The Miami Dolphins’ offensive line has been a hot topic for the last couple years mainly because it hasn’t been very good. Mike Pouncey’s health, revolving door at both guard positions, high turnover at the tackle spots; it’s been anything but consistent. While Miami does have key youth and long term starters along their line more stability and quality depth is certainly needed. Point being, O-line will be a major target for the Phins next off-season. For the sake of time, (and I will be updating and scouting as much as possible throughout the year) I have condensed the OT, OG and C into simple an O-line preview for the 2018 Draft. I tried to focus on some big name guys and some lesser, maybe middle round guys; and I tell you I like the depth I’ve seen so far. There are definitely some middle round projected prospects that I think have real potential. So, let’s dive into this list:
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame - Senior
6-7 312 lbs
McGlinchey is the headline of this group because he is the most pro-ready lineman in the country. He’s well rounded, has a lot of experience and is very talented. I’ll start with his pass protection; he’s got a natural bend/flexibility to hold up against big/bull rush linemen, very strong hands, great footwork for such a big guy, isn’t fooled or thrown off by spin moves or stuns, and has great vision/awareness to blitzes. As for run blocking, I think he does need to drive his opponents better but he’s solid in this area too. He gets the 2nd level, stays low and again knows how to use his hands effectively. I think he needs to get more aggressive/meaner, and he does occasionally get beat by the speed rush. Overall, he’s clearly a first round pick and could even be a top 10 selection.
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma - Junior
6-7 358 lbs
Orlando Brown is a mountain of a man playing LT for the Sooners. He’s got great hands that are able to deliver powerful blows and once he latches onto the defender, they don’t get away. Since he’s so big he can cover ground well and has a solid anchor. I really like his pass blocking skills and that is clearly his strong point. He will have trouble with speed rushers because he’s really not all that athletic (hips are stiff, needs to get lower). His run blocking game needs work; he’s not that quick, needs to stay lower and drive opponents better. Overall, Brown has starting potential; I like him in pass protection, and the issues I see in the ground game I believe can be improved. He’s also one of the nastier OT prospects I’ve watched, and for a lineman that is a big plus for me. He’s only a Junior so he could have another 2 seasons in college but I wouldn’t be surprised if he declared early.
Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech - Senior
6-5 304 lbs
Teller was my favorite film study for this group. He’s the definition of mean and aggressive. He, by far, had the most pancakes out of anyone on this list. He locks on and drive opponents into the ground. I think he’s great at pulling, has a heck of a motor (always running down the field the stay with the play) good anchor and he’s a great pass protector. I am surprised more people aren’t talking about him. I do think he needs to get stronger, and he does get his hands latched around defenders outside of inside which will result in more holding penalties; but I was very impressed with his film. He may not be rated as high as some of these other prospects, but he’s definitely got the most physical film out of any o-line prospect I’v watched so far and I love that.
Hunter Bivin, OG, Notre Dame - Senior
Bivin is another piece of a great O-line that the Fighting Irish have. He’s really a solid pass protector. He’s got quick hands and uses them effectively; great footwork and good awareness. My main holdup with Bivin is I just don’t see the aggressiveness in the running game that I want from an interior lineman. He’s got a pretty good motor, usually has himself in good position but I don’t see him finish a ton of blocks and he needs to latch on better. He’s a potential starter immediately though and may get put on the back-burner with all the attention that McGlinchey and Nelson get; definitely a prospect to keep your eye on.
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame - Junior
6-5 325 lbs
Nelson is what you look for in an offensive lineman. He’s powerful, strong, heavy/effective hand use, constantly stays low, latches onto defenders; he’s a really good-looking prospect. He’s clearly a first round pick in my mind and a day 1 starter. I love his drive in the running game and I think he’s sound as a pass blocker. It was really fun watching the ND O-line. I really had a hard time finding stuff I didn’t like about Nelson. He will clearly be coveted (if he declares) and won’t last long on the board come April.
Mason Cole, C, Michigan - Senior
6-5 305 lbs
Mason Cole is the best center prospect in this draft. I think he’s very well rounded both in pass and run blocking. He has good strength, able to take on bull rushes, has a rock solid base with a good anchor and is a leader on the field. I think Cole is a safe prospect that could start immediately; he could be a first round pick next April.
Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan - Senior
6-5 330 lbs
Okaorafor is similar to Orlando Brown in my mind; both are big guys who pass block really well. Both will struggle with speed rushers though because they both move a little stiff. Brown has Okaorafor beat in the running game because I really didn’t find a single play that got me excited when I watch Okaorafor (in the running game). He’s got talent and potential but improvement must be made in the ground game for him to improve his stock.
Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas - Senior
6-4 319 lbs
Ragnow’s tape was inconsistent to me. First off, he’s got the ability in both the run and the passing game to succeed. However, for every good run block or good hustle to block a linebacker on the 2nd level, he has a terrible block or a whiff. Also, for every good pass block, there’s one where he doesn’t get low whatsoever and gets driven right back into the QB. My point is, Ragnow has talent and potential but major improvement need to be seen on the field. Luckily for him, most everything I saw in fixable and coachable; and I do like his motor, so I believe he will improve. He’s a senior this year so it’s a big season for him coming up.
Braden Smith, OT/G, Auburn
Brandon Smith is a versatile lineman that has experience at both guard and tackle. He’s got NFL size and he’s decently athletic. He clearly has pretty good upper body strength and uses his hands well, however, his film was not impressive to me. He did ok in pass protection but he will get occasionally beat by different moves. Running game was not good; he doesn’t square up or latch on, not aggressive, and doesn’t drive. He also needs to work on getting lower. Luckily, these are all things that can be improved and he has shown improvement over the last 2 seasons so he will be someone I’ll have my attention on this season.
Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi St.
Rankin is a prospect that I didn’t have a lot of tape on so I need to dive more into his film this up-coming year. He’s another good pass protector though. I’ve seen him from time to time pancake defenders, which is always awesome. I think he’s ok in the running game; I definitely wasn’t impressed and I don’t know, maybe it’s me but he doesn’t seen to give 100% all the time....that worries me a lot. Overall, he’s got talent but more film in certainly needed on him.
Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio St.
Zachary Crabtree, OT, Oklahoma St.
Billy Price, OG, Ohio St. - possible high pick
Cody O’Connell, OG, Washington St.
Scott Quessenberry, C, UCLA
Nick Linder, C, Miami
Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama