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Big O-linemen may be in short supply in NFL draft

Jan 28, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

Brandon-Scherff-Iowa

Stop me if you’ve heard this before—Scot McCloughan likes big offensive linemen. Big guys beat little guys in football, especially in the late going when the power running game becomes important. But big offensive linemen are getting harder to come by.

McCloughan saw the issue coming a while ago and talked about it at the 2010 NFL Combine. “The one thing about the offensive line nowadays is the game’s changed a lot in college with the spread offense,” he said. “The big power guys, the guys that come off (the line) and drive block and all that – you don’t see that any more in college. You see more finesse, more pass protection.”

A look at the NFL draft prospects along the offensive line this year bears this out. The CBS Sports NFL draft site lists 70 offensive tackles as possible draft prospects. Only 17 of the tackles are listed at 320 pounds or more. Of that group, three are evaluated as first-or second-round picks—Brandon Scherff of Iowa (320 lb.), Ereck Flowers of Miami of Florida (324), and Jeremiah Poutasi of Utah (321). Eight of them are rated as eight late third-day picks or free agent pickups.

The quantity of guards weighing 320 or more is higher compared to the tackles but the quality isn’t quite as good. CBS lists 55 guards as prospects and 23 of them are 320 or heavier. In that group, Laken Thompson of Duke (323) and Tré Jackson of Florida State (323) are rated as second-rounders and Jackson’s teammate Josue Matias (325) has a third-round grade. Of the rest, 18 are seventh round or free agent types.

What’s possibly worse for a GM in search of big linemen is that the weights given before the NFL Combine are usually their weights as listed by their college sports information departments. Those can tend to be exaggerated somewhat. We will get the true weights next month in Indianapolis and they number of players who really are over 320 could drop.

In the past McCloughan’s teams have drafted linemen who were on the light side but had the build to bulk up in the NFL. Considering his field of possible offensive line picks will be whittled down even more through film evaluation and background and character checks he may be looking for players who can add on weight.

  1. mr.moneylover19 - Jan 28, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    The key is to hit on undrafted players…like scot say a guy might be picked in the 7th round but got first round talent…and scot can always find a international player who would come and play and be good for the team…look at the seahawks they sign a guy who play in rugby league who they claim got good speed but need to work on things to get playing time…and one thing about what redskins havent did in years was to develop young players with talent and that needs to change if we gonna have a great team

    • captblood3000 - Jan 28, 2015 at 3:20 PM

      I doubt that today’s Joe Jacobys would go undrafted. That said, the Redskins have not drafted well in rounds 2 through 7 in many years. And it galls me when I see someone like Chad Rinehart playing meaningful games in December or January.

      • bangkokben - Jan 28, 2015 at 4:10 PM

        Chad Rinehart may have been Vinny’s best pick. Of course, his ‘talent’ probably didn’t fit our system. Who knows, maybe we developed him and then his ‘talent’ didn’t fit Shanahan’s system.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 28, 2015 at 5:15 PM

        Rinehart isn’t very good. Of course, he still might be a little better than some of our guys.

        *sad face*
        ~

  2. redskinscaio - Jan 28, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    Yes! That’s what I’m talking about! I hope the Skins get two of these linemen in the first and second rounds of this year’s draft. Lichtensteiger (i have no idea how to spell his name) at center, Trent Williams at left tackle, this year’s first round pick at right tackle, Lauvao at left guard, and this year’s second round draft pick at right guard. RGIII and Alfred Morris will be doing cartwheels if this happens.

    Moses as the 6th offensive lineman. Who knows, maybe he even starts if he shows up to camp and beats out the other guys. Moses is a big dude. Same goes for Josh LeRibeus,

    • bangkokben - Jan 28, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      What in the dickens?!

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 28, 2015 at 5:19 PM

        Shh, ben. He’s on a roll!

        (And don’t tell him that Morgan Moses has a Lisfranc injury that probably keeps him out of camp until last August at best.)
        ~

  3. kenlinkins - Jan 28, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    Rich: Does it seem to you that there are two groups starting to form in the Front office and Coaching staff (i.e. The T Bay’s and the Non T Bays)? Could it be that Dan Snyder is setting up a competition between the two groups. Any idea on how the New GM and Old GM are working together? Are they really on the same page as to what is required to turn the Redskins back into a winner? I am not sure I am buying it yet.

    • gasngo14 - Jan 28, 2015 at 8:35 PM

      The whole Tampa bay theory is really silly and starting to get very old! Look around this league and every coach / gm hire guys they have worked with in the past it’s really that simple!

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 29, 2015 at 6:34 AM

      I think you’re overthinking, Ken. Snyder had little or no say in the assistant coach hires. Gruden is just trying to put together the best staff he can. As noted in my Need to Know from Thursday, he made one odd decision at defensive coordinator. But it was his decision and he’s banking his future on it. We’ll see how it works out.

      > > >

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 28, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    A shame (for us) that Ronnie Stanley is going back for his senior year.

    He might have been worth the number 5 pick.
    ~

  5. bangkokben - Jan 28, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Matt Cavanaugh in as QB coach.

    • gasngo14 - Jan 28, 2015 at 8:37 PM

      We shall see how long until another coach gives up on RGME!

  6. deepball1 - Jan 28, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    I don’t think the Skins are ready to give up on Lauvao yet. He is a big guy and he just needs a REAL strength coach and a better offensive line coach and both of those problems have been solved. I think we are going to see at least TWO new faces on the offensive line and maybe 3. Nobody will mention the word REBUILD but we all know it is.

    There is gonna be a WHOLE lot of competition going on. Slackers need not apply. I am stoked about this!

  7. red - Jan 28, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    Heres the cold hard truth. 1980s all pro o-line and team success. 1990s- all pro o line and team success. 1999 to present no all pro o lineman and no where near team success. All Pros arent voted by fans they are voted by coaches and players. Nobody respects our line anymore because we dont. Great post rich big guys beat little guys that should be our draft slogan! Lets get some big nasty guys and get this thing going again!

    • bangkokben - Jan 29, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      Aren’t All pros voted by sports writers? The pro Bowl in the 80s was voted by the players and coaches. Fans didn’t have a say until somewhere close to the turn of the century. I’m all of this can be solved by a google search.

  8. deepball1 - Jan 28, 2015 at 10:35 PM

    Who is the Defensive Line coach now or the CANDIDATE??

  9. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 29, 2015 at 12:33 AM

    Rich I would like to see us Draft Brown and Miller from Louisvilleto play Guard, Mason from Georgia Tech to play Center, and Collins from LSU to play Right Tackle. If we cant draft Collins and get the NT from washington instead than I think Brown can Play RT

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 29, 2015 at 12:43 AM

      Brown, Miller, and Mason can all be had after the second round . I would take the NT from Washington with the 1st pick if he is gone take Collins if we cant trade down. Second round take Phillip Dorsett if he is there if not take FS out of Louisville. Any remaining picks after the linemen are drafted take best avalible.

  10. renhoekk2 - Jan 29, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Donovan Smith OT PSU. Played great at the Senior Bowl. Was originally a 3rd or 4th round selection. Now projected as a 2nd rounder. 6-6 341.

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