By College Football Analyst Josh Buchanan for TonySoftli.com
Leading up to the draft and the release of my final big board and draft guide I will preview each position. Below is a look at each of the projected top 10 interior linemen with complete position rankings below for the 2014 NFL Draft.
- OG Dakota Dozier, Furman
Dozier struggled early in the year but the three-time All-SoCon performer rebounded well with a strong finish to the season and actually dominated at LSU. He’s a strong player who can get under opponents’ pads and gets to the second level. He lacks the size and length for tackle so he projects to guard in the NFL. Expect him to be a top 100 pick.
- OG Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State
At 6’4 ¼, 307 pounds Edwards has room to gain weight and is a solid athlete who can pull and hit the second level as well as moves defenders. He has been very consistent in his career and is experienced as a four-year starter. There isn’t a lot of upside here in that he is what he is but he’s a very good mid to late round option who could be a good backup early on and potentially develop into a starter.
- OG Matt Feiler, Bloomsburg
At 6’6, 333 pounds he is a massive man who played tackle for Bloomsburg but his athletic ability and skill set is that of a guard. Expect him to kick inside because he struggles with speed rushes from big, athletic ends but can move defenders and be a road grader inside. Feiler is a two-time All-PSAC selection who was very underrated by the media in his career as Brian Clarke had more buzz. Feiler is a late round or priority free agent option who should stick as a rookie and be a solid backup.
- OC Karim Barton, Morgan State
The former JUCO transfer is a three-year starter who was first-team All-MEAC in 2013. At 6’2 3/8, 313 pounds with marginal speed he is going to have to be a center in the NFL. He has good strength and could be a road grader. Expect him to be a developmental prospect who is a backup at center and guard early in his career. He’s most likely a priority free agent but could sneak into the late 7th round.
- OG D.J. Morrell, Old Dominion
Morrell could be a huge steal as I expect him to go late in the 7th or be a free agent because he didn’t have the type of pro day workout you expect from a combine snub. At 6’5, 325 pounds he is a massive man who should be a solid right guard in the NFL. He arrived at ODU in 2012 and is a two-year starter who should play 6-10 years in the NFL.
- OG/OC Matt Armstrong, Grand Valley State
Armstrong is a bit undersized so I do think he will go undrafted at 6’2, 298 pounds but he moves well and is a good technician. He’s been hurt in the postseason and the 2013 D2 Rimington Award winner and four-time All-GLIAC selection should be a quality free agent pickup.
- OG Brian Clarke, Bloomsburg
Clarke is a tough player who might be undersized at 6’2, 299 pounds and lacks the ideal body type but he is strong and a very good player. His toughness and mean streak along with very impressive athleticism (5.1 40, 4.60 short shuttle, 29 inch vertical, 8’10 broad jump) make him someone who will be tough to cut and should play 5-8 years in the NFL. Expect him to be a priority free agent but could sneak into the 7th round.
- OC/OG Demetrius Rhaney, Tennessee State
Rhaney was never given a lot of attention because he didn’t earn All-OVC honors but the former 4-star high school recruit is a talented player. At just 6’2, 294 pounds he isn’t very big but can play center or guard and showed to be a good player as a senior. He moves pretty well and should be a priority free agent signing.
- OC/OG William Wright, West Georgia
At just 6’2, 313 pounds, the All-American guard is likely a center but has the ability to play either guard spot and center. He moves well and opens holes but also needs to get stronger and ran poorly with a 5.6 40 time. He also appears to be someone who could be an emergency guard and play special teams. Wright had a breakout senior campaign after earning second-team All-Gulf South honors at right guard in 2012, with first-team honors at left guard in 2013. He should be a priority free agent signing.
- OG Erle Ladson, Delaware
Ladson is a tough player to grade because there are reps he looks great but is over weight and needs to get in better shape. He will dominate for a few reps and then gets tired. At 6’6, 346 pounds he should be closer to 325 and at one time was almost 360 pounds. He is a two-year starter who never quite lived up to expectations but if he works hard enough could prove to be a steal since he likely won’t get drafted after running a 5.4 40 with just 27 reps, which is usually not low but at 346 pounds should have been over 30.
OVERRATED: Eric Pike, Towson
Pike was considered a definite drat pick by the media coming in to the season but his movement skills and not dominating like he should have made him a free agent all along. NFL teams never had him as more than a camp body. He’s a very good FCS player but undersized for his college position (tackle) and scouts probably believe he will struggle in the NFL.
UNDERRATED: Karim Barton, Morgan State
Because he didn’t have a great workout at pro day and is a conversion, people have him rated lower than he should be. Expect him to be a solid free agent pickup who plays a while in the NFL, unless a team surprises most and takes him late in the 7th round, which is where I think a lot of teams viewed him before his workout.
SLEEPER: Demetrius Rhaney, Tennessee State
He isn’t very highly rated but had a good pro day workout and is a player who could make a team in the right situation.
RISER: Matt Feiler, Bloomsburg
Coming into the season he was unrated and barely on the radar but blew up early on and has risen from a camp body to a legit draftable grade during the process.
FALLER: Erle Ladson, Delaware
Some thought he might be a late rounder coming into the season but he was overweight and didn’t play nearly as well as people hoped. He flashed but still hasn’t quite put it all together.
INTRIGUING: Randall Harris, Towson
Somehow he didn’t get much media attention but the CAA coaches noticed him naming him first-team All-CAA two straight years. The three-year starter is quick, athletic, and could be a good developmental guard prospect as a free agent.
SMALL SCHOOL OG/C RANKINGS