Offensive linemen keep getting bigger, faster and stronger over the last three years (2002-2004). The chart below gives you an idea of the height, weight and speed of players in the first four rounds. Over the past three drafts, offensive linemen drafted in Rounds 1-4 have measured up this way:
Shortest - 6-1½
Median - 6-4 1/8
Tallest - 6-8
Lightest - 295
Median - 311
Heaviest - 375
Slowest - 5.58
Median - 5.16
Fastest - 4.93
In 1979, the two heaviest offensive linemen drafted were Max Montoya of UCLA and Sam Clapham of Oklahoma. Both weighed 272 pounds -- Montoya played in 223 games during a 16-year career. Now if a player weighed 272 pounds, he wouldn't be playing offensive tackle, that's for sure.
The lightest offensive lineman at last year's draft was Jake Scott of Idaho (281 pounds), who was a starter for the Colts. The heaviest lineman at the combine was Shawn Andrews of Arkansas, tipping the scales at 366 pounds. He was a starter for the Eagles until an injury ended his season.
Here is how this year's crop matched up at the 2005 combine in Indianapolis:
|Comparing the 61 linemen at the combine|
|Center (13)||Guard (20)||Tackle (28)|
|Shortest||6-2¾ Jason Brown Drew Hodgdon||6-2¼ Jonathan Clinkscale Claude Terrell||6-4 1/8 Michael Watson|
|Tallest||6-5 1/8 Raymond Preston||6-5½ Joe Berger Clinton Brooks, Jr.||6-9 Sam Lightbody|
|Players over 300 lbs.||12 of 13 Ben Wilkerson (299)||20 of 20||26 of 28 Sam Wilder (298) Harvey Dahl (299)|
|Averages from each of the positions across the line|
If you have the ability to play left tackle in the NFL, you have a chance to earn a very large paycheck. Over the past two years, six left tackles became free agents and received almost $60 million in signing bonus money.
The following is a list of my top 10 offensive linemen regardless of position:
1. Khalif Barnes, Washington (6-53/4, 305)
Barnes had a complete workout at the combine. He ran the 40s in 4.92 and 5.00, 4.54 in the short shuttle and 7.57 in the cone drill. He had a 35-inch vertical, an 8-foot-10 long jump and did 26 bench presses. He played defensive line in high school and was also a very good basketball player. He redshirted in 2000 and switched to offensive line in practice for the 2001 Rose Bowl and started every game for the next three years. A broken right wrist ended his streak after six games in 2004. He's a big, athletic player who has all the physical tools to be a productive starting left tackle for years. He can recover and adjust to inside moves. He needs more strength and passion for the game. Barnes has the ability to be an All-Pro. He's a Pro Bowl type player with long hands.
2. Alex Barron, Florida State (6-71/2, 320)
Barron did not work out at the combine, but did work out at Florida State's Pro Day. He ran two 40s in 4.82 and 4.84. He also ran 4.56 in the short shuttle and 7.83 in the three-cone drill. He had a 351/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-4 long jump and 19 strength reps. Barron played offensive line in high school and also played basketball. He redshirted in 2000 because of a knee injury he suffered during preseason workouts. Barron broke his hand in 2001 late in the year and started five games in 2002. He has started over the last two years and had surgery on his right shoulder in the spring of 2004. Barron's size and athletic ability are rare. He has long arms (38 inches), has very good quickness and good body control for a man his size. He stays on his feet, but plays too high and needs to be more physical. He reminds me of Irv Eatman of UCLA.
3. Jammal Brown, Oklahoma (6-5 7/8, 316)
Brown had a complete workout at the combine. He ran 5.06 and 5.09 in the 40-yard dash, 4.67 in the short shuttle and 7.93 in the cone drill. He had a 311/2 - inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-1 long jump. He did not lift at the combine or at Oklahoma's Pro Day. Brown played both offensive and defensive line in high school and was a first-team all-state selection. He redshirted in 2000 when he suffered a knee injury during a two-a-days. Brown played but did not start in 2001 and then started at right tackle for the next three years. He won the Outland Award in 2004. He's a very large, very athletic player and strong man. He's exceptionally fluid and sudden in his ability to redirect and recover inside. Brown is late to the ball sometimes, and there is a question as to why he did not lift. Some coaches think he can play left tackle. He's a good person.
4. Marcus Johnson, Mississippi (6-61/2, 321)
Johnson had a complete workout at the combine, recording 5.45 and 5.64 times in the 40. He also ran 4.71 in the short shuttle and 7.71 in the cone drill. He had a 271/2-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-8 long jump and did 21 bench presses. He played offensive and defensive line in high school. In 2000, he redshirted and did not play. Then he was the backup guard in 2001. He started at the position in 2002 and 2003, and then played both right guard and right tackle in 2004. Johnson has size and athletic ability and makes very good use of his hands. He engulfs people and has a mean streak. He has very long arms (343/4 inches). Although he only played four games at right tackle, he has what teams are looking for at that position. He's a solid player and has been well coached.
5. David Baas, Michigan (6-41/2, 319)
Baas had a complete workout at the combine. He ran 5.06 and 5.07 in the 40, 4.46 in the short shuttle and 7.50 in the cone drill. He had a 291/2-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-9 long jump and did 29 bench presses. He played offensive line in high school and threw shot put - had a career best 53-foot-11 throw. He injured his knee in 2000 as a freshman and missed the entire season. He played and started the next two years at left guard and started the first three games in 2004 at the position before moving to center. He's an above-average athlete with good quickness. He's a tough, productive player who uses his hands well. He has good body control and does not have real good lateral quickness. He's a very solid player and will play at a high level for many years.
6. Evan Mathis, Alabama (6-51/4, 304)
Mathis had a complete combine workout, running his 40s in 4.90 and 4.93. He had a 351/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-9 long jump, a 4.16 short shuttle, a 7.37 in the three-cone drill and 35 strength reps. He looked good at the combine. He played both offensive and defensive line in high school, as well as wrestling (won the 2000 state heavyweight title). He redshirted in 2000 at Alabama, but then started all but the first three games in 2001 and never looked back. In 2004, Mathis switched from right tackle to left guard, but still put together 47 consecutive starts. He has good athletic ability for his size and will be a steady player who can pull and adjust to the blitz. Plays hard and is a good worker. It looks like he could get bigger too. Will be a long-time starter.
7. Logan Mankins, Fresno State (6-4 1/8, 307)
At the combine, he had a complete workout, running his 40s in 5.06 and 5.15. He had a 311/2-inch vertical jump, a 7-foot-11 long jump, a 4.44 short shuttle, a 7.52 in the three-cone drill and 21 strength reps. In high school, Mankins played tight end and linebacker at his small town school in Mariposa, Calif. He wasn't highly recruited and walked on at Fresno State. He redshirted in 2000 and then started all 14 games in 2001 at left tackle, protecting for David Carr. He started all games in 2002, missed 2003 with a torn ACL, then returned to start every game in 2004. Scouts say he is really like a lumberjack, blue-collar type, like Chris Snee from last year's draft (second round). He is strong, tough and nasty -- a true throwback player with a great work ethic. I don't think he is athletic enough to play tackle, so he should play at guard.
8. Chris Spencer, Mississippi (6-2 7/8, 309)
Spencer had a complete combine workout, running his 40s in 5.21 and 5.25. He had a 32-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-9 long jump, a 4.59 short shuttle, an 8.06 in the three-cone drill and 26 strength reps. Playing offensive line, he was named the Player of the Year in Mississippi and was also the super heavyweight power lifting champion for two years. He redshirted in 2001, played but did not start in 2002, started five games in 2003. Started five games at center in 2004. Spencer is very athletic, quick, smart, strong and explosive. He can play guard if needed and looked great at the combine. It's hard to understand why this player has started just one full season.
9. Chris Kemoeatu, Utah (6-31/2, 344)
At the combine, he had a complete workout, running his 40s in 5.34 and 5.37. He had a 29-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot-2 long jump, a 4.54 short shuttle, a 7.75 in the three-cone drill and 26 strength reps. A defensive player of the year in Hawaii, Kemoeatu played as a true freshman in 2001, starting 11 games at right guard from 2002 until 2004. He played outstanding last season. This man has a big lower body and is very athletic for his size. He has great natural strength and mass. He needs extra reps, has inconsistent work habits and there's some question of his game knowledge, but he can stop an edge rusher in his tracks and has a nasty temperament.
10. Richie Incognito, Nebraska (6-31/4, 305)
Incognito started to work out at the combine but got hurt during his position drills, and that made it impossible for him to do shuttle drills. He ran two 40s for times of 4.84 and 4.96 and had 29 strength lifts. In high school he played both offensive and defensive line, and also threw the shot put in track. He redshirted at Nebraska in 2001, then became the first freshman offensive lineman to earn a start during his first season. He started 14 games at left tackle in 2002 and made 13 more starts in 2003. He was going to play center in 2004 but was suspended for two games and was released from his scholarship.
He is a very gifted football player with a history of off-field problems. He has first-day talent, but where will he be picked? Incognito is also in this spot if he is healthy. He suffered an undisclosed injury while working out at the Arizona State Pro Day.
1. Jason Brown, North Carolina (6-23/4, 313)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.40 and 5.48, had a 301/2-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-9 long jump, 4.51 short shuttle, 7.72 three-cone drill and did 23 reps. Played offensive and defensive tackle in high school. Played as a true freshman at UNC in 2001 and became a center in spring practice of 2002. Started all 36 games the next three years. Strong with a low center of gravity, which is good for his position. Has good quickness, although not real fast. Has strong hands and some very good traits for center, but he needs to keep his weight in check after losing over 30 pounds this past year, and it showed.
2. Dylan Gandy, Texas Tech (6-3, 304)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran the 40 in 5.12 and 5.20, had a 291/2-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-4 long jump, 4.51 short shuttle, 7.62 three-cone drill and no bench presses. Has played both guard and center, starting all 14 games at center in 2004. Very athletic with long arms (331/4 inches) and big hands. Was a deep snapper in high school. A good second-day pick.
3. Rob Hunt, North Dakota State (6-33/4, 301)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran 4.96 and 5.07 in the 40, had a 341/2-inch vertical jump, 9-foot long jump, 4.48 short shuttle, 7.53 three-cone drill and lifted 31 times. Was an offensive lineman and wrestler in high school. Redshirted in 2000 and started at center for the next four years (42 games). Wore a cast on his snapping hand in 2003 but did not miss any games. A smart player with good work habits. Tough and competitive at this level, even though he looks small and does not seem as strong as his bench press numbers indicate. Not sure if he a deep snapper.
4. Ben Wilkerson, Louisiana State (6-31/2, 299)
Injured and did not work out at the combine of LSU's Pro Day. Had surgery last November on the patellar tendon in his left knee. Lifted on March 31 and raised the bar 16 times. Did not run. One of the top-rated offensive-line prospects coming out of high school. Played as a true freshman in 2001, starting nine games. Became the full-time starter for the rest of his collegiate career. Has very long arms (341/2 inches). He is smart and understands angles. Not real strong, though.
5. Raymond Preston, Illinois (6-5 1/8, 314)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran the 40 in 5.34 and 5.44, had 32-inch vertical jump, 8-foot long jump, 4.45 short shuttle, 7.57 three-cone drill and lifted 21 times. A three-year starter that needs more strength.
1. Dan Buenning, Wisconsin (6-3 7/8, 320)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran 5.34 in his 40s twice, had a 28-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-3 long jump, 4.59 short shuttle, 7.90 three-cone drill and did 29 lifts. He played on both the offensive and defensive line in high school and earned first-team all-state accolades for both. Buenning redshirted in 2000 and started the next four years at left guard for a total of 49 starts. He is a well-coached player, very good technician, has good use of the hands, has quickness and size for his position, a blue-collar kind of player, and a very good worker who is not the greatest athlete. He switched over to right guard for the Senior Bowl and struggled a bit. He will be a starter in the NFL and play a long time.
2. Elton Brown, Virginia (6-4 7/8, 329)
Did not work out at the combine as he left a day early. He did try to work out at Virginia's Pro Day but he pulled his left hamstring on the first attempt at the 40-yard dash. Ended up being timed at 5.79 because of that. Timed at 1.84 in his first attempt at 10 yards. Had a 261/2-inch vertical jump, 7-foot-11 long jump and lifted 19 times. Brown played offensive and defensive tackle in high school, while also playing basketball and baseball. Played as a true freshman in 2001 for the Cavaliers, starting four games at right guard. Starter every game for the last years and totaled 39 for his four-year career. Has a huge, massive body with very good punch, is very smart, good in pass protection, but will have trouble in the running game. Needs to get in better shape and work to control his weight.
3. Adam Snyder, Oregon (6-5 3/8, 316)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.34 and 5.36, had a 281/2-inch vertical jump, 7-foot-9 long jump, 4.83 short shuttle, 7.83 three-cone drill and did 21 reps. Was the team captain as an offensive lineman in high school. Redshirted at Oregon in 2000 and started one game in 2001 before starting every contest in his last three seasons. Had 35 consecutive starts at three different positions -- left tackle, right guard and right tackle. He is a tough, aggressive player, has quickness and can pull with ease, works hard to be better, but needs more upper-body strength. Guard would be his best position in the NFL.
4. Claude Terrell, New Mexico (6-21/4, 343)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran 5.39 and 5.41 in the 40, had a 241/2-inch vertical jump, 7-foot-5 long jump, 4.75 short shuttle, 8.17 three-cone drill and did 27 lifts. High school team MVP as a senior on the offensive line. Was also all-district in basketball and lettered in track. Redshirted at New Mexico in 2000 and started 50 games over the next four years -- the first three years at guard and moved to tackle as a senior. Nicknamed "Big C," Terrell has very good athletic ability and is a big man that can move well. He has the ability to start and play well, but needs to compete on every down.
5. C.J. Brooks, Maryland (6-51/2, 309)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran the 40 in 5.13 and 5.18, had a 311/2-inch vertical jump, 9-foot long jump, 4.56 short shuttle, 7.61 three-cone drill and lifted 24 times. Played offensive line in high school and also competed in track, wrestling and basketball. Redshirted as a freshman in 2000 and started 48 games over the next four years -- 47 at left guard and one at left tackle. He has very long arms (35 inches) and big hands. If you start for four years at a good program, it says a lot about your ability. He may play a long time.
6. Scott Young, BYU (6-3 5/8, 312)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran 5.06 and 5.09 in the 40, had a 35-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-7 long jump, 4.37 short shuttle, 7.46 three-cone drill and did an amazing 43 reps. Played defenisve line in both high school and junior college, and had 151/2 sacks his sophomore season at Dixie J.C. Redshirted in 2003 at BYU and started 11 games in 2004. He is an athletic player with great measureables. Even though he is a little stiff, Young is a great developmental prospect. He will eventually be a starter but needs time to adjust on offense.
7. Nick Kaczur, Toldeo (6-41/2, 319)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.30 and 5.28, had a 311/2-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-6 long jump, 4.76 short shuttle, 7.68 three-cone drill and did 22 lifts. Played high school football in Canada and in the Canadian Junior Football League in 1999. Started all 51 games in four years at the left-tackle spot for Toledo. He is an older player who will be 25 in July. Kaczur has good athletic ability and uses his hands well even though he is not real strong. He will need to play guard in the NFL.
1. Ray Willis, Florida State (6-5 5/8, 327)
Only did strength reps at the combine and worked out at the FSU Pro Day. Ran his 40s in 5.15 and 5.21, had a 251/2-inch vertical jump, 7-foot-11 long jump, 5.06 short shuttle, 8.56 three-cone drill and lifted 27 times. After a high school career as an offensive lineman, Willis redshirted in 2000 played in every game the following year, starting two of them. Then he started eight games as a sophomore and all contests the final two seasons. He is very strong and puts forth a good effort on every play. He is a very mature player with very good use of the hands and a hard worker with no off-field issues. Stays on his feet. Had some shoulder problems in the past. Not real explosive for a player his size. Best used as a right tackle, but should be able to switch to the left if need be.
2. Adam Terry, Syracuse (6-8, 330)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.40 and 5.45, had a 28-inch vertical jump, 8-foot long jump, 4.78 short shuttle, 7.89 three-cone drill and has 21 reps. Played offensive and defensive line in high school. Played as a redshirt freshman in 2001 and started every game for the last three years at left tackle. Did not have a very good senior year and that might mean he could be a better right tackle than left. He plays on his feet and is a good athlete with long arms.
3. Chris Colmer, North Carolina State (6-51/4, 310)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.27 and 5.31, had a 26-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-61/2 long jump, 4.91 short shuttle, 7.92 three-cone drill and did 24 reps. Became the first player at his high school history to earn a Division I scholarship in 27 years. Redshirted in 1999 because of a shoulder problem and received a medical redshirt in 2003, making him a six-year player. A tough, physical lineman who plays with a nasty demeanor. He is smart, but just an average athlete with that medical history. Colmer would be best at right tackle or guard.
4. Anthony Alabi, Texas Christian (6-5 1/8, 310)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran 5.12 and 5.29 in the 40, had a 321/2-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-9 long jump, 4.60 short shuttle, 7.62 three-cone drill and 18 reps. Played offensive and defensive line in high school, as well as also participating in basketball and track. Was a two-time state champion in track. Entered the Naval Academy in June of 1999 and left that November. Played, but did not start, in 2001 at TCU. Has started every game since at left tackle. A try-hard guy who made himself a player. A good pass blocker.
5. David Stewart, Mississippi State (6-61/2, 314)
Did not work out at the combine. Just lifted 24 times and said he had a hamstring problem. Also had that hamstring problem at the Mississippi State Pro Day and did not run. Had a 34-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-9 long jump. Played offensive and defensive tackle in high school. Redshirted in 2000 before playing and starting three games in 2001. Started every game the last three years at right tackle. Hard to grade this player, but he does have the size and started for three years. Has toughness and long arms (33 inches), but shows some stiffness and does not play real strong. Would probably only play right tackle in the NFL.
6. Wesley Britt, Oklahoma (6-8, 314)
Injured and did not work out at the combine or the Pro Day. Played on both offense and defense in high school. Also played basketball and was a state champion in the discus throw. Was a four-year starter but broke his left leg in 2003 and also suffered a hairline fracture in his right leg during Senior Bowl practice. He's a better run blocker than pass blocker. Best position would be right tackle.
7. Michael Roos, Eastern Washington (6-6 5/8, 320)
Did a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.25 and 5.28, had a 29-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-1 long jump, 4.50 short shuttle, 7.72 three-cone drill and lifted 19 times. Played tight end and defensive line in high school, and was also a member of the basketball and track teams. A big man with athletic ability. He is a project, but there are some things to work with. Needs more strength.
8. Jeremy Parquet, Southern Miss. (6-63/4, 323)
Did a complete workout at the combine. Ran 5.31 and 5.33 in the 40, had a 291/2-inch vertical jump, 7-foot-10 long jump, 4.80 short shuttle, 7.95 three-cone drill and did 17 reps. Started for three years in high school at offensive tackle. Redshirted in 2000 and was a three-year starter for Southern Miss. A massive player with long arms (34 inches), but needs more strength.
9. Doug Nienhuis, Oregon State (6-53/4, 307)
Had a complete workout at the combine. Ran his 40s in 5.15 and 5.21, had a 291/2-inch vertical jump, 8-foot-3 long jump, 4.47 short shuttle, 7.50 three-cone drill and did 22 reps. Played football, basketball and volleyball in high school. Started 38 games at right tackle for Oregon State.
Wild card Todd Herromans, Saginaw Valley State (6-63/4, 321)
Has been worked out by 11 teams. He is a project that is worth taking a chance on. One coach said he'd bet his Mercedes that Herromans would be a first-day pick.
Here is an alphabetical list of offensive line prospects for the 2006 NFL Draft:
- Darryn Colledge, Boise State
- Greg Eslinger, Minnesota
- D'Brickshaw Ferguson, Virginia
- Max Jean Gilles, Georgia
- Marcus McNeill, Auburn
- Jonathan Scott, Texas
- Mark Setterstrom, Minnesota
- Andrew Whitworth, LSU
- Eric Winston, Miami (Fla.)