Evaluations, Tape, Combine and read-up done. It’s time to put out the first of my positions Top 20. This was a fun group to watch, with some guys who’ll start Day one while others can be brought up to that spot. Here we go
1)Tyler Linderbaum (C) Iowa
Wt: 296 LBS
Arm: 31 1/8
Strengths: Linderbaum is a cerebral player who gets the game. He does such a great job of getting the second-level when it’s the play call. If he is free on the pass rush, he helps the right teammate to preserve the pocket. He plays with great leverage, which comes from a wrestling background. He fires the ball back in the shotgun and is quick to get his hands on a defender with his shorter arms but large hands.
Weaknesses: My worry is his weight at the next level. He will face some 350-lb, 0 or 1 Technique players, which can be a tough task even with the wrestling background.
Projection: Top-20 pick, who starts from Day One. I feel he is an ideal Steelers OL.
2)Kenyon Green (OG-OT) Texas A&M
Arm: 34 1/8
Hand: 10 3/8
Strengths: A 4 position player at A&M. Plays with all-around athleticism and physicality in the SEC. Once he locks on, he’s most likely winning the battle. Athletic enough to get out on screens and get a pass-catcher space. Personally, I think he is a future All-Pro Guard and a guy who can play tackle well in a pinch. His use of hands, extension, and ability to control a defender, keeping a pocket clean is why I prefer him at OG.
Weaknesses: It’s more on a team that comes in after the draft and has him doing too many things. Find a spot, plug, and play. Let him dominate a position and learn along the way to use his versatility in a pinch.
Projection: Top 25 pick
3)Zion Johnson (OG-C) Boston College
Wt: 312 LBS
Hands: 10 5/8
Strengths: Plug and Play OG, from a school that churns them out. Johnson wins with great power, hands, and technique. He can win quickly with his hands and power, open up a lane, and pancake. For a guy who is so good in the power game, he pulls and gets down the line well. In pass pro, he sets a good anchor against inside pressure.
Weaknesses: I fear a zone scheme team grabbing him and moving him to Center or taking away his strengths.
Projection: Top 40