TOP 5 OTs IN 2017 NFL DRAFT
1. Garrett Bolles – Utah – Junior – 6-5, 297 – 4.95 Bolles is an interesting case at the top of this offensive tackle class. A one-time juvenile delinquent who spent two years after high school and away from football working as a garage door repairman, Bolles opted to re-dedicate himself to his faith, academics and the sport by enrolling at Snow College, a JUCO program. After becoming a five-star recruit, Bolles decided to go to Utah. His natural athleticism and strength are top-of-the-line, and should be top of this class.
2. Cam Robinson – Alabama – Junior – 6-6, 322 – 5.15 Robinson is the next five-star recruit from the NFL factory that Nick Saban has built down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Robinson has been the Tide’s starting left tackle for both of their national championship campaigns, and has been the bright spot for a down year in terms of offensive line play to Alabama’s standards. He has the size, strength and quick feet to excel at the position. But, character and off-the-field concerns have dropped him from a Top 10 status.
3. Forrest Lamp – WKU – Senior – 6-4, 309 – 5.00 Lamp is going to be featured twice on these rankings because it’s still up in the air whether or not the team that drafts him will make him an offensive guard or an offensive tackle. He played both during his time at WKU and excelled at both very well. When a few of Alabama’s pass rushers were asked who the toughest offensive lineman they faced in their career was, three of them said Lamp – and that was with him at left tackle.
4. Ryan Ramczyk – Wisconsin – Junior – 6-6, 310 – 5.29 It’s still but for debate which is more difficult: to get by Ramczky, or to correctly spell his last name without help. Ramczky is arguably the best pass blocker in this entire class. He’s coming off hip surgery, so that’s the reason he may be picked lower than he should. But, he’s supposed to make a full recovery by the time camp rolls around.
5. Taylor Moton – Western Michigan – Senior – 6-5, 319 – 5.15 Moton was a late bloomer on these offensive line scene, but thanks to a non-solidified top of the list this year, he’s benefitted and has seen his name rise throughout the last few month. He put on a show during Senior Bowl practices and to many camp away as the best offensive line prospect there.
BEST OF THE REST
6. Roderick Johnson – Florida State – Junior – 6-7, 290 – 4.90 Johnson was touted as one of the premiere offensive tackles in this class before the season with prototypical size both in height and weight, but he didn’t exactly play up to the potential people hoped he would have. He has some ugly moments on tape, but you simply can’t teach the natural things he has. He’ll still get drafted higher than his tape may warrant as someone to mold.
7. Antonio Garcia – Troy – Senior – 6-6, 302 – 5.15 Garcia’s hype train got started around the same time Moton’s did after a nice showing at the Senior Bowl. Though Garcia won’t be drafted as high, he shows good potential as a right tackle.
8. David Sharpe – Florida – Junior – 6-6, 343 – 5.44 Sharpe was another prospect, like Roderick Johnson, who many people were high on going into their junior years. What was alluring about Sharpe is the potential of him being able to move very well at a size that also gives him dominating strength. Turns out he’s not as athletic as people who thought he could be a left tackle would be, but he’ll still find a place.
9. Julie’n Davenport – Bucknell – Senior – 6-7, 318 – 5.45 Davenport was a four-year starter at Bucknell at left tackle, which is pretty rare. His size, but even more importantly, his wingspan with 36.5-inch arms is what makes him alluring. He’s a bit slow moving for a left tackle, but technique and experience are two things that would still make him a solid pick
10. Will Holden – Vanderbilt – Senior – 6-7, 311 – 5.45 Holden was a Senior Bowl call-up after Forrest Lamp went down with a minor injury. He was an anchor-like player along the offensive line for the Commodores, and performed moderately well in the two days of Senior Bowl practice he had. Has god power and good movements, but sometimes-heavy feet get the best of him while shuffling. He’s more of a power blocker.
BUCS’ BEST BET AT OT (EARLY 1-3)
OT Garett Bolles – Utah – Junior – 6-5, 297 – 4.95
It’s doubtful that the Bucs take an offensive tackle in the first round, but could surprise with the selection of Bolles, who was worked out by offensive line coach George Warhop at Utah. Bolles overcame his troubled youth to turn his life around and enrolled at Snow College before spending one year at Utah. At age 24, Bolles, who is now married, has a child and went on a mission, is one of the older prospects in the draft, and that’s why he’s leaving school a year early to go pro. Bolles has a mean streak and is a nasty finisher. His 40-yard dash time is legit as he has the quickest feet in the draft for an offensive tackle and is a first-round talent despite his lack of experience at the FBS level. Bolles is still a work in progress and many believe his best football is ahead of him. He’s likely a left tackle or a guard at the next level, and if Bolles were drafted by Tampa Bay he would challenge Donovan Smith for the starting job as Jameis Winston’s blindside protector and that could force Smith to move to right tackle if he lost his spot. It’s unlikely that the Bucs spend their first-round pick on a tackle, but if they do, it could be Bolles.
Bucknell OT Julie’n Davenport – Photo by: Getty Images
BUCS’ BEST BET AT OT (LATE 4-7)
OT Julie’n Davenport – Bucknell – Senior – 6-7, 318 – 5.45
Davenport is one of the most buzz-worthy offensive linemen in this year’s draft and has been worked out by Tampa Bay and a host of other teams. At 6-foot-7, 318 pounds Davenport has the ideal size and wingspan (36.5-inch arms) to play in the NFL. Davenport was a four-year starter at left tackle at Bucknell, but could transition to the right tackle position in the NFL because he’s raw and hasn’t gone against NFL-caliber talent outside of the Senior Bowl where he performed well. Davenport emerged into a leader for the Bison and was a two-time team captain. The Bucs took a chance on another small school offensive lineman in Hobart College’s Ali Marpet, who has Pro Bowl potential. Davenport could intrigue the Bucs in much the same way to the point where they could spend a fourth-round draft pick on him. Davenport could be seen as competition for the right to eventually replace Demar Dotson at right tackle in Tampa Bay. He’s not ready to start in the NFL, but that’s okay as the Bucs offensive line is stocked with many veterans that could show Davenport the ropes.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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