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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Offensive Guards and Centers in the 2018 NFL Draft

Top 10 Offensive Guards and Centers in the 2018 NFL Draft

Top Guards in the 2018 NFL Draft!
Publish Date: 03/04/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

 

1. Quenton Nelson – Guard – Notre Dame – 6’5” 325

Quenton Nelson is widely viewed to have the highest ceiling and floor of any prospect in this year’s NFL draft.  He has been called the safest pick in the draft and a sure-fire Pro-Bowl guard.  The consensus is that he is not only the top guard in this class but perhaps the best interior line prospect in history.

Nelson does stick like glue on defenders.  They struggle to find any way to disengage from his blocks.  He is an excellent athlete both as a puller and in pass protection.  Working up to the second level is not a problem for him.  Not only can he get to defenders at the second level, he can swing his hips around and seal them off.  He is athletic enough to adjust to pick up blitzers who are coming from outside or across the formation.  He does lean into his blocks a bit too much and makes shoulder blocks rather than using his hands.

Strengths:

  • Good feet in pass protection – post steps well

  • Excellent puller

  • Plays through the whistle

  • Can move to get to pass blocking assignment

Weaknesses:

  • Tends to lean too much on blocks

  • Uses his face and shoulder rather than his hands on blocks

 

2. Billy Price – Center/Guard – Ohio State – 6’3” 305

Billy Price is more of a brawler than a tactician on the offensive line, which is, of course, a good thing.  He will need to clean up his technique.  He plays with good leverage but will stop moving his feet at times and also allows his base to get to wide.  He can move and pull but is not athletic enough to adjust in space.  He is an extremely skilled run blocker and protects the pass effectively as well.  He needs to keep his head in the game as he seems to be easily perturbed by opponents.  His game is his aggressiveness, but it can also get him off balance and out of position at times.

Strengths:

  • Strong run blocker

  • Excellent puller

  • Good pass protection technique

Weaknesses:

  • Stops moving his feet on run blocks at times

  • Feet can get too wide at times

  • Can get impatient in pass protection

 

3. Isaiah Wynn – Guard – Georgia – 6’2” 313  

Isaiah Wynn started at left tackle for the Bulldogs which at his size should tell you something about his pass protection skills.  His skill set and proportions may actually make him a better fit at tackle, but with his lack of height, he will need to transition to the interior line.  He has great strength and can collect himself even when a defender’s initial “pop” knocks him off balance.  He is a good run blocker who can effectively down block or work up to a linebacker.  His excellent feet allow him to get outside edge defenders and seal off the edge.  He can whiff at times on run blocks which is more due to poor footwork and body position than over aggressiveness.  He may not have the strength and power in his hips to zone block a defender who is lined up directly in his gap.

Strengths:

  • Good pass sets

  • Strong down blocks

  • Athletic at the second level

  • Great reach blocks

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks ideal height

  • Will have to transition inside to have a chance at the next level

  • Can whiff at times on run blocks

 

4. Frank Ragnow – Center – Arkansas – 6’5” 312

Frank Ragnow is an excellent center for the Razorbacks.  He is a good run blocker and is solid in pass protection as well.  He understands pass protection and how his responsibility changes as rushers move and stunt.  He is excellent on double-team blocks where he seems to know exactly when to come off his initial block and work up to the second level.  He can play with poor leverage at times, particularly at backer depth.  He has trouble adjusting and using his body in space.

Strengths:

  • Has a knack for knowing when to come off of double teams

  • Good pass protector

  • A strong run blocker who can get to the next level effectively

Weaknesses:

  • Gets too high on blocks

  • Not very athletic in space

 

5. Will Hernandez – Guard – UTEP – 6’2” 327

Will Hernandez has excellent strength.  He gets great initial contact on his opponent, which defenders tend to have trouble recovering from.  He gets excellent extension, which allows him to anticipate get off moves effectively.  He may have trouble with this when dealing with defenders with longer arms.  He looks stiff in his upper body but is a decent athlete who can effectively pull.  He can effectively slide his feet and maintain proper position in pass protection.  He is a super aggressive player who loves contact.  At times he has issues in run blocking because his pad level gets too high or his feet get too wide.

Strengths:

  • Good feet in pass protection

  • Gets a good strike run blocks

  • Okay athlete and puller

Weaknesses:

  • Gets too high on run blocks

  • Pretty stiff

  • Feet can get too wide on blocks

 

6. James Daniels – Center – Iowa – 6’3” 306

James Daniels is a quality center who does his best work in the run game.  He is athletic enough to get out in space, but struggles at times to engage on these blocks.  He is excellent driving his opponent down field once engaged in the run game, but can get driven back himself in pass protection.  He needs to sink his hips and anchor his body better in pass protection.  He is longer than most players at his position and makes the most of this with great arm extension.  Daniels needs to get stronger and improve his technique in order to make the most of his talent at the next level.

Strengths:

  • Gets serious movement on defenders once he engages

  • Excellent athlete

  • Gets great arm extension

Weaknesses:

  • Can be overpowered at times

  • Will whiff on second level blocks

  • Spends too much time on the ground

 

7. Austin Corbett – Guard – Nevada – 6’4” 306

Austin Corbett lacks the size to play outside and will need to transition to guard or center to play in the NFL.  He has good hands and decent feet.  He seems to have good playing strength but can fall off blocks at times.  He does not have experience playing on the interior but has a frame that is ideal for a guard.  Corbett is a pretty solid player who does not wow you or stands out in any one particular area.

Strengths:

  • Can straight up outmuscle defenders and throw them aside like they are nothing at times

  • Uses his hands well

  • Effective pass blocker

Weaknesses:

  • Will need to move to the interior line to have success in the NFL

  • Pass sets aren’t great, but he should be alright inside

  • Can fall off blocks at times

 

8. Skyler Phillips – Guard – Idaho State – 6’2” 318

Skyler Phillips is a big strong player with a lot of technique concerns.  His strength is as a run blocker.  He is physical and gets defenders moving.  He is not the type of player who is looking for a stalemate.  He gets too aggressive at times causing him to overextend and end up on the ground.  He can have issues with his pad level at times, particularly in pass protection.  In pass protection he also struggles to close on inside moves with his post step.

Strengths:

  • Strong run blocker – engages quickly

  • Adequate in pass protection

  • Mauler in the run game

Weaknesses:

  • Can get over aggressive and fall off blocks

  • Can get burned by inside pass rush moves

  • Needs to clean up a lot of technique issues

 

9. Bradley Bozeman – Center – Alabama – 6’5” 311

Bradley Bozeman is a strong center who can get movement at the first level.  He needs to learn to use his hands more effectively and not get sucked into defenders.  He can move okay, but lacks the athleticism to be a great blocker in the open field.  Pad level can be an issue for him, especially in pass protection.

Strengths:

  • Strong with stout build

  • Gets great movement on run blocks

  • Effective pass blocker

Weaknesses:

  • Needs to use his hands more and the flapper less on run blocks

  • Can get too high in pass protection

  • Whiffs on open field blocks

 

10. Viane Talamaivao – Guard – USC – 6’2” 324

Viane Talamaivao is a very good guard prospect who will need to clean up several things in order to have success on Sundays.  He is an excellent run blocker who can get great movement and work up to the second level.  He needs to work on his pass protection, technique and execution.

Strengths:

  • Athletic – can effectively work up to the next level

  • Strong run blocker who gets movement

  • Has great discipline – knows his assignment and does not try to do too much

Weaknesses:

  • Coming off torn pectoral

  • Struggles against quick pass rushers

  • Can get too high at times which has a major impact on his power

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