy and won't make it past San Diego at No. 11.

 

4. D.J. Fluker, Alabama

Fluker raises more red flags for me than he does others. He projects better as a RT than a LT, but some teams love his long arms and believe he can be an adequate LT in the right system. I would be scared pitting him against some of the leagues quicker pass rushers as he's a bit still in the hips. But once he does get those long arms on a defender, it's typically game over. He should be taken in the latter half of the first round.

 

5. Kyle Long, Oregon

Long is a major boom or bust prospect. He's got the bloodlines as he's the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and brother to current Rams DE Chris Long. Both his father and brother call him the most athletic member of the family. He played baseball right out of high school, but some legal and academic troubles force him out of Florida State. He went to Juco to take up football and emerged as a big time OL recruit. He only started four games this past season with Oregon, all at right guard. There are some major questions about how ready he is for the NFL, but one can't deny his athleticism. Expect to see him off the board in the second round.

 

Biggest rise: Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff -- It's amazing what a 4.6 40 can do for an offensive lineman's stock. Armstead's has been soaring since he showed off rare athleticism for a guy his size (6-5, 306). But his stock was on the rise before the Combine. He was the best Ol at the Shrine Game and then made it to the Senior Bowl as an injury replacement and held his own in Mobile as well. Armstead is well on his way to be a second-round selection.

 

Biggest drop: Oday Aboushi, Virginia -- Aboushi looked sloppy at the Combine, showing very little agility, and finished near the bottom of the OL group in every single drill. And his tape isn't nearly as impressive as expected, either. A player once considered a possible late first-round selection has dropped into a third-day grade.

 

The Rest of the Field

6 Menelik Watson* Florida State
7 Terron Armstead Ark-Pine Bluff
8 Dallas Thomas Tennessee
9 David Bakhtiari Colorado
10 Ricky Wagner Wisconsin
11 David Quessenberry San Jose State
12 Brennan Williams North Carolina
13 Alex Hurst LSU
14 Chris Faulk* LSU
15 Reid Fragel Ohio State
16 Nick Becton Virginia Tech
17 Xavier Nixon Florida
18 Oday Aboushi Virginia
19 John Wetzel Boston College
20 Tanner Hawkinson Kansas
21 Manase Foketi West Texas A&M
22 Rogers Gaines Tennessee St.
23 Vinston Painter Virginia Tech
24 Oscar Johnson Louisiana Tech
25 Garrett Gilkey Chadron State
26 Stephane Milhim Umass
27 Mark Jackson Glenville State
28 Braden Brown BYU
29 Jordan Mills La. Tech
30 Jason Weaver So. Miss

 

Guards

1. Chance Warmack, Alabama

Warmack did not impress with his athleticism, but that's not nearly as big of a deal for a guard as it is a tackle. There's so much film on Warmack that scouts are pretty convinced about the type of player he is. There's no questioning he's the best interior run blocker in the draft, and a good pass protector as well. Warmack remains a top 10 selection.

 

2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Cooper has only made an already strong OL class even stronger. He flashed great athleticism at the combine, but a 6-2, 311 pound guard. Not to mention phenomenal strength with 35 reps of 225 pounds. Cooper is flying up charts and closing the gap on Warmack. He's definitely a top 20 pick and could squeeze into the top 15.

 

3. Alvin Bailey, Arkansas

Bailey really wasn't too far behind Cooper in terms of athleticism at the combine. He's actually a bit overlooked at this point of the process. He's got experience at RG and LG, but I think it's the left side where he'll ultimately play. I expect him to be a quality starter in the league.

 

4. Justin Pugh, Syracuse

Pugh played mostly LT at Syracuse, but it became apparent at the Senior Bowl because of his short arms, that guard is likely his better position in the NFL. That's not all bad, either. He's likely to be drafted higher because of his potential at guard, and not to mention his experience at tackle, where he could line up in a pinch. He showed nice explosion at the combine, and should be a third round pick.

 

5. Larry Warford, Kentucky

Warford is a massive man at 6-3, 332 pounds, and he moves like one, too. You're not asking for athleticism from a guy like this. The reason he ranks below these other guys is because I could see him struggling to block LBs at the second level. But any DT lined up in front of Warford will have his hands full.

 

Biggest rise: Earl Watford, James Madison -- Watford was a standout at the FCS level, and definitely held his own at the East-West Shrine Game as well. He showed impressive athleticism at the Combine and has his momentum moving in the right way. Scouts are going to start looking much harder at his game film. He could be a fourth or fifth rounder.

 

Biggest drop: Brian Winters, Kent State -- Winters is a guy I like on film, but an untimely injury has him dropping for now. He tore a pectoral muscle during the bench press and didn't do any other workouts. He does plan on doing ever drill during his pro day.

 

The Rest of the Field

6 Jeff Baca UCLA
7 Earl Watford James Madison
8 Brian Winters Kent State
9 Omoregie Uzzi Georgia Tech
10 J.C. Tretter Cornell
11 Hugh Thornton Illinois
12 Travis Bond North Carolina
13 Chris Barker Nevada
14 Lane Taylor Oklahoma State
15 Blaize Foltz TCU
16 Theo Goins UCF
17 Sam Brenner Utah
18 Lamar Mady Youngstown
19 Chris Jacobson Pitt
20 Edmund Kugbila Valdosta State

 

Centers

1. Barrett Jones, Alabama

Without a doubt, Jones is my favorite OL in the draft. He's an All-American at tackle, guard and center, and I think he could play any of the three positions in the NFL. He's not a first-round prospect right now because of some injury concerns, but don't doubt his toughness. He played through a Lisfranc injury in the BCS Championship, and played well. That same injury ended the season for multiple NFL RBs. He's one of the greatest players ever at Alabama, and no team will regret selecting him come draft day.

 

2. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin

I wasn't nuts about the way Frederick tested at the Combine, but I can't help but like his film and versatility. He's a proven commodity at guard, but slid inside to center this season and made a name for himself there as well. He's got as much to do with Montee Ball's record setting career as anyone.

 

3. Brian Schwenke, Cal

Schwenke did himself a lot of favors at the Combine, showing nice athleticism and strength. He's climbing draft boards right now. He just doesn't grade out on film the way Jones and Frederick do.

 

4. Khaled Holmes, USC

There's a considerable drop-off on the center board after Schwenke. Holmes didn't do much at the Combine, but what he did do (bench press) he didn't do well (13 reps).

 

5. T.J. Johnson, South Carolina

Johnson is actually underrated in my estimation. I like his film for starters, and he was fluid at the Combine during blocking drills. More fluid than one would expect for a 6-4, 310-pound center. He's going to be a fifth or sixth rounder, but Johnson has potential to be a starter someday.

 

Biggest rise: Schwenke, Cal -- The athleticism he flashed at the Combine will have scouts reevaluating his film. Schwenke has worked his way up to a third-round grade.

 

Biggest drop: Braxston Cave, Notre Dame -- Cave was one of the worst performers of the week at the Senior Bowl, and he did nothing to impress at the Combine. His stock is plummeting and I won't be shocked if he ended up undrafted.

 

The Rest of the Field

6 Graham Pocic Illinois
7 Mario Benavides Louisville
8 Joe Madsen West Virginia
9 Dalton Freeman Clemson
10 Braxston Cave Notre Dame
11 Matt Stankiewitch Penn State
12 Eric Herman Ohio
13 Patrick Lewis Texas A&M
14 Ivory Wade Baylor
15 James Ferentz Iowa
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