I am going to try to do a position by position “draft board” for Miami on the top 20 positions at each spot. I am aware some spots we will probably not consider drafting and there may be some changes at the bottom of the top 20 of guys not included. I have decided to use CBS sports rankings in order. I will list my comments in the comment section and I wanted everyone else to do so also that wants to be a part of our Phinsider “Draftboard”.
I am going to try to do a position each week. Give everyone 7 days to make comments and then set our position board. At the end of this (April) we can look at each board and then set a “Draft Board” by needs and how it would actually look if we were the 1000’s of wannabe GM’s for Miami and see if our collective wisdom is better than our actual GM on draft day.
Here is the Offensive line rankings. I am also aware that we may draft below this line as most of these guys will be gone in the first 2-3 rounds. Be sure to list “other” guys you have on your radar for later rounds in the comments. Here is what CBS has listed in order and the comments they put down.
If you want to participate please rank your top 20 (may have some guys not on this list that you can put as “write in” votes. I am also going to give some the “death grade” or I put them off the list for one reason or another (which equates to a “0” vote). At the end of a week I’ll go through the comments and give 20 points for a #1 ranking, 19 for a #2 and so on to see what our top 20 (and honorable mention would look like).
Jake Matthews: OT, Texas A&M
STRENGTHS: Matthews is quick off the snap and uses his long, strong arms and good mobility to control his opponents when pass blocking. While perhaps not an elite athlete, he plays with the technique and tenacity to make his father proud, controlling opponents with good initial quickness, excellent knee bend and balance and terrific upper-body strength. Matthews is a terrific run blocker. Though athletic enough to surprise defenders with an occasional chop block or slipping out to the second level to nail a linebacker, he's at his best simply driving defensive ends off the ball and creating lanes for A&M's running backs to slice through. Once he gets his hands on his opponent, he exhibits an ability to dictate the matchup. Strong lower-half drive and displays a good understanding of leverage when he can establish low position against thicker defenders.
WEAKNESSES: Matthews can get himself in trouble when he stops moving his feet and his lack of elite foot speed and balance may limit just how high he can go on draft day. At times, he'll bend his arms and lock his knees when opposing a strong bull-rush and appears "light" occasionally in power-on-power situations.
Greg Robinson: OT, Auburn
STRENGTHS: Remarkable combination of size, power and body control. Owns a prototypical frame for playing offensive line in the NFL, including broad shoulders, long arms, a relatively trim waist, thick bubble and tree trunks for legs.
Latches on and controls as a run-blocker with good hand placement, easy knee bend and awesome power to simply maul opponents, often driving them yards off the line of scrimmage. Keeps his legs driving, showing good spatial awareness and body control to keep his feet in traffic. Good quickness for the down block and shows surprisingly light feet to adjust to moving targets when asked to block at the second level.
WEAKNESSES: Only two years of starting experience and played in a relatively simple collegiate system which catered to his strengths, rarely asking him to pass block on an island. Catches edge rushers and rides them wide but must learn to slide his feet more consistently or he will draw penalties for holding when matched against NFL speed.
Can be a bit high off the snap. Can play too low, at times, leaving himself vulnerable to over-arm swim moves. Has only played on the offensive line since his junior year in high school (2009). Taylor Lewan: OT, Michigan
STRENGTHS: With good height and length, he looks the part and has the frame to play on the left side at the next level, adding nearly 50 pounds since his senior year in high school. ossesses quick feet. A former defensive lineman, Lewan is known as a self-starter with a mean streak and nasty attitude on the field, but also emerged as more of a leader the past two seasons. Keeps his head on a swivel and has the competitive drive to win one-on-one battles.
Demonstrates enough lateral agility and balance in his kick-slide to maintain the edge, while also possessing the strength to lock up his opponent. Strong initial step when asked to fire through to the second level and targets decisively in the open field.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to stay focused to cut down on penalties and use proper footwork and technique, not simply relying on his natural ability. Struggled with jab-steps and counters back inside when battling quick, crafty defenders and tends to drop his head upon contact.
Inconsistent in terms of timing off the snap and will find himself stood up and easily pushed back at times as a result. Collapses at the elbow, too often allowing his opponent into his chest, and will get too far out in front of his feet at the second level as a run blocker.
Zach Martin: OT/OG, Notre Dame
STRENGTHS: Very good at keeping his feet underneath him while keeping his butt low to handle both speed and power. He does play with good quickness (but not explosiveness) off the snap, showing knee bend and core strength to anchor, as well as the lateral agility to mirror more athletic defenders.
He also shows better athleticism than you might think when blocking on the move, demonstrating above average straight-line speed to get to the second level, as well as the nastiness to bury his target into the ground.
WEAKNESSES: With less than ideal length and lateral range, Martin's NFL future may lie inside at guard, where he never played in college. The move to guard is necessary because Martin does not possess great height, arm length or foot speed. He chucks his way back (rather than sliding) for an effective if not aesthetically-pleasing form of pass protection.
CYRUS KOUANDJIO: OT, ALABAMA
STRENGTHS: Light on his feet, flexible, has broad shoulders and his arms are both long and strong. His weight is evenly distributed over his frame and he reportedly has just 16 percent body fat, an impressive number for any offensive lineman.
Quick off the snap and has the lateral agility to slide left to right. Kouandjio uses his athleticism in pass protection well but he's even more impressive as a run blocker, consistently out-quicking defenders to create lanes. Kouandjio relies on good placement, strong hands and an explosive jolt to turn and sustain defenders.
WEAKNESSES: Choppy sliding into pass protection and has a tendency to drop his head upon contact, although he was significantly improved as his second season as a starter progressed in 2013. Excellent run blocker, although not a true mauler.
David Yankley: OG, Stanford
STRENGTHS: Natural athlete on the move with very good body control and lower body explosion. Outstanding shuffle footwork and lateral movement skills. Active puller with good coordination to square up his target in motion. Sets up quickly and gets into position with good base width. Not easily redirected with good core strength and strong hands. Very good initial surge as a lead blocker through the hole. Highly intelligent with above average instincts and awareness.
WEAKNESSES: Will allow his pads to rise too much after first contact and needs to improve his knee bend. Bad habit of lowering his head at contact and needs to keep his eyes elevated through contact. Needs to better control his momentum on the move to break down and gain proper positioning. Room to improve his hand placement, struggling to properly latch-and-drive. Will stop his feet at contact and needs to better sustain.
Morgan Moses: OT, Virginia
POSITIVES: Ideal length and proportion throughout for an NFL offensive tackle. Does a good job of exhibiting patience off the snap as he routinely establishes width and good bend in his base to either absorb or mirror his opponent in pass protection. Makes good use of his long arms by extending and punching to keep defenders off his frame. Displays a fluid, consistent kick-slide when asked to track and dictate a speed rusher around the edge.
Exhibits a strong first step and impressive burst for his size, when asked to fire through to the second level as a run blocker. Powerful hands to latch and steer against opponents of all sizes. Does a good job sustaining effort and contact to the whistle, and makes a concerted attempt to drive his opponent off the block rather than simply occupying him. Impressive lower-half flexibility and anchoring strength when absorbing a bull-rush.
NEGATIVES: Lacks the ability to stop and start with suddenness or redirect in a short area. Struggles to get low and snap into smaller opponents at the second level, and will over-pursue as a run-blocker. Isn't always decisive in space and lacks commitment at times as a lead blocker on outside runs. Collapses at the elbow or will simply drop his head and ram his target when on the run, leaving him susceptible to whiffing or losing his balance and toppling forward. Has struggled with weight fluctuations throughout his career.
Xavier Su’a Filo: OG, UCLA
Strengths: Powerfully-built. Very good initial quickness, hand placement and impressive upper body strength to gain the initial advantage on defenders. Due to his core strength and flexibility, Su'a-Filo anchors very well against bull-rushes and shows lateral agility and balance in pass pro. Perfect match in UCLA's drive-blocking scheme, but has the athleticism to fit in a zone-blocking scheme as well.
Weaknesses: Has a tendency to lose leverage on contact.
Gabe Jackson: OG, MSU
STRENGTHS: Demonstrates not only the raw power expected of a man of his size but also surprisingly nimble feet and balance while in pass protection, to mirror quick rushers. Jackson plays with excellent knee bend and has long arms, which help him stay square and in control of his opponent in pass pro. He's a powerful drive blocker who uses his natural leverage advantage well, showing good leg drive to push defenders off the ball. Despite his girth, Jackson shows good lateral agility and balance to find fits at the second level. Defenders are seldom able to disengage once Jackson locks in. Is not satisfied with simply occupying space, and prides himself on pancaking and rag-doll'ing opponents. Does a nice job of absorbing the bull rush with his lower half, and rarely surrenders more than a step or two before resetting and anchoring. Comes off the snap quickly and gets up to speed quickly when asked to pull.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't appear quite as comfortable in space, particularly when headhunting at the second level, as he struggles to break down and redirect with suddenness. Is slow to go vertical when navigating through "trash" and will get tangled up. Tends to zone in when competing one-on-one, and will lose awareness of his surroundings at times. Drops his head and throws himself at defenders too often, and will get caught over-extending in pass protection.
Antonio Richardson: OT, Tennessee
STRENGTHS: Combination of size, agility, patience and power. Shocking athleticism for his size. Well-proportioned with broad shoulders, long arms and tree trunks for legs. Richardson shows surprising quickness and balance off the snap in pass protection, sliding quickly left to properly protect the blind side. He latches on with strong hands and rides with the pass rusher before settling, squaring his shoulders and sustaining nicely by playing on the balls of his feet.
WEAKNESSES: Was bull-rushed into the quarterback multiple times in a marquee matchup against Jadeveon Clowney in 2013. Needs to be more technically consistent, as he'll get over-extended off the snap, and will at times stop his feet altogether, when asked to redirect in mirroring counter-moves. Over-extends at times off the snap and doesn't exhibit consistent patience in pass protection, as he'll often reach to initiate contact when he should first establish his base, and then "catch" his opponent.
Jack Mewhort: OT, OSU
STRENGTHS: Excellent size, strength and technique to quietly star up front for the Buckeyes. Latches onto opponents and easily controls them, showing off the long arms, strong hands and subtle combination of lateral agility and balance to handle pass-blocking duties at tackle in the NFL. Versatile. Has played each of the four exterior positions along the offensive line, logging starts at left tackle (27), right guard (eight) and left guard (three) over his career. Durable. Started the final 39 consecutive games of his career for the Buckeyes and played in 49 straight. Voted a captain by teammates and lauded for his leadership by head coach Urban Meyer.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't possess elite athleticism and therefore projects best at right tackle in the NFL. Relies on his length and strength, rather than top-notch quickness and agility to contain speed rushers and is susceptible to stutter-steps back to the inside. Plays high, negating his power in the running game at times and leaving himself vulnerable to the more powerful bull rushes he'll face in the NFL. A bit of a dancing bear when blocking in space, showing just average change of direction skills. Arrested for public urination and for evading police in May, 2013.
Travis Swanson: C, Arkansas
STRENGTHS: Has the athleticism to pull in the running game. Able to seal off defenders from the action when blocking straight ahead. Can anchor well against strong run defenders. Good explosiveness to deliver his snaps and awareness in making line calls.
WEAKNESSES: Lack of ideal straight-line apparent when unable to make the edge at times. Struggles to generate movement against stronger defenders.
Cyril Richardson: OG, Baylor
Richardson was one of the heaviest left tackles in college football last season, protecting Robert Griffin III's blind side at 335-pounds. But he moved back inside to guard this past spring and is expected to start at left guard in 2012 for the Bears.
Billy Turner: OT, North Dakota St.
2014 Senior Bowl Wednesday...On the offensive line, North Dakota State's Billy Turner enjoyed a nice bounce-back effort on Wednesday after struggling a bit with speed yesterday. Playing predominately inside at right guard (though also seeing some time at right tackle), the athletic small-schooler showed renewed aggression and strong hands to latch on and control defenders. Florida's Jon Halapio has also impressed with his physicality. Finally, Nevada's Joel Bitonio has quietly done a nice job rotating throughout the offensive line all week, as well. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
Weston Richburg: OG, Colorado St
STRENGTHS: Prototypical build for an interior lineman with a powerful, square frame to handle bull rushers and good initial quickness and overall athleticism to block on the move. Good upper body strength to move the defensive tackle and has the balance and quickness to turn and seal his opponent from the action. Often asked to pull on sweeps, screens and shows impressive quickness and change of direction for a man of his size. Intelligent. Makes all of the line calls and keeps his head on a swivel to help teammates when uncovered. Durable. Started all 49 games of his career.
WEAKNESSES: Some questions about level of competition, though Richburg played well against top opponents when CSU faced them, including Alabama in 2013. Effective run blocker, but isn't a mauler with dominating leg drive. He could also stand to show a little more nasty to his play. Possesses the athleticism to handle guard duties but has only started three games there in his career - the first three games of his career.
Dakota Dozier: OG, Furman
STRENGTHS: Well-proportioned, athletic-looking, muscular frame. Exhibits light feet, a fluid kick-slide, and is a natural bender. Gets good arm extension to keep defenders out of his chest, and utilizes his lower half well to establish leverage on contact and absorb the power rush. Quick off the snap as a run blocker, and gets off the line and into the hole swiftly when asked to trap or pull. Shows good awareness on the move and does a good job of utilizing active hands to hold sequential defenders at bay and maintain course through contact. Can break down and change direction rapidly and exhibits impressive body control to maintain balance in tight spaces, particularly when firing through the line to the second level.
WEAKNESSES: Will over-extend off the snap, or simply set his feet too early in pass protection leaving him susceptible to being stood up and pushed back, or swatted to the side. Gets too far out and over his feet at times on the move, and will whiff or drop his head as a result. Appears to possess some natural power but it doesn't consistently show up on contact. Played mostly tackle at Furman but may need to move to guard due to lacking ideal length to play tackle at the next level.
Marcus Martin, C, USC
STRENGTHS: Only a third-year collegiate player but already boasts the frame of an NFL interior lineman, possessing the naturally thick build conducive to playing in the trenches. Good quickness off the snap, showing the ability to get to the second level as well as seal defenders to create running lanes. Plays with some nastiness. Plays to the whistle and isn't opposed to getting an extra shot in as the whistle blows. A good athlete whose flaws are coachable, suggesting that his best football is still ahead of him.
WEAKNESSES: Only has one year of starting experience at center and is likely to remain at this position in the NFL due to his less than ideal height. Plays very low, which gives him a natural leverage advantage but also makes him prone to effective swim moves from taller defenders. Relies on his punch too much, over-extending and getting himself off-balance.
Joel Bitonio: OT, Nevada
STRENGTHS: Highly effective collegiate left tackle who combines good quickness, strength and tenacity. More athletic than he looks, demonstrating light feet and balance to quickly fan outside to handle speed rushers. Plays on the balls of his feet and shows good lateral agility to mirror edge rushers. Competitive. Doesn't give up on the play, even if beaten initially. Handled top competition when given the opportunity, including in one-on-one matchups against UCLA's Anthony Barr.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't possess the ideal length or build to remain at left tackle in the NFL and may be best served moving inside to guard - a position he never played at Nevada. Appears to have shorter-than-ideal arms, an issue that explains why Bitonio occasionally falls off blocks or is beaten with an effective over-arm swim move. Can get fundamentally lazy and stop moving his feet, allowing himself to get over-extended.
JuWuan James: OT, Tennessee
Strengths: Surprisingly quick off the snap, showing the ability to slide to protect the edge against the variety of speed rushers he has faced in the SEC. Plays on the balls of his feet but with his knees bent and his butt down, putting him good position to shuffle laterally as well as anchor against a quality bull-rush. Surprisingly light feet also stand out while run-blocking, as does his competitive spirit. Powerful at the point of attack and can drive defenders off the ball. Not shy about peeling off of them to target would-be tacklers at the second level, as well.
Weaknesses: Like most blockers with his frame, James occasionally struggles with pad level. When he drops his head, he can be beaten with a swim move over the top. This occurs most often while run blocking.
James Hurst: OT, UNC
UNC OT James Hurst suffers broken leg in Belk Bowl win...North Carolina offensive tackle James Hurst left the Belk Bowl after suffering a left leg injury. After the Tar Heels' 39-17 win, the school announced that the senior suffered a broken leg. Hurst, an anchor at left tackle for much of his time in Chapel Hill, made his 49th career start on Saturday. CBSSports.com has the 6-foot-7, 305 pound tackle listed as the No. 10 offensive tackle (No. 88 overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft class.
Before the injury, he was projected as a second or third round selection. The school provided no details on a timetable for recovery. The ESPN cameras did not show Hurst in the play when he sustained the injury, and the broadcast team opted not to replay the image of his leg getting rolled up after he went down
There you go. If you would like to see the players here is the link I used to find most of the information. You could also look at ESPN or other sites. You have until next Monday to rank them and comment all you want, the next Tuesday I’ll list how we got our list and start on the next position. Happy commenting.