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NFL Draft Stock Report: Offensive linemen

The NFL Draft is far away but as college football hits its stride for 2017, we take a look at the top prospects at each position. Today we continue with the offensive line.


Quenton Nelson (56)
Quenton Nelson (56) (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Recruiting: Nelson committed to the Irish in May prior to his senior season. Boston College, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers were his other finalists.

Stats: The Irish average 6.8 yards per rush and have 16 rushing touchdowns so far this season to only three passing scores.

Farrell’s Take: I really liked Nelson on film, but when I first saw him in person at our New Jersey Rivals Camp Series stop, I remember being wowed and felt he was a five-star prospect. He was huge, had good feet and he was a physical kid. It’s not shocking to see him working inside, but he could play tackle as well if needed and play either guard or tackle in the NFL. His desire to be great was part of what stood out to me and now he’s emerging as the best offensive lineman regardless of position in the draft class.

Connor Williams (55)
Connor Williams (55) (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Recruiting: Oregon was considered a frontrunner for Williams and Texas did not offer until after many other programs but the four-star still picked the Longhorns early in his senior season.

Stats: On the ground, the Longhorns average about 190 rushing yards per game and they’re throwing for more than 296 per outing. Texas has seven rushing touchdowns so far this season.

Farrell’s Take: Williams was in our Rivals250 but wasn’t ranked as high as perhaps he should have been for a very good reason – he was a tight end until his senior season. A blocking tight end for sure, but he made the transition to tackle for one year of high school. The results were good enough to have him ranked so high. It’s clear the athleticism and footwork of playing his previous position as well as a long frame to fill out has helped him in college. Williams had emerged as the best offensive lineman in college football heading into the season but has had some struggles and fallen behind Nelson, at least to me.

Trey Adams
Trey Adams (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Recruiting: Calling Washington his dream school, Adams committed to the Huskies in August before his junior season. There was a coaching change from Steve Sarkisian to Chris Petersen and USC and Oregon got more involved but Adams stuck with his pledge.

Stats: Averaging 44.5 points per game, the Huskies are also getting more than 160 yards rushing and more than 266 passing yards per outing. Five different players have rushed for touchdowns.

Farrell’s Take: A high three-star out of high school, I never got to see Adams in person because he was from Washington and couldn’t get out to camps nor was he invited to an all-star game as I can remember. But on film he was tall, angular with a great frame to fill out and a long reach he used very effectively. He was more finesse than he was power back then but he uses a nice combination of both now.

Recruiting: Hyatt committed to Clemson on National Signing Day – of his junior year. His uncle played for the Tigers and it was long considered the favorite in his recruitment.

Stats: Clemson has rushed for 1,088 yards so far this season, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and getting into the end zone 17 times on the ground. Four players have multiple rushing touchdowns led by QB Kelly Bryant, with seven.

Farrell’s Take: Hyatt was a long-time five-star but was downgraded at the end of the process because of concerns regarding his ability to fill out his frame and add strength in his lower body. Oops. I’ll take the blame for that one. His technique and footwork helped him overcome a frame that is still filling out. Hyatt seemed to get stronger game by game each year so it’s exciting to see how good he can be and the NFL loves his technique.

Recruiting: Initially a Tennessee commitment, Brown surprisingly flipped to Oklahoma on signing day. He had taken an official visit to Knoxville but never one to Norman.

Stats: Averaging 48 points per game, the Sooners are averaging 5.6 yards per carry and have rushed for 11 touchdowns. Oklahoma has 2,422 yards of total offense in four games this season.

Farrell’s Take: Brown was a massive kid out of high school with great bloodlines (dad was Orlando “Zeus” Brown, who played 11 seasons in the NFL) but lacked the footwork and discipline to be rated higher than a high three-star. If you told me back then that he’d become an All-American offensive lineman and one of the best in the country, I would have told you that you’re crazy. He’s done a great job putting in the work and making himself better, and deserves all the accolades he’s receiving as he moves up the charts a bit.


Recruiting: Minutes after taking an unofficial visit during his junior year to South Bend, McGlinchey called the ND coaches from the Indiana Toll Road to inform them of his decision. He picked the Irish over Wisconsin, Penn State, Virginia, Maryland and others. Atlanta Falcons QB and former Boston College star Matt Ryan is McGlinchey’s first cousin.

Stats: The impressive rushing stats at Notre Dame – 6.8 yards per carry, 16 rushing touchdowns, 293.5 rushing yards per game – are in large part because of an offensive line led by Nelson, McGlinchey and others.

Farrell’s Take: I had a feeling about McGlinchey even though he was tall and a tad awkward out of high school. His footwork, length and willingness to be physical made me think this could be a five-star and future first-rounder but I went conservative and now it’s up in the air whether I was right or wrong. This isn’t a strong tackle draft so far but McGlinchey has slid quite a bit anyhow because he has struggled with speed rushers this season. Some feel his footwork hasn’t progressed to that of an elite left tackle so time will tell if he can right the ship.

Recruiting: In the summer prior to his final year at Perkinston (Miss.) Gulf Coast C.C., Rankin had a top five of Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisville, Kentucky and Oklahoma. The native Mississippian ended up signing with the Bulldogs.

Stats: Mississippi State has rushed for 1,070 yards so far this season led by RB Aeris Williams and QB Nick Fitzgerald, who has a team-high five rushing scores. The Bulldogs are averaging 6.1 yards per carry.

Farrell’s Take: A JUCO four-star prospect with the ability to play tackle or guard, we loved his athleticism and felt he could contribute right away. He’s become a dominant tackle prospect but the NFL will love his ability to play any position along the line.