Underrated Offensive Linemen (Sleepers/Gems)

Gabe Jackson - Mississippi State

By: Nolan Kuzmick, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

Gabe Jackson-OG, Mississippi State, rSr: Shows functional strength in his game, has power through his legs that hold firm in the turf, solid core strength maintain proper body position and an excellent upper body punch. Jams defenders as they approach the line with a strong pop to the breast plate, he gathers his base quickly and gets his hands on the rusher when they come back at him. Locks up with his man and keeps contact with his hands, moving his feet laterally to stick with the rush. Very effective blocking to open running lanes, gets his hands on the side of the defender, works his hips around to the side and down blocks the line driving his legs. His tape against LSU in 2013 was textbook guard play. He doesn’t give up on blocks, often burying defenders towards the end of the play. At times rushers can use speed to get beside him, at that point he works them down the way they are heading and works them to the ground or out of the play. Has experience chop blocking regularly and pulling to protect the pocket or seal the edge for runners. Has all the tools to be a top level OG in the NFL. Projected 2nd to 3rd round, worth a 1st round selection

Chris Watt-OG, Notre Dame, rSr: Shows quickness off the ball, his best trait is his leg drive. He can get to the second level and lay a nice hit and stick with the block until the whistle. Has the awareness and ability to pickup blitzes and has a strong initial punch. In pass protection he does a nice job of finding a place to help when there are not defenders rushing his gap. Uses leverage with his hands low and inside. Used as a pulling guard at times and shows fast movement getting to the point of contact. He could improve his ability to get out in front of the screens and block defenders in the open field. Looks like day 1 talent to me. Projected 7th round, worthy of a 4th round pick

Parker Graham-OG/OT, Oklahoma State, rSr: Graham is a tall tackle with the reach to stall defenders with a punch and stay in front of them. He doesn’t have the quickest feet, but has solid technique and can handle the edge. Keeps his hands on defenders and shadow blocks keeping himself positioned through the play. He was used at right tackle and left guard and is comfortable at OG or OT, can plug in across the line. Bursts off the line and pushes defenders around showing his high level of strength. Great frame to continue to build upon and could put some work into his footwork. An offensive lineman that can provide depth and fill in at any spot. Projected 7th round, worthy of a 5th rounder

Kevin Graf- USC OT, rSr: Quick off the snap, shows anticipation with his blocking, protects the inside. Has a mean side, and plays to/through the whistle, sticks with his blocks. Locks up with defenders and keeps his hands inside. At times he anticipates defenders to hit the edge or inside and gets out of position and lets his footwork get a little sloppy (crossed his feet, and more of a hop then a kick slide). Buries defenders and lays on them to ensure they don’t get up and make the play. Good size, strength and awareness, needs to work on technique, but with coaching he can become a starting RT. Projected FA, worthy of a 5th round pick

Conor Boffeli-OG, Iowa, rSr: Keeps his balance with a firm base, holds the pocket well with lateral movement, punch and retreat, shadow blocking and good strength. Latches onto defenders at the second level, often sticking to them on impact. Uses his forearm well and works down the line fast staying with defenders and maintaining contact. Shows nice drive and consistency with his effort and push. When defenders attempt to use a rip move or get around the side of him, he uses his leverage and pushes them down the line to the ground, always taking defenders to the ground for pancakes. Needs to improve his footwork, have seen him cross his feet working down the line. Also, at times he doesn’t take proper angles for open-field blocks and comes away without finding a body. Projected FA, worthy of a 6th round choice

Evan Finkenberg- Arizona State OT, rSr: Nice leg drive and ability to get to linebackers. Walls off defenders well and has a powerful initial pop, against Texas Tech he knocked down the defensive lineman with his quick punch. Keeps his feet chopping when pass blocking to stabilize himself while defenders contact him. Shows good awareness bouncing from one rusher to another during stunts. Can lay a block on the initial defender and move up the the 2nd level to stop two opponents from making the play. Keeps his hands inside and locks in on his assignment, holding blocks long enough. Projected FA, worthy of a 6th round choice

Ryan Groy-OG, Wisconsin, rSr: His strength and power are impressive and he does a nice job not giving up ground in pass protection. Gets to the second level right away and lays a solid initial blow. Showed a nice kick slide at the combine. Groy needs to improve his leg drive as he locks into the turf and uses his strength to do his job. Also, he could improve staying with blocks, at times he lays a initial shove and doesn’t keep his hands engaged. Performed well matching up against Rashede Hageman for Minnesota, one of the stronger DL prospects. For Groy there is a ton of potential, he just needs to work on footwork, and hand placement. Has all the physical tools, worth taking as a late round project. Projected 7th round pick, worthy of a 6th round choice

Blake Treadwell-OG, Michigan State, rSr: A knockdown machine that knows the fundamentals of leverage and enjoys being the attacker, converted from DL in 2011 and played some center and mostly guard. Smash mouth blocker, opens up holes, works with his forearms on defenders and his low position. Hips are very flexible with the lowest starting stance across the line. Has shown the ability to shuffle and protect for passing plays, but that is his main area of improvement still. He has some technique things to work on including balance, at times he gets his weight too far forward and defenders use this to throw him to his knees. Has picked up blitzes well with a firm stick to the chest and works off on double teams exceptionally. If he is going to be used for pulling he needs to improve there too, he often misses the first point of danger and doesn’t kickout properly, has a habit of slowly hoping up before working down the line. Shows flashes, knockdown on Louis Nix portrayed top notch technique. Has solid strength and his run blocking and knockdowns make him a project guy worth considering. Projected FA, worthy of a 7th round choice

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