Draft 2019: Top 5 Offensive Linemen
This year’s offensive lineman class for the 2019 draft features some high caliber players but also contains several talented players that will likely be drafted in the later rounds. The top five offensive linemen in this year’s class are as follows:
Jonah Williams, Alabama
Jonah Williams is clearly the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft and will likely be a top 10 pick. Despite his lack of strength and speed, Williams is well-known for his awareness and ability to react quickly. Those characteristics are difficult to teach, which will make Williams one of the first players to be drafted.
Willaims' unique abilities were evident in the 2019 National Championship against Clemson, as he dominated a defensive line that featured several first-round players. He is NFL-ready and has the ability to play across the offensive line, however, he will most likely play tackle.
Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Jawaan Taylor is one of the biggest linemen in this year’s draft and can easily be the first lineman to be picked. The 6 foot 5, 312-pound tackle is not athletic enough to play on the inside of the line and he has some issues blocking speedy pass rushers, however, his strength and durability will make him one of the top players in the draft.
Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Cody Ford is one of the most versatile linemen in this year’s draft and is projected to be picked in the first round. Ford played guard for the beginning of his college career but the team moved him to tackle after the departure of Orlando Brown to the draft.
Ford lost 15 pounds and became much more athletic while playing tackle. On the downside, his inability to run block and remain balanced will force him to slide in the second half of the first round.
Andre Dillard, Washington State
Andre Dillard is arguably the best pass blocker in this year’s draft, as he protected star quarterback Gardner Minshew’s blind side in every game last year. His intelligence allowed him to start all four years while playing for head coach Mike Leach, which will make him a late first-rounder or early second-rounder. The only concern with Dillard is his inexperience blocking the run because of Washington State’s unique air raid offense.
Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Dalton Risner is another versatile offensive lineman, having started 13 games at center during his redshirt freshman year and then moved to right tackle the following year. Shoulder surgery limited his 2018 campaign, but Risner proved to be one of the best lineman early in his career.
Risner must prove he can block speedy pass rushers in the NFL, but he can move to center as a failsafe option. He is consistent on each play but must prove he can continue to block talented players.
Matthew White is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism with a double minor in Spanish and Business. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.