Top Guards/Centers In The NFL Draft
1. Alabama G Jonah Williams – Junior – 6-4, 302 – 5.12
Williams mostly played tackle in college for Alabama, but his traits have made many speculate that he will move to guard once joining the NFL. The five-star recruit is both athletic and versatile, playing on the left and right side of the offensive line. He’s able to move around quickly in the run game, making him suited well to pull on any play while also staying with a pass rusher for a play that takes time to develop. Williams uses a low base to clamp down in his stance and power through on blocking. He can do with both the run and the pass, though he lacks a little length in the arms, which is why he might be moved inside.
2. North Carolina State C Garrett Bradbury – Senior – 6-3, 306 – 4.92
Bradbury was a Senior Bowl participant, and was a three year starter at N.C. State going from left guard to center in his senior year. In his last season, Bradbury was an All-American and also won the Rimington Trophy for best center in college football. He gets a great jump off the ball – as he should since he’s the one who’s snapping it – who beats his man to the point of attack. Bradbury is difficult to get by as a pass blocker and is exceptional in a zone blocking scheme.
3. Boston College G Chris Lindstrom – Senior – 6-4, 308 – 4.91
Lindstrom had an impressive go of it during the practice sessions at the Senior Bowl. He finds a way to lock his opponent in when one on one, engaging his adversary before they can make a move either way. As a starter beginning halfway through his freshman season, Lindstrom is an experienced lineman that can come in and start instantly. He has excellent control of his body that allows him to square up and go step for step with any defender. That balance lets him get a rapid start out of the gate.
4. Texas A&M C Erik McCoy – Junior – 6-4, 303 – 4.89
As a three-year starter, McCoy was a captain during his senior season at Texas A&M. He has good footwork that gets him out moving swiftly. His game is strong when it comes to run blocking, getting into open space to attack an oncoming defender is what he does best. What he needs to work on is his hand-to-hand combat in the trenches when pass blocking.
5. Mississippi C Elgton Jenkins – Senior – 6-4, 310 – N/A
Coming in as a three-star recruit, Jenkins went from playing both left and right tackle before really making a name for himself as a center. He has great size, and technique-wise has it all together. What he lacks though is he doesn’t have the highest of motors after engaging a defender, which is something that is needed as an offensive linemen. Jenkins would be best suited as a zone blocker, and he can get it done at the next level.
6. Wisconsin G Michael Deiter – Senior – 6-5, 309 – 5.23
Deiter comes from Wisconsin, where the school has turned into a breeding ground for NFL caliber offensive linemen. He made the All Big-Ten conference team twice and was a second team All-American in his senior year. Deiter was successful enough to warrant an invite to the Senior Bowl, where he played efficiently. He has a great use of leverage when locking into a defender. He’s a physical in contact, but struggles with the speedier pass rushers. He played tackle at left tackle for one year as a junior, but is better equipped for guard in the NFL with his mobility. That’s where he shined as a sophomore and a senior.
7. Oklahoma G Bobby Evans – Junior – 6-4, 312 – 5.20
You’ll see a couple of Oklahoma linemen on this list, but Evans ranks above them because he is a powerful blocker. He has the ideal size as a blocker and the perfect length to deploy his defender away. His athleticism is one of his best attributes, as his mobility comes to the forefront of what he does well. Evans sometimes gets out of his stance after the initial stop, so one thing he could work on is staying balanced with a quicker start.
8. Charlotte G Nate Davis – Senior – 6-3, 316 – 5.23
Davis didn’t play against the most elite competition at Charlotte, but he did well against what was in front of him. He was an All Conference-USA selection, and parlayed that into an invite to the Senior Bowl. His physical skill set makes him one of the best power run blockers. While he’s capable of pass blocking, Davis tends to get knocked off balance at times and lose control. He played tackle in college, but will more than likely move to guard at the next level.
9. Oklahoma G Ben Powers – Senior – 6-4, 307 – N/A
Powers was very noticeable at the Senior Bowl going against his peers. He performed well during one-on-one pass blocking drills, and that can be attributed to the use of his hand technique. He’s a very smart player that is coachable. Powers isn’t as mobile as the top linemen out there but he makes up for it with proper technique.
10. Oklahoma G Dru Samia – Senior – 6-5, 305 – 5.29
Like his Oklahoma teammate, Samia was also at the Senior Bowl. How he differs from Powers though is Samia is very athletic and moves quite well around the line. He succeeds in a power run operation where he can use his frame to overthrow his opponent. Samia also has good length, but need stay set in his base more.
Best Of The Rest
11. Wisconsin G Beau Benzschawel – Redshirt Senior – 6-6, 309 – 5.24
Another guard from Wisconsin that flourished at a position where the school has made its name for creating NFL talent, Benzschawel mauls defenders at the line of scrimmage using his power from a strong body. He is above average in every part of the running game, while holding his own in pass blocking. Benzschawel was a first-team All-Big Ten selection, followed by making the All-American team.
12. Ohio State G Michael Jordan – Junior – 6-6, 312 – 5.27
As a four-star recruit, Jordan was twice voted to the Big Ten All Conference team as a sophomore and junior. He has plenty of power as a blocker with lateral quickness, but sloppy footwork gets him into some bad technique from time to time. This makes him struggle in pass blocking occasionally, but the talent is there.
13. Ohio State G Malcolm Pridgeon – Senior – 6-7, 310 – N/A
Pridegeon spent two years playing at Nassau Community College before transferring to Ohio State. He was a five-star recruit of junior college and the top rated at his position at the time. Pridgeon has massive size at 6-foot-7, giving him the chance to size up any defender coming at him. With that size, it does slow him down on his ability to keep up with the opponent.
14. Sioux Falls G Trey Pipkins – Senior – 6-6, 309 – 5.12
He started for three years at Sioux Falls, being voted most improved player after his sophomore year and was third in the voting for the Gene Upshaw Award, which is for best offensive lineman in Division II. He also earned an invitation to the East-West Shrine game, where he held up well against tougher competition. Pipkins played tackle at school, but will most likely switch over to guard.
15. Alabama C Ross Pierschbacher – Redshirt Senior – 6-4, 307 – 5.2
He started at guard during his sophomore and junior years for the Crimson Tide before moving over to center as a senior. In that time, Pierschbacher was on the All-SEC team, and was on the second-team as an AP All-American. Over at the Senior Bowl, he had a good practice week in front of scouts, showing his best trait of getting an early start off the ball with excellent technique with both his hands and footwork. He needs a little work in pass blocking, needing to be able to move more and stay in position, but he does well on the run block.