Recently, offensive linemen have been getting their recognition around the league and it is rightly so. These players take every snap in the trenches doing the dirty work paving roadways for running backs and building walls for their Quarterbacks. Everybody ready to get mean, angry, and nasty? Good! We’re about to dig into the top 5 big ugly’s.
1. Quenton Nelson – Every time I’m watching this guys tape he is either run blocking a guy face first into the dirt or pass blocking a defender into a pancake fall down. Has intimidating strength that makes defenders shiver when Nelson comes off the snap on tape. He is very fluid in in the hips and feet as well for controlling a defender whether they a bull rusher or speed rusher. Nelson is the elite offensive lineman in this draft for a reason.
2. Isaiah Wynn – Was apart of the big offensive line in Georgia that paved the way for that famous running game of RB’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Very versatile in even being a guard having 19 starts there and 21 starts at the left tackle position. A lot of people see Wynn playing guard more in the NFL due to his undersized arms and height. Even though being undersized he’s known for having excellent footwork and controlling his defender.
3. Will Hernandez – Hernandez could be higher on this list, but ran into academic issues going into college. He was only left with an offer from UTEP and became one of UTEP’s best offensive linemen they have had since 1968. Switched from defensive lineman to offensive lineman and started all 49 games. Even for a bigger guard at 350 pounds he moves very smooth and has exceptional footwork. Level of competition is a concern, but that shouldn’t be a problem for him going into the next level.
4. Mike McGlinchey – He’s the partner that’s been paired with OG Quenton Nelson the last two years. McGlinchey is a mountain of a man at 6’8″ 315 pounds and would intimidate most defensive linemen. He’s versatile as well playing his first 2 years at right tackle then his last 2 years at left tackle, so if called upon he can fill in either position. Pass protection is shaky at times and gets beat by the speed moves to the outside, but just needs help developing his footwork going into the NFL. Run blocking is his forte due to his freakish strength and size.
5. Connor Williams – This tackle out of Texas is an excellent run blocker in 2017, but had a level of play drop off in pass protection in the same year. He played to high off the line and was getting beat from getting controlled under his shoulder pads. If Williams can play in the NFL like he did in 2015 and 2016, then I have no doubt he can be a reliable left tackle. If that isn’t the case, coaches could try moving him to guard and use him for run blocking specifically.