The 2019 scouting combine is in the books, and it time to dive into the tapes to see which players stood out. This is the first part of a series in which each position is analyzed. Today, we’ll take a look at Offensive lineman.
Interior Offensive Linemen
Garrett Bradbury, NC State
Garrett arrived at the combine ready to compete and demonstrated to scouts why he received the Rimington Trophy this year, awarded for the nation’s best center. The former tight end displayed his athleticism and agility in running through each drill with great success. The AP 1st team All-American exhibited tremendous footwork and good body control, which you can see on his game film. Though he’s a bit undersized, the core strength was displayed in the weight room. He bench pressed 31 times at 225lbs. Bradbury finished 2nd among linemen in that category. He’s definitely a first-round talent. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team scoops him up on day one of the draft this April.
Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
Lindstrom’s performance in Indy can be described as consistent. Although he didn’t provide the wow factor, Lindstrom was consistently good in each drill. He ran a 4.91 40 yard dash, ranking 2nd among offensive linemen. Also, he performed well in the broad jump, going 117 inches, ranking 2nd as well. Lindstrom’s hands are very active to go along with solid footwork. He does have a tendency to overrun his defenders, but that can be easily improved. Playing professional football is in his blood as his dad played in the league for 3 years. His experience at guard and tackle in college should make him very popular in draft rooms across the league.
Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
The 6’4, 303lb Junior put together one heck of a showing at the combine. The 40 yard dash time was the best among his peers running 4.89 seconds. McCoy has already played against elite talent. He held his own in each game against Alabama and Clemson. McCoy has tremendous body control, and the ability to get out in space blocking to the second level. Not only did he show good numbers off the field, but was impressive in nearly every drill. McCoy and Bradbury are the obvious top choices for a center in the draft. It all depends on how teams view their intangibles. I’d project his name flashing on the board during day 2 of the draft.
Conner McGovern, Penn State
Conner McGovern, a junior from Penn State, slimmed down to 308 lbs for the combine. This clearly affected his bench press number but excelled in every other category. McGovern finished in the top 10 of every drill among offensive linemen. McGovern is a physical player who excels as a drive blocker. He’s a versatile lineman, playing at every position on the line throughout his Penn State career. He played 12 games this year at Guard. A good football IQ, combined with his good size, should translate into a solid career in the NFL.
Andre Dillard, Washington State
What a journey this kid has been on in his collegiate career. He came in as a freshman at 240lbs with little expectations. The coaching staff put faith in him, set up a successful plan, and brought him to his current weight of 315lbs. The 3rd team All-American scored very well at the combine in nearly every category. Dillard posted 1st place overall in both the broad jump (118.0) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.4). Dillard is an athletic player and displayed excellent footwork during on-field drills. He shined during the Pass protection drill and demonstrated his potential as a franchise tackle in the NFL. Dillard could become the highest Washington State player drafted since Deone Buchanon in 2014.
Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Cody Ford, a 3rd team All-American, is a versatile lineman who spent this year protecting Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray at right tackle. Ford has contributed nicely in his years at Oklahoma. He thrived at guard until this year when he switched to right tackle. Ford could be a slight project at tackle but could be worth the gamble on day 2 of the draft. His size, 6’4 338lbs, is something that can’t go unnoticed, and the reward could be greater than the risk in the long run.
Jonah Williams, Alabama
Jonah Williams was a big topic of discussion over the weekend in Indianapolis. Can he play tackle? Should he move inside? Is the arm length a big issue? The arm length measured in 33 5/8, just below the recommended length of 34’ for an NFL tackle. An AP 1st team All-American, Jonah is one of the hardest working players on the field. He displays a spectacular technique and has tremendous leg strength. There’s a concern with him losing the initial hand battle with defenders, but he makes up for it on the next step. Williams rarely gets beat on the outside. Some analysts may project him as a guard in the NFL, but I believe that he should have every opportunity to be a tackle in the league.
Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Jawaan is arguably the top-rated offensive tackle in this draft. Taylor has come a long way since signing his letter of intent. He was required to lose a significant amount of weight to warrant any sort of playing time. Taylor was 380lbs when he signed with Florida. As a freshman, he weighed in at 347lbs. His playing weight this season was 328lbs. That’s truly a remarkable feat to accomplish. Taylor demonstrated quick footwork in pass protection drills. He plays with nasty aggression and is an excellent run blocker. Taylor seems to be a guarantee for an early to mid-first round selection in April’s draft.
The offensive line prospects in the upcoming draft present a ton of upside. There are some concerns regarding overall size, but their quickness along with good technique could overcome the size obstacle. A few of these linemen will be fixtures in a team’s offense for a long time.
The next installment in our Scouting combine series will feature the running backs. Stay tuned, we’ll return soon with the backs who shined at the combine!