Top 5 O-Linemen in the NFL Draft and Where They Should Go
The 2019 NFL Draft class is filled with linemen with great talent on both sides of the ball. The greatest asset that can make or break team is their quarterback, and that is why it is so important to protect him with a strong Offensive line, which there are plenty of great assets in this draft.
Here are my top 5 Offensive Lineman, with no order:
Jawaan Taylor – OT (Florida)
Jawaan Taylor is one of those players that you can tell works hard to improve his craft. During his Junior year he showed that he can fight against the best with the likes of Montez Sweat and Josh Allen on the opposite side of the ball. High powered, strong, lengthy, and his mobility combined with his size is one you would look for in a franchise tackle, in his case, a right tackle.
Looking at stats, during his freshman year, allowed 6 sacks with 14 QB hurries, while during his sophomore year allowed 3 sacks with 15 QB hurries. Considering I just said he was a franchise tackle, those numbers don’t back it up. What does though, was his junior year campaign. In 2018 he allowed only 1 sack with only 8 QB hurries. He showed his work ethic as well as determination to become the best at what he does.
What he needs to work on is coachable, and comes with practice. His hand placement during run plays is often wide which results in him losing the block attempt. Jawaan Taylor is a workhorse with a high ceiling, and I have no doubt that once he begins his NFL career, his hand placement will become that much better.
Draft prediction: Denver Broncos, Pick 10 or New York Giants, Pick 17
Favorite tape: 2018 LSU v Florida
Dalton Risner – OL (Kansas State)
Dalton is a small town kid from Wiggins, CO. He has worked hard to get to where he is today, and he is as versatile as they come. He began his time at Kansas State playing center, and moved along the line to find a spot at RT. While protecting the QB he only allowed 1 sack during his career, and ended with an overall grade of 90.0 per PFF.
Both his football IQ and character are off the charts. He is mature in the way he carries himself, and will instantly have a positive, leadership type role on whatever team is lucky enough to draft him.
He doesn’t possess the length of a traditional NFL tackle, so I do see him moving into a more interior offensive line role, specifically center. He is great at attacking defenders with very strong hands, with a very violent and heavy punch to keep the defenders at bay. He has no problem resetting his hands if needed, and will be abusive at the line.
Playing as long as he has, there is not much that he needs to work on. Although he does have great body control, especially being able to keep his hips locked when needed and fluid when resetting, his footwork is the only thing he could work on during pass block. He is ready for the NFL, and a personal favorite draft prospect of mine.
Draft prediction: Minnesota Vikings, Pick 18 or LA Chargers, pick 28
Favorite tape: 2018 Iowa State v Kansas State
Jonah Williams – OL (Alabama)
Need a bulldozer for some run blocking? Need someone that can set, and absorb power on pass blocking? Jonah Williams is your guy. Jonah is a powerful, very smooth tackle that may lack traditional length, but will be a starter in the NFL.
During his time at Alabama, year after year he showed improvements in his consistency in successful blocking. While he did allow 5 sacks, none of them took place during his 2018 season. Even with the length concerns, rarely gets pushed back by longer armed rushers. He is smart in his play and is a wonderful technician with footwork and strength, keeping his feet light when transitioning, and constantly moving while driving a block.
Will be a stellar starter as a rookie.
Draft prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars, pick 7 or Atlanta Falcons, pick 14
700Favorite tape: 2017 Clemson v Alabama
Yodny Cajuste – OT (West Virginia)
Yodny is everything you would want in a left tackle role. He does well with initial contact providing power and setting an anchor quickly. He keeps his hands heavy and powerful, which as long as he places them inside, has the ability to stun and disrupt the rusher.
Watching his game against Texas Tech this past season was fun, as you could see his example of powering through a rusher on run plays, and controlling them to help create a lane for the running back to run through. It was one of the few games he showed consistency without showing his weaknesses.
His hand placement and lunging towards defenders can be his downfall as it causes shedded blocks. Although he is powerful and provides plenty of length, wide hand placements can often be a fault of his, especially against smaller edge rushers. These things of course are able to be improved through practice and continuous experience, which he will apply.
Draft Prediction: Houston Texans, pick 23 or New England Patriots pick 64
Favorite tape: 2018 Texas Tech v West Virginia
Garrett Bradbury – IOL (NC State)
Garrett Bradbury is the most athletic center in this years draft class. He is very quick with loose hips that make him a pain for any DT to face, being able to hold blocks creating leverage, and winning with hand placement make him a very versatile center for the next level.
Playing one on one blocking a defender, I trust him. He has very quick feet that allow him to manipulate defenders and protect the QB or open up running lanes, especially on more lateral plays. He can sometimes find himself losing the momentum battle from time to time, but becomes a heavy asset in assistance blocking to counter a heavy rush.
I do think that it will take some time, not long, but some time to adjust to different schemes once playing in the NFL. NC State runs a very heavy zone rushing offense, which is fine if he finds himself in a similar offense, but will need to adjust to wherever he plays with any scheme.
Draft Prediction: New York Giants, pick 37 or Buffalo Bills, pick 40 or Carolina Panthers, pick 47
Favorite tape: 2018 Virgina v NC State