1. Gabe Jackson, Miss St., HT/WT: 6’3” / 336 LBs

Today, we will be looking at the offensive guard position. Jackson is first off the board, coming off a 4 year career at Mississippi State, where he didn’t miss a single start. Jackson, in my opinion, is the best interior lineman in the draft, and could come in and provide an immediate impact for a team who needs help on the inside of the line. He has fluid hips, and a strong push at the POA, where he barely gives an inch, and is able to handle bigger defensive linemen with ease. He is solid as a run blocker and a pass blocker as well.

gabe
Scouting Report:
-Strong anchor
-Overwhelmingly strong
-Pure strength
-Quick feet, surprising lateral movement
-Not afraid to engage his defender
-Good blocker in the open field and at the second level
-Can zone block or play power scheme
-Doesn’t have much of a mean streak
-Weight loss would improve blocking
Projected Pick: 2nd Round
Player Comparison: Larry Warford

2. David Yankey, Stanford, HT/WT: 6’6” / 315 LBs

Yankey is your prototypical guard, weighing in at 315 LBs, and stands at 6’6”, perfect size for the position. He has a good reach, and although he isn’t an elite athlete, he stands out because of his hand placement and tight footwork. In my opinion, Yankey has the tools to come into the league, and start right away. And while I think he’s a solid player, I don’t think we ever see him take the next step to be a top tier guard.

yankey
Scouting Report:
-Uses his big frame to overwhelm defenders
-Strong on the POA
-Physical when engaged in a block
-Good pulling lineman
-Excels at taking on blocks
-Does a solid job shielding defenders
-Collegiate experience
-Can make plays in space
-Pad level needs to be more consistent
-Doesn’t play with good balance
-Sometimes doesn’t finish his blocks
Projected Pick: 2nd Round
Player Comparison: Ben Grubbs

3. Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA, HT/WT: 6’3” / 305 LBs

Su’a-Filo anchored a talented offensive line at UCLA. He is the proud owner of 38 career starts. He has natural strength and solid athleticism, which seem to be his two best attributes. He also has decent footwork, for a man his size and is agile in pass protection. UCLA ran mostly a man blocking scheme, but due to Su’a-Filo’s athleticism, I expect him to be able to play in a zone blocking scheme, which opens up a number of possibilities for him.

x
Scouting Report:
-Good mix of size and athleticism
-Above average athlete
-Ran 5.04-40 YD Dash
-Excellent quickness
-Good hands and feet
-Ideal size
-Uses big frame to open up lanes in the running game
-Durable
-Pad level needs to improve
-Not a very good Football IQ
-Grabber, not a puncher
Projected Pick: 2nd Round
Player Comparison: Josh Sitton

4. Cyril Richardson, Baylor, HT/WT: 6’5” / 335 LBs

Richardson, a back to back All-Big 12 selection in 2012 and 2013, a 2013 All-American, and a 2012 second team All-American, is for sure, one thing; a mauling run blocker. When Richardson gets out and takes on blocks, he will open up wide lines for the running back to cut through. He is a brute, and an underrated athlete at that. He had a difficult week at the senior bowl, but is still improving. I expect with good coaching, this kid can really put it all together.

rich
Scouting Report:
-Dominant run blocker
-Athletic for a guy his size
-Very strong
-Uses his big frame and power to overpower opponents
-Strong anchor
-Good length
-Physical
-Has collegiate experience
-Plays with a mean streak
-Still improving
-Struggles in the open field
-Could stand to shed weight
-Needs to improve balance and pad level
Projected Pick: Late 2nd – Early 3rd
Player Comparison: Andrew Whitworth

5. Joel Bitonio, Nevada, HT/WT: 6’0” / 300 LBs

When you look at the size of Bitonio, it’s hard not to be skeptical. He’s listed as an offensive tackle, but in reality a transition to guard is the best thing for him to further his career. Bitonio is explosive and versatile, with an impressive amount of athleticism for the position. I’ve seen film on him to know that he’s got a big mean streak, and is a tough run blocker. He’d be more suitable for a zone blocking scheme, but I expect that with the right people to learn from, he can excel at the next level.

joel
Scouting Report:
-Good arm length
-Good footwork and agility
-Solid anchor
-Fires off the ball
-Good on POA
-Experienced starter
-Gets too high at times, which affects his blocking power
-Technical blocker
-Grabber more than a puncher
-Probably won’t grow as OL anymore than he already has
Projected Pick: Late 2nd – Early 3rd
Player Comparison: Logan Mankins

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