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The NFL Draft is on Thursday and here’s my personal list of top Interior Lineman prospects. Make sure you check out Sports Trap Radio Saturdays from 10am-2pm on ueradiolive.com and www.livestream.com/ueradiolive as well.
Guards and Centers
1. Cordy Glenn 6-5 346lbs Georgia
Strengths: Glenn is my 3rd ranked Tackle and now tops my list of Guards. The combo of brute strength, leverage, and athleticism for a man his size is freakish. The footwork that allowed him to play left tackle in the SEC at a high level is what makes him clearly the best guard prospect in this draft.
Weaknesses: Weight is the only question I have with a man his size. Is he going to work constantly to keep himself in top shape, even in the offseason?
Grade: First Round (based on ability to play guard and tackle)
2. David DeCastro 6-5 316lbs Stanford
Strengths: Is the most technically sound interior lineman in this draft. Not the best athlete out of the bunch but has all the tools to come into the NFL and start from day one. Playing in a pro-style offense from day one is a big plus. The transition from college, mentally, should be as big as others. Is a road grader as a run blocker, uses great pad level, hand placement, and leverage to drive defenders off of the ball. Is excellent in pass protection, has a great initial punch that jolts the opposing player.
Weaknesses: May need to add a little bit of good weight and strength to battle with the massive defensive tackles in the NFL.
Grade: Mid First Round
3. Kevin Zeitler 6-3 314lbs Wisconsin
Strengths: Experienced player who started 36 games at right guard over his career. Not a great athlete by any stretch, Zeitler relies more on sound technique to be successful in the trenches. When he plays with proper balance, pad level, and footwork, he is a nice run blocker who uses angles to wall off defenders and make running lanes.
Weaknesses: Struggles against quick inside pass rushers. His footwork in pass protection is shaky at times and he can be caught off balance and beat by DT’s with wiggle.
Grade: Early 2nd round
4. Peter Konz 6-5 314lbs Wisconsin
Strengths: He’s the highest rated Center on the board and has the ability to play guard as well. Great awareness, made all the calls as the center for the Badgers. Does a good job in blitz pick up and getting to the second level in the run game.
Weaknesses: Missed a good amount of time in his career with different injuries with various lower leg injuries. Lacks the footwork and power to be an overly dominant center, but gets by with grit and smarts.
Grade: Mid to late 2nd round
5. Brandon Brooks 6-5 353lbs
Strengths: Almost as good of a run blocker as Cordy Glenn, Brooks definitely uses his size and power to maul defenders in the run game and put them on their backs. Played some tackle as well in college , but I see him as strictly a guard in the NFL. Eats up the bull rush of pass rushers during pass protection.
Weaknesses: Is kind of heavy and slow of foot in pass protection and it hurts his ability to get to the second level in the run game. Could really benefit by losing another 15lbs.
Grade: Early 3rd round
Next 5: Jeff Allen 6-4 30lbs Guard Illinois, Amini Silatolu Guard 6-4 311lbs, James Brown Guard 6-3 1/2 Troy, Kelechi Osemele Guard 6-5 1/2 333lbs Iowa St. , Tony Bergstrom 6-5 313lbs Utah
Up Next: Top 5 Defensive Ends/3-4 Pass Rushers