2020 NFL DRAFT: OFFENSIVE GUARDS

RANKINGS:

#25: Scott Frantz, Kansas State

#24: John Phillips, Boston College

#23: Michael Onwenu, Michigan

#22: Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms

#21: Kyle Murphy, Rhode Island

#20: Marcus Keyes, Oklahoma State

#19: Simon Stepniak, Indiana

#18: Gage Cervenka, Clemson

#17: Daishawn Dixon, San Diego State

#16: Zach Shackelford, Texas

#15: Steven Gonzalez, Penn State

#14: Terrance Steele, Texas Tech

#13: Jonah Jackson, Ohio State

#12: Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson

#11: Jon Runyan, Michigan

#10: Kevin Dotson, Louisiana

#9: Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon

#8: Logan Stenberg, Kentucky

#7: Ben Bredeson, Michigan

#6: Solomon Kindley, Georgia

#5: Shane Lemieux, Oregon

#4: Damien Lewis, LSU

#3: John Simpson, Clemson

#2: Netane Muti, Fresno State

#1: Robert Hunt, Louisiana

 

TOP 10 PROFILES

#1 ROBERT HUNT

LOUISIANA

6’5” 323

Overview

Like Cody Ford in last year’s draft, Hunt is a plus athlete with a big man’s frame who could be considered at guard or tackle. Inconsistent footwork and pad level are the primary culprits when he fails to win the rep, but there aren’t any physical limitations that should prevent him from improving in both areas. Pass protection traits are present but getting the skill level up to par is going to take time. He’s a little raw but has the necessary talent to become a solid future starter at right tackle.

Strengths

  • Rare combination of bulk and athleticism
  • Carries weight on well-proportioned frame easily
  • Offers two-position experience at both guard and tackle
  • Ease of movement out of his stance and into it
  • Plus lateral scoot to make blocks a gap away
  • Looks to make a point with aggressive first contact
  • Works to sustain blocks on the second level and even beyond
  • Physical tools to become plus run blocker in all schemes
  • Possesses slide quickness to square half-man rushers
  • Able to recover and redirect rush past the edge
  • Hands are like clamps once they take root into defender’s frame

Weaknesses

  • Loses hand technique and placement when trying to mash down-blocks
  • Footwork is a little raw and undisciplined
  • Pass sets can turn into gallops with heels close together
  • Will need to incorporate more flat-footed punch for anchor
  • Gets caught leaning with nose over toes at times
  • Hands land high and ride up and off the frame
  • Can bend but allows pad level to creep up tall during the rep
  • Instinctive reactions to unexpected moves is below average

 

#2 NETANE MUTI

FRESNO STATE

6’3” 315

Overview

Thick-boned guard prospect with heavy hands, booming upper body power and a limited amount of game reps due to a series of serious injuries. Muti plays a heavy, static brand of football that succeeds near his stance, but sees steeply diminishing returns when asked to venture from his home base. His hands and feet fail to cooperate, creating inconsistent balance and body control. He has adequate hands and feet for pass protection duties inside, but needs to upgrade his footwork. Muti has future starter potential for a downhill team, but his history of injuries could make buying in difficult on his draft slotting.

Strengths

  • Looks the part of NFL-level guard
  • Thick-boned with excellent mass throughout his frame
  • Bulldozing upper body strength
  • Uproots opponent’s anchor when drive blocking
  • Booming knock-back power off the snap
  • Maintains ability to pop through first block and into second
  • Efficient inside hands to the frame in pass pro
  • Punches with very heavy hands
  • Grip strength to latch and hang on through engagement
  • Not a great bender, but still anchors against bull rush

Weaknesses

  • Played just 19 total games over four years due to major injuries
  • Initial footwork can be a little scattered and undisciplined
  • Turns feet out after stance and sits down heavily
  • Lethargic and limited as pull blocker
  • Needs to control forward lean in pass pro and on positional blocks
  • Body control through sustain can become ragged
  • Upper body and lower body lack cohesion
  • Extra wide pass pro base diminishes balance and recovery
  • Will struggle against sub-package quickness and rush counters

 

 

#3 JOHN SIMPSON

CLEMSON

6’4” 321

Overview

Broad, well-built snowplow of a guard with the traits and power to turn a crease into a full-fledged running lane. Teams looking to add physicality up front will covet Simpson, but keep in mind he was plenty effective with scoop blocks, pulls, second-level climbs and even screen blocking, which shows the big man can move. Tardiness coming out of his stance and issues changing direction in pass protection are concerns that may not be easily fixed and could lead to matchup-based inconsistencies. However, he plays with good technique and has the tools to become an early starter and a good NFL guard.

Strengths

  • Very big and very strong
  • Prototypical muscle mass and proportional frame for interior lineman
  • Core strength and body composure through contact stand out
  • Accelerates into first contact, creating heavy thud
  • Resets hands and hips to dig out of poorly leveraged positioning
  • Always has eyes on linebacker during work-up blocks
  • Transitions from first to second blocks with timing and surprising accuracy
  • Difficult to bull-rush
  • Unlocks hips and anchors down when challenged
  • Has length and pop in hands to stymie basic interior rush plans
  • Athletic enough to get into space on screen passes

Weaknesses

  • Usually one of the last ones out of his stance
  • Slow starts allow for head-starts from upfield three-techniques
  • Inconsistent bringing feet with him in base blocks
  • Plays with occasional lunging when forced to work on the move
  • Way too many holding and false start penalties
  • Inconsistent angles up to second level
  • Wide rush angles challenge his protection range
  • Slow to reignite feet for redirection against twists and counters

 

#4 DAMIEN LEWIS

LSU

6’2” 327

Overview

The run-blocking tape shows a forklift dressed as a right guard with the power and leverage to move some of the best interior defenders in the conference. The pass-blocking tape shows a heavy-footed guard who lacks length and lateral quickness to hold up if asked to block on an island. Lewis needs to play for a team heavy into gap and inside-zone concepts. He can hold his own against bull rushers but will struggle to move and recover against moving pieces in pass protection. He’s a one-position prospect who lacks height/length but he’s a plus run blocker who should outperform his draft slotting.

Strengths

  • Girthy without carrying around a bunch of bad weight
  • Play is always measured and controlled
  • Wide base with expansive power zone
  • Uses strong hands to gather, center and secure opponents
  • Leverages hips into block and rolls into four-wheel drive
  • Bulldozing down blocker
  • Held his own against Raekwon Davis and Derrick Brown
  • Isn’t going to be bull-rushed
  • Looks for work when uncovered as rusher

Weaknesses

  • Sawed-off frame missing length teams look for
  • Lacks athletic ability for outside zone or long pulls
  • Plays with outside hands that open him to NFL length
  • Limited quickness for climb-up blocks
  • Could have issues adjusting to moving second-level targets
  • Slow to reset feet when rushers get to his edge
  • Below-average slide quickness leads to mirror deficiencies
  • Needs earlier awareness of games/blitzers

 

#5 SHANE LEMIEUX

OREGON

6’4” 310

Overview

Barrel-chested grinder with the toughness and power to play brute ball in the trenches. Lemieux is well-known for his toughness and intelligence. He’s an experienced, well-schooled guard. He’s athletic enough to perform in a variety of run schemes, but does his best work with combo blocks and double teams. Against NFL interior athletes, he will find it tougher to keep blocks centered and sustained. He should be OK as a run blocker early on, but his issues in pass protection might not be quickly fixed and could push him into the “good backup, eventual starter” category.

Strengths

  • Well-proportioned with broad chest
  • Prototype of a physical, blue-collar guard
  • Team leader who leads by example
  • Choppy settle steps ignite powerful charges into contact
  • Brings his knockback power at impact
  • As drive blocker, looks to push and sustain well beyond point of attack
  • Uses upper-body strength to wrestle into favorable positioning
  • Climbs up and smacks take-on linebackers with good jolt
  • Works hard to mirror and slide with rushers
  • Will reset hands and regain positioning against rush counters
  • Has some recovery ability in pass pro

Weaknesses

  • Arms are somewhat stubby for his size
  • Pad level could be more consistent
  • Takes time to run his feet under his hands
  • Lacks lateral movement qualities to get to reach blocks consistently
  • Base gets too wide in pass sets
  • Punch placement can be erratic and off-target
  • Over-sets against rush happy 3-techniques opening inside counter
  • Gets gamed out of position by twists

 

#6 SOLOMON KINDLEY

GEORGIA

6’3” 337

Overview

Nasty guard who lives in scrap mode, looking for fights inside a relatively small phone booth where he’s most comfortable. Kindley has the frame of a powerful guard, but doesn’t bend well enough to generate leverage and push at the point of attack. He’s a mauler with enough finesse to get to some reach and cut-off blocks, but faces scheme limitations. Slide quickness is limited and his tendency to lunge allows rushers to work around his edge earlier than teams like. The size and toughness are great, but Kindley needs to play with better control and technique in order to become an average NFL backup.

Strengths

  • Wide frame from chest to ankles
  • Plays with nasty disposition
  • Seems to get into defender’s heads at least once per game
  • Hustles into cut-off positioning from back-side
  • Consistent sliding feet around target to wall-off after engagement
  • Power in hips and upper body to torque opponent off-balance
  • Feet are a little more nimble than expected
  • Adequate pop in hands in pass pro
  • Hung in against South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw’s power rush

Weaknesses

  • Helmet comes before hands into first contact
  • Dips and strikes with headgear as weapon
  • Poor knee bend to leverage and root out double-team blocks
  • Struggles to keep blocks centered
  • Below-average acceleration into block fits
  • Wide base in pass pro opens him to counters
  • Quickness to mirror and keep the rush in front of him is an issue
  • Lunges toward rusher rather than sliding his feet
  • Below-average reactive athleticism to catch loopers on twists

 

#7 BEN BREDESON

MICHIGAN

6’5” 315

Overview

Four-year starter who will get dinged for some athletic limitations, but possesses the body type, leadership and toughness necessary to play in the league. Bredeson is best-suited firing out in a power-based rushing attacking where his disadvantages in space can be mitigated. There are correctable elements in his game that should forge continued improvement, but there will be some bumpy roads against interior quickness. He should become an average starter.

Strengths

  • Burly with broad shoulders and an NFL guard’s frame
  • Peppery pass punch to stun defender
  • Sharp to snap and catch in response to twists
  • Looks for work when he’s uncovered
  • Maintains base width and generally on-balance in pass sets
  • Rugged mentality will appeal to O-line coaches
  • Plays with adequate bend in hips, knees and ankles
  • Able to unlock hips and create leverage in run game
  • Can match power across from him as drive blocker
  • Two-time team captain and highly regarded by teammates

Weaknesses

  • Athletic limitations limit his scheme flexibility
  • Below-average initial quickness
  • Effectiveness diminishes away from his phone booth
  • Heavy feet hinder lateral movements and second level climbs
  • Will struggle redirecting and adjusting to moving targets in space
  • Needs more accurate hand placement to improve block sustain
  • Room for improvement with anchor technique in pass sets
  • Could struggle to handle NFL rush counters

 

#8 LOGAN STENBERG

KENTUCKY

6’6” 317

Overview

Scrappy, blue-collar guard who plays an assignment-oriented, dependable brand of football. Stenberg is lacking in both body composition and pure play strength and is much better at the first two phases of the block than the finishing phase. He’s smart and aware in pass protection, with adequate recovery athleticism to battle edge-to-edge rushers. He should be a capable NFL backup who can step in and hold up if he’s asked to step in and start.

Strengths

  • Understands what his assignment is on every play
  • Workman-like in his fundamentals and approach
  • Uses grip strength and determination for additional block sustain
  • Has feisty field demeanor and plays with edge
  • Works with footwork and strain on double teams
  • Good awareness and set-up to snap and catch twisting defenders
  • Tight-stiff punch with adequate accuracy
  • Works hard at improving position post-contact
  • Played with better body control in 2019

Weaknesses

  • Below-average build with shorter arms
  • Narrow back and chest
  • Looks to get away with excessive sneak-holds
  • High center of gravity diminishes ability to move defenders
  • Lacks upper-body strength to steer and secure consistently
  • Average hand quickness into first contact
  • Uses forward lean to aid against bull rush
  • Could struggle to protect his edge in pass pro

 

#9 CALVIN THROCKMORTON

OREGON

6’5” 317

Overview

Well-built tackle-to-guard prospect with very good core strength and displacement power in his upper body. The problem for Throckmorton is that for all his contact balance and diligence to play under control, his lower body stiffness and lack of functional quickness permeates his play in both the run and pass and will be much more pronounced on an NFL offensive line. The technique and quality of play is draft-worthy but physical limitations might make him no better than a replaceable backup.

Strengths

  • Four-year starter on decorated offensive line
  • Strong and tough
  • Very smart, according to scouts
  • Starting experience at guard, tackle and center
  • Understands physical limitations and plays with good body efficiency
  • Uses choppy controlled steps in climb up to second level
  • Absorbs contact and maintains his balance
  • Smart angles to linebackers help mitigate lack of foot speed
  • Upper-body strength dislodges edge-setters

Weaknesses

  • Arm length is below average
  • Lacks length and slide quickness to pass protect as NFL tackle
  • Plays with stiffness in knees and hips
  • Straight-legged pass sets get him bounced back into pocket
  • Could struggle with pad level for running game as NFL guard
  • Reaches and cutoffs could have high failure rate
  • Movement and adjustments are heavy and stiff in space
  • Unable to consistently sustain due to lack of length and bend
  • Strong, but power base is not very wide

 

#10 KEVIN DOTSON

LOUISIANA

6’4” 310

– Four year starter
– Named First Team, AP All-American senior season, first Rajun Cajun to ever receive that honor
– Family of athletes, dad played football at ULL, two uncles played in the NFL (Alvin McKinley was a DT for Cleveland in early 2000s, same time as Keith Butler served as coach) and mother ran track at McNeese State
– Two-star prospect who had only four offers coming out of HS (played in Wing T offense there)

STRENGTHS:

– Thick body with large lower half and good length for frame (33 inch arms)
– Mauling, punishing run blocker, borderline elite, tons of functional strength
– Ability to pancake defenders, washes them out of gaps and generates a ton of movement on his first level blocks
– Great leg drive and finish, understands leverage and angles, shows strain and finishes blocks to the whistle
– Good hand fighter with a powerful punch in pass protection, exhibits excellent grip strength who locks on when he keeps his hands inside
– Finds work in pass protection when uncovered and isn’t passive in pass pro
– Big frame makes it hard to get around him in pass protection
– Elite starting experience with solid production and career accolades
– Good NFL bloodlines

WEAKNESSES:

Not a great athlete who gets exposed in space, will miss target in second level in the run game
– Aggressive pass set, desire to be physical works both ways, tends to lunge and can double over at the waist, needs to maintain his base with more consistency
– Will struggle laterally and get beat by counters and inside rushes
– Not a super effective cut blocker
– Seemingly position limited and played only one spot