Live Big or Die Ugly . . . The Sequel That Will Not Die!
2012 Big Ugly Series - Interior Review
Submitted by Long Ball, DOF

March 31, 2012

"Long Ball" heads up Drafttek's scouting crew . His personal specialization are the "Big Uglies", Linemen on both the Offensive and Defensive side of the line of scrimmage.

Interior Offensive Line Review - Below

Go to Right Offensive Tackle Review
Go to Left Offensive Tackle Review

Go to Interior Defensive Line Review

While the offensive tackles are protecting the outside space and often face the opposition's best pass rushers, strength up the middle is no less important, as it forms the "bubble" of the quarterback's pocket. A triumvirate of center and two guards is essential to both the running game and passing attack of a pro offense.

There are differences in the blocking techniques of interior linemen versus tackles - the first is an ability to maintain a low center of gravity, from the inertia generated upon initial contact through the maintenance of the block. This is true whether blocking for the run or the pass - guards and centers must get below the pad level of the opposing DT's (and/or DE's and LB's, if pulling). Where length and long arms are a benefit for the OT position, that is not necessarily true for OG and OC. In addition, short, choppy steps are the preference for interior linemen (once again, whether pass protection, straight-line or cross-blocking, or pulling for a sweep), as opposed to the longer kick-slide step of tackles.

Let's look at the guards and centers together, since there will be some overlap - we'll start with the guards, since some of the tackles we previously analyzed may end up as guards; as a result, this is a very deep class of OG's.

----  Offensive Guards  ----

David DeCastro

David DeCastro (6'5", 316 lbs) is the #1 OG in the 2012 NFL Draft . . . he plays no other position and is most likely a "plug-n-play" prospect on the left side of an NFL offensive line. While not an elite athlete, he's rarely beaten in pass protection and dominates as a run blocker due to his technique, toughness and intelligence. David is outstanding on the move because of his footwork and agility, pulling to lead in the running game, and plays every down with vicious intent on his opponents. He fits both ZBS and Man/Power schemes and his Combine results were eerily similar to Steve Hutchinson's of 11 years ago: 5.43 forty (1.82 for 10 yard split) {Hutch-5.15-1.77}, 4.56 shuttle {Hutch-4.74}, 7.30 3-cone {Hutch-7.82}, 29.5" vertical {Hutch-33.5}, 8'02" broad jump {Hutch-8'10"} and 34 bench reps {Hutch-31}: this gives him an explosion factor of 72 {Hutch-73} and a lateral agility factor of 0.87 {Hutch-0.45}. Steve Hutchinson was taken with the 17th pick of the 1st round by Seattle.

In pass blocking, DeCastro (simply put) just does not get beat . . . and in the rare occasions where he is initially beaten off the snap, possesses enough of an anchor and resets hands to establish leverage. Displays excellent posture, keeps his feet churning and his head up, which increases his awareness of stunts and blitzes. DeCastro normally keeps his arms extended in pass protection to maintain distance with his man and very capable of blocking down with one hand and sliding to help the tackle. If he loses the hand-to-hand battle (occasionally happens), is quick to counter with exceptional hand placement.

DeCastro excels as a run blocker, whether in power or zone scheme, and on the move. He plays with his head up, constantly reading the defense, and blocks the defender who has the best opportunity to make the tackle 9 times out of 10. He's got that "Long Ball Devil" mean streak, taking defenders to the ground and does not let up. David is not dominant as a drive blocker, but grinds to the whistle. Powerful defensive tackles can anchor or move him off the snap. He's excellent on the move, whether leading a sweep or trapping inside, reaches the 2nd level rapidly and is able to arrive at the correct angle due to his flexibility and natural bend. DeCastro is quick off the snap, gets his hands up and in position immediately, maintains leverage and stays low in goal-line situations.

David's intangibles are off the chart! (Which chart, you ask . . . dating Long Ball's daughter chart!) He has solid work ethic and character, takes that work ethic to the practice field and weight room, is durable . . . and on top of all that, chose Stanford for its academic standards.

James Brown

We discussed Cordy Glenn during our right tackles analysis, so let's move another left tackle inside . . . how many of you remember my projection of LOT Jason Pinkston from Pittsburgh as an OG last year? Well, that seemed to work out pretty well for the Cleveland Browns, as Pinkston took over at LOG for the injured Eric Steinbach and started every game his rookie season. He was one of my favorites . . . and now here's another one: Troy University's LOT James Brown, about the same size as Jason (6'4", 306 lbs) and has that same footwork that will translate inside. Brown received attention from several SEC programs out of high school, but went the JUCO route before choosing to enroll at Troy. Brown earned a starting spot in 2009 as a sophomore and started every game at left tackle (13 starts). He started all 12 games at left tackle in 2010 as a junior, earning Second Team All-Sun Belt honors. Brown returned in 2011 as a senior and again started all 12 contests at left tackle, earning First Team All-Sun Belt honors.

Brown's results at the Combine were a 5.30 forty (1.84 for 10 yard split), 4.78 shuttle, 7.70 3-cone, 25.5" vertical, 8'06" broad jump and 24 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 58 and a lateral agility factor of 0.52. His 34-1/2" arms promote a wingspan of 81-1/4".

There is a lot to love about James' passionate football attitude, and while he needs to work on his technique and footwork in order to stay coordinated through contact, there are no questions about his initial punch, recoil and reset. I swear, in the game tapes I graded, I thought of Pinkston's fury in an "old school" blocking approach, exploding into his opponent with his entire body, recoiling with short choppy steps and launching into him again, maintaining an excellent anchor. This technique had OG written all over it, as tackles glide nowadays and utilize reach advantage.

Brown plays longer than his height, due to his reach and lateral agility. He is quick-footed with smooth movement skills to cover a large area. James bursts off the snap (with an evil intent) and sets up quickly with little wasted motion. His strong upper body combined with his strong, physical hands compliments his workman-like attitude to gain body positioning in the run game. James always finishes and doesn't quit until the whistle blows, giving full effort and leaving it all on the field. He leads by example through hard work, competing with a positive attitude and has gained the admiration of teammates and coaches alike.

Here's what Long Ball wants him to correct: widen that base out of his stance to set a stronger anchor at the point of attack, improve his hand placement technique, bend those knees and squat down on his haunches (too upright at times) in order to maintain leverage. Where's my damned coaching whistle, I'm ready to get to work with this young 'un!

Kevin Zeitler

Whew, I better calm down before I have a heart attack! I could also get excited about this next young 'un: Kevin Zeitler (6'4", 314 lbs) comes from one of my favorite offensive line factories in Madison, Wisconsin. Now while I might be tempted to compare Kevin to one of my 2011 pet cats (former teammate and 3rd round pick John Moffitt), and quite frankly they should both have a nice NFL career, the native of Waukesha (although not quite as big as Moffitt) may be a better interior OL prospect for the following 3 reasons: 1) lower center of gravity (strong lower body definition), 2) agility in pass protection, and 3) consistency hitting his targets on the move.

Zeitler's results at the Combine were a 5.39 forty (1.75 for 10 yard split), 4.61 shuttle, 7.77 3-cone, 29" vertical, 8'05" broad jump and 32 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 70 and a lateral agility factor of 0.78. His 32-3/4" arms promote a wingspan of 80-1/2".

In pass blocking, Zeitler comes out of the snap and anchors well against larger DL in the middle, exhibits good initial hand position and resets hands in order to maintain distance. He's just athletic enough to help on nose tackle and then pick up a twist, cha-cha or late blitz. Footwork is good enough to mirror quick interior rushers and is observant of his teammates, looking to help the center or tackle if he is uncovered.

Kevin would be a good fit in a ZBS, as he uses mobility and strength to move defender down the line. He dips his shoulder and moves his feet to get outside leverage to provide cut-back lanes outside. Zeitler comes out of his stance strong and low, allowing him to maintain leverage in short-yardage situations. He gives the necessary effort to get to the 2nd level, locate defenders, and hit as many targets as possible. He could improve on keeping outside leverage when doubling on the nose, and might drop a few "belly pounds" to improve his agility on pulling and trapping.

Kevin Zeitler is not a quick-twitch, agile athlete; however, he is a technician, as well as a dependable, no-nonsense mauler who works hard in the weight room and on the field.

Kelechi Osemele

I previously sang the praises of Jeff Allen (during our discussion of right tackle prospects) and he would be a dandy OG as well. So now is time to bring out a really big "big 'un" . . . Kelechi Osemele (6'6", 333 lbs) of Iowa State. I could have taken Cordy Glenn's scouting report and just said "ditto, ditto, ditto", as Kelechi Osemele is almost a carbon copy, having started games at left guard, right guard and left tackle. There are scouts that favor one over the other, but neither player will be a "plug-in" for a zone blocking scheme, as both are powerful, athletic men that will excel in man-on-man blocking. Like Glenn, Osemele will probably play inside at OG, or possibly ROT; however, there are a few differences.

As a pass-blocker, Osemele attacks his opponent with a violent first punch instead of waiting for the defender to come to him. He easily controls his college opponents with his long arms and exhibits good balance; however, his lateral agility in mirroring the defender could stand some improvement. Opponents can rarely get past him and has an excellent anchor so bull rushes are futile. Osemele locks on the defender with his hand placement . . . once he has those "meat hooks" on you, you're toast.

Osemele utilizes his size and strength as a drive blocker in the running game and stays low in his stance well, normally winning the leverage battle. Although he can miss with his initial punch, he is quick to recover and drives back his target, demonstrating good hand placement and the leg drive to clear a hole. Osemele gets to the second level, but not with the same quickness as Glenn; however, he is not shy about attacking his target. Osemele is not fluid when pulling from left guard to lead on the toss and counter, but is effective as he is a fearful sight coming around the corner.

Osemele's results at the Combine were a 5.36 forty, 4.87 shuttle, 7.91 3-cone, 26.5" vertical, 8'08" broad jump and 32 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 68 and a lateral agility factor of 0.49. His 35-7/8" arms promote a wingspan of 86".

Amini Silatolu

There's another small school LOT that projects well at OG . . . from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas comes Amini Silatolu (6'4", 311 lbs). The game tapes I graded showed "a man among boys" at the small college level, as Silatolu dominated and clearly stood out. He has not backed down as the competition increased at all-star games . . . and his combine results were spectacular, including a 5.43 forty (1.89 ten yard split), 4.87 shuttle, 7.95 3-cone, 31.5" vertical, 8'11" broad jump and 28 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 69 and a lateral agility factor of 0.56. His 33" arms promote a wingspan of 79".

In pass blocking, Amini shows better lateral agility than expected for his short, stocky build. He's quick out of his stance, has a strong punch on initial contact, then resets his hands to maintain distance while extending his arms to finish plays. Silatolu sets a wide stance to anchor with low center of gravity and natural bend. He is quick enough to help left guard with a punch on the tackle after the snap, and still make it outside to stop the end from reaching the pocket . . . this trait will allow him to help both the center and tackle when he plays OG at the next level.

Silatolu is an attacking run-blocker, playing with violent hands at the point of attack and finishes his blocks with a "bad attitude". He is not passive and will crash down the edge while taking multiple defenders to the ground. This aggression can work against him, as he will overextend trying to sustain or dominate blocks instead of simply walling off quicker defenders. Despite his mass, his hustle and agility allows him to get in front of bubble screens, and he's agile and quick enough to trap inside or even pull around to the strong-side of the formation from his left tackle spot. Amini is a terror against small college linebackers and gets to the 2nd level and into move blocks very quickly for his size. His lack of long foot speed limits his range, but his effort in hitting multiple defenders, whether following or leading his back down the field, is impressive and he plays with the tenacity to push piles downfield for extra yardage.

You want intangibles? He passes the "Long Ball Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" in on-the-field nastiness and hustle . . . trust me, you will be watching this young man on Sundays next year!

Brandon Washington

Earlier in the year, I was really high on Brandon Washington (6'3", 320 lbs) of Miami (FL) . . . another LOT that could kick inside and play guard or center. Quite frankly, he might have benefited from another year of "taking his talents to South Beach" as the underclassman has seen his stock drop during the post season. Brandon is a stout, no-nonsense, "get'er done" lineman who has improved each year . . . a brutal run-blocker no doubt, but has some work to do on pass protection techniques, as well as read and recognition of various defensive pass-rush techniques.

Washington's results at the Combine were a 5.25 forty (1.77 ten yard split), 4.87 shuttle, 8.22 3-cone, 25" vertical, 8'05" broad jump and 28 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 62 and a lateral agility factor of 0.38. His 33" arms promote a wingspan of 80-1/4". Not that his results were bad, but he just looked sloppy going through the drills . . . at least, to this old pair of eyes.

In pass blocking, Washington's experience playing tackle in the ACC should help him at his more natural position of guard in the NFL. There's evidence of some natural athleticism, as he bends his knees, mirrors defenders well with good balance and coordination, and then sinks his hips well into contact. Brandon relies too much on his natural athleticism to get into position in pass protection instead of utilizing proper technique, which leads to poor leverage and overextension, making him susceptible to inside counter moves. His footwork is sloppy . . . when he gets in a hurry, he crosses his feet instead of sliding laterally. His initial punch is strong, but he needs to work on his hand placement for the next level.

Washington excels on the move and has excellent range in the run game. He can get out and pull and does an excellent job breaking down in space. However, his technique in coming off the ball lacks burst and his first move is straight up (entirely too often) . . . he's going to learn the hard way that NFL defensive linemen are every bit as strong as he thinks he is. Brandon does set a strong base, as he is naturally strong with a thick lower body . . . but he's raw and will need to be coached up.

The 2011 game tape I graded on Washington is up and down . . . at times he looks overmatched but his upside may be worth the risk. He's probably not ready to start day one but could be a starter a year or two down the road.

The 2012 OG class is deep . . . we talked about Tony Bergstrom as a ROT, we will discuss Peter Konz as an OC, which rounds out the Top Ten, and we're just now getting to some familiar names like Senio Kelemete (6'4", 307 lbs) of Washington and Lucas Nix (6'5", 317 lbs) of Pittsburgh (both of whom should be fine pros).

That should give you an idea of how difficult it is to come up with "dark horses" out of this class. Rishaw Johnson (6'3", 313 lbs) is at tiny California (PA) but I'm not convinced he's a player. If we go with the "Name Game", Joe Looney (6'3", 309 lbs) is a smart technician at Wake Forest. Another OT that should kick inside is Memphis' Ronald Yeary (6'3", 315 lbs) . . . nasty on the field, high character off of it . . . and this young man blitzkrieged the Combine with a 5.36 forty, 4.91 shuttle, 7.87 3-cone, 29" vertical, 8'08" broad jump and 30 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 68 and a lateral agility factor of 0.45. His 34-3/4" arms promote a wingspan of 82-7/8".

But Old Long Ball's "dark horse" is a big fella at Miami of Ohio named Brandon Brooks (6'5", 343 lbs) . . . oh, you've already heard of him? (Must be reading my buddy over at National Football Post . . . Wes Bunting luvs him some Brandon Brooks!) This young man did not get an invite to the NFL Combine . . . could it be that the "powers that be" did not want to embarrass the better known prospects? Here's the performance that Brandon put on at the Miami (OH) Pro Day . . . 4.98 40 yard dash, 4.52 shuttle, 7.42 3-cone drill, 32" vertical, 8'09" broad jump and 36 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 77 and a lateral agility factor of 0.45. His 32-5/8" arms promote a wingspan of 80-1/4". That's moving a load! It should be unfair to be that big and that fast and that agile!

----  Centers  ----

Snap the ball (whether the QB is under center or back in shotgun formation) and block a 300+ pounder - simple eh? OK, volunteers line up over here . . . yep, that's what I thought, no takers. Centers also normally call the line blocking assignments and, as a result, are second in importance only to the LT position. This year's center class, unlike offensive guards, is limited in the number of prospects who may compete at the next level.

Peter Konz

The best center in this year's draft is yet another Badger from that offensive line factory: Peter Konz (6'5", 314 lbs) of Wisconsin. He would also make a damned fine guard, but is far more valuable at the pivot. This 3-year starter's intangibles and work ethic are off the chart, so let's talk about the major concern: durability. Peter has been injured during his career, suffering a dislocated ankle which sidelined him for the second half of the 2011 season; as a result, he only participated in the bench press at the Combine (which, in retrospect, was not a smart idea as he only performed 18 reps). Wisconsin's Pro Day was March 8th and his ankle was still not well enough for him to participate in the drills.

In pass blocking, Konz starts with a naturally wide base off the snap (providing steady balance in his stance). His technique is solid, as he sinks his hips and maintains leverage with a consistent pad level. His upper body strength is evident as he gets his hands into opponents with excellent placement, and his strong hands allow him to sustain blocks for an extended period of time. Konz is unusually tall for the center position and will get too high at times.

Peter is a physical run blocker with raw power and strength at the point of attack, attaining a good initial push off the snap. He understands blocking angles and positions his body well, walling off defenders to seal run lanes. Although he does not possess a quick-twitch, Konz sets up quickly, plays with good leverage and moves well in space with his head up, always looking for someone to block. Tough and aggressive, this center is a natural leader of an offensive line . . . if he overcomes questions about his durability (and now, strength), could be a potential 1st round investment.

Ben Jones

Ben Jones (6'2", 303 lbs), the 2011 Rimington Award Winner, started 49 games for Georgia at center; during the 2011 campaign, he graded out at 82% while making all the line calls, averaged 5 "intimidator" blocks per game and did not allow a sack while facing the outstanding defensive lines of the SEC. Jones' best trait may be his quickness and if he corrects a tendency to arch his back when engaged with a defender, he could anchor an NFL offensive line for the next 10 years.

Jone's results at the Combine were a 5.44 forty (1.83 ten yard split), 4.74 shuttle, 7.95 3-cone, 30.5" vertical, 8'09" broad jump and 29 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 68 and a lateral agility factor of 0.70. His 32-1/2" arms promote a wingspan of 77-3/4".

In pass blocking, Jones is quick physically and mentally, coming off the line and recognizing defensive alignments. His anchor is solid, as he has absorbed some big punches from SEC nose tackles; he may take a step back, but resets fairly well. However, he has to stop arching his back on recoil as that could lead to future physical problems.

Ben is not a physical run blocker, but due to his quickness is able to turn and seal off the defender. He executes the drive block well, but can come out lunging at times and does not possess the athleticism to regain his balance and recover. His hand placement is inconsistent, too low at times which leaves him vulnerable to swim moves. An NFL off-season weight-training program, as well as extensive OL coaching, will correct most of Jones' deficiencies in order for him to become a solid starting center.

Philip Blake

Another "old Canadian" OL prospect from Baylor comes in at #3 on Long Ball's center rankings. Last year, "the fireman" OG Danny Watkins caught everyone's eye during the all-star games and received an invite to the Combine; this year, it's Philip Blake (6'3", 311 lbs) who like Watkins before him, is Canadian . . . and 26 years old. His results at the Combine were a 5.25 forty (1.76 ten yard split), 4.65 shuttle, 7.86 3-cone, 29.5" vertical, 8'09" broad jump and 22 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 60 and a lateral agility factor of 0.60. His 33" arms promote a wingspan of 77-7/8".

In pass blocking, the former right tackle exhibits the footwork and length to mirror interior defensive linemen. Blake comes out of his stance with natural bend and plays with low center of gravity, setting a strong anchor. He needs to work on his hand placement, as he can be pushed backwards when his hands aren't on the defender's numbers. Philip's shotgun snaps are reliable and accurate, allowing his QB to look downfield early.

Blake is a strong run blocker capable of moving the nose tackle to his left or right with his upper body. While he's agile enough to seal linemen off, he's a bit inconsistent getting to the 2nd level and finding the ILB on combination blocks in tight quarters. Once again, his inconsistent hand placement limits his ability to sustain the block after initial contact, and needs to keep his feet moving. Philip comes off the line low and gets some movement in short-yardage situations but typically just holds the line. He has the quickness and agility to pull and attacks DT's well on stretch plays.

Yep, he's older than your typical prospect, but OL have a longer career in the NFL . . . Blake has some of that "Long Ball" attitude, gets on top of defenders on the ground, but needs to play through the whistle and not "assume" the play is over. Philip will draft higher than most, since he will be rated as an OG prospect . . . and 3 position players have value in the NFL Draft.

David Molk

We talked about Kevin Zeitler in the OG discussion, so let's go to an undersized center that reminds Old Long Ball of a couple of fellas from days gone by: Mick Tinglehoff of the Vikings and Mark Stepnoski of the Cowboys. Michigan's David Molk (6'1", 298 lbs) is not only strong, but utilizes leverage extremely well . . . and the young man is not lacking for confidence, as he proclaimed himself to be better than Mike Brewster (will that Ohio State/Michigan rivalry never die?) The former Rimington Award Winner started 42 games for the Wolverines and competes in every play like it's his last. David was strategic at the Combine, choosing only to participate in the bench press . . . 41 reps later, he had bested every other OL prospect.

David Molk's strength is an attitude that allows him to turn a perceived weakness into a strength: some would say he's short, he'll tell you he's built low to the ground and utilizes leverage better than any other center (and he would be right). He's a balanced, coordinated athlete who sets up quickly and gets in position with nice burst off the snap and good feet. Demonstrates a fine lateral shuffle and has the range to get to the second level. Molk is physical at the point of attack, coming out of his stance with "bad intent" and positions his body well for blocking angles, while maintaining a wide base throughout his block.

David will have to go to a team that has a playbook heavy on ZBS, as he will not be able to hold up against the larger nose tackles in the NFL. He can be overpowered and even driven backwards off the snap due to his limited base strength.

Quinton Saulsberry

Quinton Saulsberry (6'2", 304 lbs) arrived at Mississippi State as a defensive lineman. After red-shirting his freshman year (2007), he moved to ROT and started every game in 2008, then moved to LOG in 2009 (again, starting every game). In 2010, he started 1 game at LOG, 10 games at ROG and then 2 games at OC. He started every game last year, once again showing his versatility by splitting time between ROG and OC. Saulsberry's results at the Combine were a 5.38 forty (1.89 ten yard split), 4.99 shuttle, 8.19 3-cone, 22" vertical, 7'06" broad jump and 26 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 56 and a lateral agility factor of 0.39. His 33-3/4" arms promote a wingspan of 80".

There is no hesitation when Saulsberry comes off the snap, as he has explosive burst and moves well for his size. He gets to the 2nd level, hits his target and shows mobility when pulling to lead a sweep. He sets a strong base with good knee bend and balance, extends his arms and has strong active hands that lead with a strong punch. There's no question about Quinton's intensity, as he exhibits a nasty demeanor and scrappy attitude, working through the end of the play (and after). This lack of discipline can lead to missed blocking assignments . . . but better that than a player that constantly requires motivation.

Mike Brewster

Mike Brewster (6'4", 312 lbs) of Ohio State looks like an NFL center . . . but there's just something I can't put my finger on that makes me rank him lower than other scouts. At the Combine, he ran a 5.35 forty (1.76 ten yard split), 4.60 shuttle, 7.73 3-cone, 25" vertical, 8'00" broad jump and 29 bench reps: this gives him an explosion factor of 62 and a lateral agility factor of 0.75. His 31-1/2" arms promote a wingspan of 74-1/2".

In pass blocking, Brewster is quick to get into his stance and generally displays a solid bend; however, despite this "text-book look", he often over-extends, bending at the waist too much and defenders elude his blocks. This is a result of poor hand placement and doesn't allow him to stay engaged with the defender long enough. Mike gets too upright in his stance, which allows lineman to get under his pads, and he lacks the strength to consistently anchor. He does display good awareness to pick up stunts or blitzes but can be a step late at times.

Despite being quick off the snap and into his stance, Brewster struggles to win initially, as his propensity to bends at the waist causes him to lose leverage and defenders have no problem shoving him aside. Now he is effective when asked to seal or trap block but he lacks the strength as an in-line blocker without the help of a double team. Mike does keep his feet churning and moving, but he just doesn't get the push . . . and despite his footwork and apparent agility, he looks lost in space and just is not effective at the 2nd level.

Brewster was a 4 year starter at Ohio State and team captain, so I don' question his character . . . but he lacks that "Long Ball" mean streak and doesn't appear to put forth great effort. The one telling "no-no" I saw while watching game film was his willingness to give up on blocking his man once the pocket broke down and the quarterback started to scramble. Some team will probably draft him, as he does look the part and comes from Ohio State . . . it just wouldn't be my team.

Folks, that's really about it for the center class . . . you have one prospect who has the potential to be taken in the 1st round and the remainder of them would probably go anywhere from the 3rd to the 6th rounds. There might be a few of those who could end up in my "dark horse" category, but I'll give mention to Mason Cloy (6'3", 310 lbs) of Clemson and Scott Wedige (6'4", 310 lbs) of Northern Illinois. Either one of those fellas might end up on a practice squad with the opportunity to become a decent pivot man in 2-3 years. And never discount a "Long Ball Dark Horse", as I can provide an example from just last year:

OK Long Ball, how are you going to come up with a dark horse center when you ranked a guy from Slippery Rock? Well, let's "rocket" over to Toledo and take a gander at Kevin Kowalksi - I'm not promising an All-Pro career here, but I sure was tickled to see him running downfield full blast during Senior Bowl practices to take down a defender and pounce on top of him LOL!

Now I'll be first to admit that Kowalski getting significant playing time for the Cowboys last year as an UDFA says more about the lack of talent on the interior of their OL than my ability as a prognosticator; however, as the great Arnold Palmer once said "I'd rather be lucky than good!"

Whew, that's a whole bunch of beef we just went through - do you see some cuts of meat that appeal to yore taste buds??? On our next segment, we'll jump over to the other side of the line and see what kind of Big Uglies we have on defense.

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