Although the disparagingly anointed “big uglies” may not be the most exciting to watch on the football field, their duties and abilities are some of the most coveted in the NFL today. As the quarterback is clearly considered the most important playmaker on the field, these glorified signal callers need some beefy and stout protectors to ensure their consistent success. While offensive linemen will never get any of the glory for playing such a physically demanding position, their importance and resilience on every down cannot be denied. Although this years draft class may be devoid of some truly exceptional offensive linemen prospects, there are still several sleepers that could blossom into starters sometime in the future. Whether it’s pass blocking or forcing open holes for their running backs to burst through, offensive linemen are multi-faceted athletes that are asked to perform a multitude of duties to help their other teammates perform at the highest level possible.
10. Greg Senat, Wagner
At 6’7″ and 300 lbs, Greg Senat has the prototypical frame of a formidable offensive tackle. Extremely strong with great movement skills, Senat has the potential to be a great blindside blocker for any respective quarterback he plays for. Currently projected as being taken between rounds four and six, Senat could easily be a steal if his physical attributes and athleticism pan out in the NFL.
9. Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Despite not playing in 2016, Tyrell needed little time to shake off the rust to become a fantastic run blocker for running back Royce Freeman. Considering Crosby did not allow a sack or a hit during the Oregon Ducks first five games of the season, the intriguing lineman has the obvious versatility to be formidable and efficient at the next level.
8. Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
Although Martinas Rankin may lack the power to sustain explosive hits from massive defensive linemen, he does possess the intangibles and intelligence to possibly overcome this glaring weakness in the NFL. Between now and the start of the draft, Rankin could either drastically help or severely hurt his draft stock depending on how he performs during his offseason workouts for the pro scouts.
7. Brian O’Neil, Pittsburgh
Going from a wide receiver in high school to an offensive lineman at Pittsburgh, Brain O’Neil is clearly an exceptional athlete that had to literally transform himself to become an intriguing offensive line prospect. Although he needs to get a bit stronger to be considered a first-year starter at the next level, the work ethic and athletic versatility may be enough for some NFL teams to take him during the second day of the draft.
6. Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
Although Brandon Parker is currently considered a developmental prospect, he has a tremendously high ceiling given his size and length to protect the edge. While he may be extremely raw in many ways, the physical tools and instincts are clearly there for Parker to become a notable starter in the NFL.
5. Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
While Desmond Harrison may be seriously lacking in intangibles (failed multiple drug tests at Texas before being dismissed from the team), he has all of the physical tools and the dynamic skill set of a first or second-round draft pick. His size combined with his quickness and athleticism could allow him to be a potential steal in the draft assuming he can reassure his future team that he has overcome his off the field issues.
4. Kolton Miller, UCLA
Despite getting off to a shaky start in 2017, Kolton Miller eventually became one of the most reliable left tackles in college football. Although Miller comes with some serious injury concerns, his proven versatility at both right and left tackle makes him an intriguing prospect going into the draft.
3. Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
A highly aggressive run blocker that is also dependable in pass protection, Isaiah Wynn has the temperament and physicality to line up anywhere on any NFL teams offensive line. Although he may lack the size and length of a coveted tackle, he has the exceptional athleticism to play center. Regardless of where he plays on the offensive line, Wynn is a formidable and determined talent that will give everything he has on every down at the next level.
2. Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Although Orlando Brown is a tremendous blocker, his tenacity when it comes to tossing down defenders is highly impressive for a position that typically lacks that type of fierceness. While he may have some issues at pass protecting against speed rushers, Brown is highly competitive and can regularly play up to the competition he faces. If Brown can cement himself as a dominant run blocker, he could be a do it all lineman in the pros.
1. Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
With great athleticism and impressive strength to sustain blocks, Mike McGlinchey possess the ideal combination of power and speed to block any defensive linemen that attack him. As a run blocker, McGlinchey has the heavy hands to forcefully push defenders out of the way to create holes for his running back. Coupled with the fact that McGlinchey looks like a natural as a pass blocker at the left tackle position and it becomes easy to see why this young man is arguably the best offensive line prospect going into the draft this year.