I’m done digesting the entire 2014 NFL combine. I’m getting antsy for May. I sat with a notepad & took shorthand notes. I had the benefit of replay. I was also watching exclusively with the Jaguars’ needs in mind. There will be some evaluations of established players. Ones I liked and some that disappointed. I also project those who moved up my board, those who got on my board because they impressed me, and players I’m projecting as potential undrafted free agents (UFA) that the Jags should invite if available. I have already let you know about QBs, RBs, WR, & TE. Let’s look at the “Big Uglies”, offensive linemen. Please note – I will NOT be worrying about most players projected to go in the first three rounds. I do not anticipate the Jags looking at offensive lineman that early…At least I hope!!! All projections come from CBSSportsline…Thank you!!!
- Matt Patchan (OT, 6-6, 302 lbs) – This Boston College senior is as good of a tackle as any coming into the league. He was a main component in the blocking for a Heisman Trophy candidate running back in Andre Williams. He is also a sixth year senior because he’s lost so many years to injury. He had to transfer away from Florida because he had so many injury concerns. Heck, he was even a victim of a drive-by shooting. He’s big, strong, and ran a 40 in less than 5 seconds. That’s pretty good. He’s also an injury risk for any team. (Projected – 4th round )
- Michael Schofield (OT, 6-6, 301 lbs) – Redshirt senior from Michigan. He has played at both tackle and guard. He has nice size. I love his experience and versatility. He looked capable in many drills but didn’t change direction well. Plays more like a guard than a tackle, but even then I’ll get nervous about his pulling ability. Still might be worth the risk because of his versatility. (Projected – 5th to 6th round)
- Joel Bitonio (OT, 6-4, 302 lbs) – Redshirt senior from Nevada. Smaller but strong and fast. Sub five second 40 time. Looks to be the right size and quickness for zone-blocking scheme. Those same qualities, plus a reported short arm length, leads to him possibly being switched to guard in the NFL. He didn’t play guard in college so he would be a project with that scenario. I would take a chance but not where he is projected. (Projected – 3rd round)
- Trai Turner (OG, 6-3, 310 lbs) – Redshirt Sophomore out of LSU. Nice size for guard with long arms. Played against tough opponents and succeeded. Fastest guard by a longshot. Only guard to go below 5 seconds in the 40. Because of his size and speed, he should do well with zone blocking. Definitely a project per inexperience, but could work well in a rotation. (Projected – 5th round)
- Chris Watt (OG, 6-3, 310 lbs) – This one perplexes me. He looked interesting at the combine. Never too good (slowest 40 time). Never bad (29 bench presses). Wasn’t able to do much more at the combine because he is recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss the end of the season. He also had never missed any quality time in his previous 3 years at Notre Dame. I don’t know why but he just looked like a NFL lineman, whenever he was on screen. I would take a chance on him as long as he doesn’t go where he is currently projected to go. (Projected – 5th to 6th round)
- Russell Bodine (OG, 6-3, 310 lbs) – This guy could be a steal! He’s got the right height and weight for an interior lineman. He’s coming into the league as a guard but has played the primary amount of his college time as a center. With the way rosters are getting gutted by salary caps & injuries, it pays to have versatile players. (Projected – 6th round)
- Bryan Stork (C, 6-4, 315 lbs) – Played center for one of the most productive offenses in college, the National Championship winning FSU. Voted the most outstanding center in the NCAA for 2013. Also has some experience at both guard spots. (Projected – 4th to 5th round)
- Tyler Larsen (C, 6-4, 313 lbs) – A senior from Utah State, he helped them have one of the more consistently successful offenses. Finished tied for the strongest center at the combine. A strong run blocker who will learn to pass rush better with time. (Projected – 5th to 6th round)
Potential undrafted free agent OLs the Jags should consider:
- Justin Britt (OT, 6-6, 235 lbs) – Redshirt senior from Missouri. Played both left & right tackle. Robert Rang of sportsline.com believes he could convert to guard.
- Wesley Johnson (OT, 6-5, 297 lbs) – Nice size. One of the faster centers at the combine. experience at every offensive line position.
- Jonotthan Harrison (C, 6-3, 304 lbs) – One of the stronger centers at combine, also has experience at both guard positions.
- Gabe Ikard (C, 6-4, 304 lbs) – Nice sized senior from Oklahoma. Scouts believe his blocking style lends itself to success with zone-blocking schemes.
- John Urschel (OG, 6-3, 313 lbs) – Redshirt senior from Penn State. Strong, quick, and one of the smarter players coming into the league.
- Kadeem Edwards (OG, 6-4, 313 lbs) – Senior from Tennessee State. Middle of the road speed & strength. Longest arms at the combine.
This team doesn’t stand a chance of success without better linemen play. Whether that happens or not, I don’t know. But it won’t be from lack of effort.
See ya later with Defensive Ends.
Looking for the next Tony Boselli…Michael McDonald.
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