NFL Draft: Top five OL heading into combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is right around the corner and so it’s time to take a look at our list of top offensive linemen entering the event, along with two others to watch heading into Indianapolis.
1. Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Stats: Wills was one of the leaders on Alabama’s offensive line that helped the Crimson Tide offense score more than 47 points per game. Alabama, as a team, averaged five yards per carry and rushed for 27 touchdowns this past season.
Farrell’s take: Wills was an elite prospect coming out of high school with the build of a guard but the feet of a tackle. He was very aggressive and always showed excellent balance and the ability to reset. We had little doubt he’d be a star in college and he’s emerged as the best offensive line prospect in the draft.
2. Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Stats: Thomas led an offensive line that helped Georgia average just under five yards per carry.
Farrell’s take: As a Rivals100 prospect and top-10 offensive tackle nationally, we liked Thomas quite a bit and he got stronger as the cycle progressed. He became more physical with each evaluation and was especially impressive at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl week. He had a good frame, excellent reach and good feet, but what he’s done at Georgia was still way ahead of schedule. He’s been a big part of the Dawgs' recent success and should be a top-15 pick.
3. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Stats: Next in line among elite Iowa offensive linemen, Wirfs was a huge factor in the Hawkeyes’ offensive success last season. Iowa had three running backs rush for more than 400 yards and quarterback Nate Stanley had a career high in passing yards.
Farrell’s take: Wirfs was a highly-regarded four-star in the state of Iowa and a must-get for the Hawkeyes. He had an excellent frame, room to add weight and he was technically sound and very smart. He’s become even more physical at the next level and has a bright NFL future ahead of him and is a surefire first-rounder.
4. Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Recruiting: On National Signing Day, Becton chose Louisville over Virginia Tech, Michigan and Oregon. He was ranked as the seventh-best prospect in Virginia in the 2017 class and the top-ranked offensive lineman.
Stats: An absolutely massive offensive lineman, Becton anchored a line that helped lead Louisville’s offense to more than 33 points per game, averaging nearly five yards per rush and going for 23 rushing TDs.
Farrell’s take: Becton was very high on my ACC Commit Fit list after National Signing Day. I liked his athleticism and footwork at tackle to help Louisville early, but I didn't expect this type of transition or for him to have such a great career. Becton was the Offensive Line MVP at our Rivals Camp Series Charlotte stop heading into his senior season after showing size, reach and footwork, as well as a physical nature we weren’t sure was there. He could land late in the first round.
5. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
Recruiting: Rated as a three-star defensive tackle, Biadasz committed to Wisconsin in the summer before his senior season. His only other offers came from Illinois State, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois.
Stats: Biadsz had a lot of opportunities to run block this past season as the Badgers ran the ball 612 times averaging 5.3 yards per touch with 38 rushing touchdowns. He was blocking for arguably the top running back in college football as Jonathan Taylor had 2,003 yards and 21 TDs.
Farrell’s take: Biadasz was a three-star prospect who lacked great size and power out of high school but had smarts and athleticism. We had him ranked as a defensive tackle because he seemed to excel at that position and was aggressive. Biadasz has taken that aggression and brought it to the offensive line. The level of competition he played wasn’t great and we worried a bit about his frame, but he’s turned into your typical underrated, nasty Wisconsin offensive lineman.
TWO TO WATCH
Jack Driscoll, Auburn
Recruiting: A two-star prospect, Driscoll picked UMass over Army and Brown, his only other offers coming out of high school. After playing for the Minutemen, he was a grad transfer at Auburn where he played two seasons.
Stats: Driscoll was a big factor in Auburn rushing for nearly 200 yards per game and scoring 31 rushing touchdowns. The top three Auburn rushers averaged nearly five yards per carry.
Farrell’s take: Driscoll is another one of those linemen who was tiny in high school and grew into his frame to become a very good college player and interesting NFL Draft prospect. He stepped up his game even more when he hit the SEC.
Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Recruiting: After Alabama led in his recruitment and then Michigan pulled ahead, Wilson started to get even more serious about Georgia and after his official visit the Bulldogs took the lead and could not be caught in his recruitment. He committed to UGA in December of his senior season.
Stats: Wilson was part of Georgia’s offensive line that opened up holes for running back D’Andre Swift, who rushed for 1,218 yards and seven touchdowns this past season. All four of Georgia’s top running backs averaged just about five yards per touch.
Farrell’s take: Wilson was a monster coming out of high school, a surefire five-star with his combination of size, strength and agility. I expected him to hold his own from the start and eventually become a dominant blocker. He was better at run blocking than pass protection at first but that’s to be expected. He has continued to improve as a pass blocker and will be someone a team will grab in the second round.