Top NFL Draft Offensive Linemen Prospects
What's not to love about Joeckel. The consensus No. 1 overall pick took on some of the best pass rushers in the nation and shut them down, earning the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman. He has great footwork and solid awareness. Joeckel will likely need to continue to add to his 6-foot, 6-inch, 306-pound frame to improve his strength as a run blocker.
The top guard prospect, Warmack demonstrated an ability to handle elite defensive tackles on a regular basis. The All-American controlled LSU's defensive tackles, and after allowing Georgia's John Jenkins to beat him for a sack in the SEC Championship Game, Warmack bounced back with a big second half to help Alabama pull out the victory. He has a strong base and keeps his feet moving through his blocks.
After dominating defensive linemen in the MAC, Fisher answered any questions about how much of his performance was due to the level of competition by impressing just as much in the Senior Bowl. He has quick feet, allowing him to handle speed rushers while also getting to the second level on run plays. He'll need to add some weight to help him drive defensive linemen in the NFL.
Johnson certainly has the necessary athleticism to compete in the NFL. The former tight end and defensive end brought his quick feet and coordination as a two-year starter on the offensive line. Johnson uses his hands and length well to keep rushers at a distance, but will need to put on weight to increase his strength.
Tar Heel running back Giovani Bernard owes a lot of credit to the man who cleared the running lanes for him. Cooper excelled last season as a run blocker, and Bernard benefitted greatly. The All-American demonstrated athleticism and quick feet in his pass blocking, too. He's put on weight recently, giving him more strength to move defenders.
With a wide base and weighing in at 339 pounds, Fluker is difficult to move and capable of paving big running lanes on the edge. As flawless as his run blocking is, Fluker struggled with his pass blocking in 2012, giving up too many sacks for any scout's liking. He did shut down LSU's Barkevious Mingo on both run and pass plays, so whatever team drafts him will hope to build on that performance.
As bad as Kentucky was, Warford still stood out as an elite draft prospect and drove his stock higher with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. The big guard -- he's 6-3, 332 pounds -- has surprisingly quick feet for his size, allowing him to stay in front of his man in pass protection or get around the tackle on lead run plays. He lacks some quickness off the snap, which could be exploited by veteran tackles in the NFL.
Long's road to the NFL has been lengthy and short at the same time. The Florida State pitcher-turned-dropout-turned-junior-college-defensive-end spent just one year in Eugene as an offensive tackle, a position switch he made in his second year at Saddleback Community College. That one year of FBS football was all that was needed to send Long shooting up the draft boards, and he should become the third member of his family in the NFL -- his father, Howie, is in the Hall of Fame, and his brother, Chris, plays defensive end for the Rams. Long is still raw but has the size and athleticism to be an elite player.
NFL teams will appreciate Jones' versatility as the 2011 Outland Trophy winner has played center, guard and tackle at Alabama. He'll likely play center in the NFL after excelling there as a senior, winning the Rimington Trophy. Jones is technically strong and has great awareness but lacks the athleticism of the players above him on this list.
Born in Manchester, England, Watson originally came to the United States to play basketball at Marist, but when that didn't work out he fell in love with football and the Seminoles, shining in his one season at Florida State after transferring from junior college. In terms of development, Watson could have benefitted from another year of college, but at age 24 his time has come to make the jump. He unquestionably has the athletic ability and is already a dominant run blocker.
Williams' senior season ended four games early when he suffered a torn labrum, which has shaken up his draft stock. Before the injury, Williams provided critical blocking for Giovani Bernard and demonstrated the strength and technique to be successful in the NFL. His lack of quickness will most likely limit him to right tackle.
Tennessee moved Thomas inside from tackle to guard before last season, which was a wise choice both for the Volunteers and for Thomas in getting experience at the position where his future lies. He lacks the foot quickness to play tackle in the NFL but shows good drive on his blocks and has the strength to handle defensive tackles. Adding some more weight wouldn't hurt though.
An offensive tackle at San Jose State, Quessenberry is probably best suited as a guard in the NFL. That plays to his advantage in this draft stocked with quality offensive tackles. Quessenberry helped himself out immensely with his play at the Senior Bowl, likely jumping up a round or two. He has a wide base and added 60 pounds to his frame throughout college to improve his strength, helping him overcome his decent, though not extraordinary athleticism.
Faulk only played in one game last season due to a knee injury and probably could have been a higher draft pick had he returned to Baton Rouge for 2013. Instead he'll rely on his sophomore campaign in 2011 as evidence of what he can do, which in fairness is quite impressive. Faulk has great strength in his 331-pound frame but lacks quick feet, has balance issues and needs to refine his technique. He also needs to prove he's healthy after participating in the bench press but not running at the combine.