It will be no surprise to Georgia fans that former offensive guard, Ben Cleveland, is a highly thought of draft prospect. The NFL Draft Bible has him ranked in the top three of their most recent offensive guard rankings.
During his five years at Georgia, Cleveland played in 44 games for the Dawgs and was an impact player in all of them. For his efforts, Cleveland was awarded First Team All-SEC honors by both the Associated Press and SEC coaches following the 2020 season.
Cleveland’s 6’6” 347-pound frame made him dominant in the run game. He excelled at creating running lanes for Georgia running backs. Nicknamed "Big Ben" by his coaches and teammates, Cleveland was instrumental in the careers of talented Georgia backs Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and DeAndre Swift.
Though Cleveland came up well short of his goal of breaking the NFL Combine record on the bench press, during Georgia’s Pro-Day he might have done something even more impressive.
Ben Cleveland ran the 40-yard dash in 4.97 seconds. For a man of his size, the level of athleticism that Cleveland displayed during his testing is impressive. During his more than 1,200 snaps at Georgia, Ben Cleveland never gave up a sack. In the pass-happy NFL, the ability to protect the passer is the most important job of an offensive lineman, and the team that drafts Cleveland is getting one of the draft's best.
Replacing the longstanding stability that Ben Cleveland provided the Georgia offensive line is one of the biggest questions the Dawgs have going into the 2021 season. However, with returning starter Justin Schaffer and last years’ starting left tackle, Jamaree Salyer, expected to move inside to guard, Georgia has the experience needed to take on the challenge.
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