Nyck Grayson, February 28th, 2017:
Back again with more Combine preview, this year’s selection of Offensive Linemen have been largely criticized as a weak class, having fewer first round no brainers than past classes. Although that may be true in comparison to other position groups there are a handful of solid line talent nonetheless:
Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6’6 297lbs (T)
The Given: Ryan Ramczyk is my favorite prospect in this position. His story is one of great fascination, going from D2 ball to Community college to Madison, Wisconsin to reunite with Coach Paul Chryst; his former recruiter (when Chryst was at Pitt). Ramczyk is as versatile as they come in the zone and power run game showing great quickness within the second level. For someone who is generally inexperienced at the big time program level, his awareness and ability to spot shifts on the perimeter on impressive. Plays with a toughness and nastiness in the bowl game against Western Michigan playing through a hip injury.
The Unknown/Need to improve: Like stated earlier other than his Redshirt Junior campaign, he lacks experience against big time talent. Another indictment will be how can GMs and scouts truly grade his love for the game. He took a year off between his freshman and sophomore seasons and the iffy passion most certainly can be a turn off for those evaluating.
Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6’6 326lbs (T)
The Given: Robinson is one of those creatures you hear about when someone mentions anyone on the Alabama Crimson Tide roster. 6 feet 6 inches and north of 320lbs, Robinson moves with an outstanding amount of athleticism and quickness. Plays with a motor that can match just about any edge rusher when he wants to. Also displays a crazy amount of power at the point of attack.
The Unknown/Need to Improve: Consistency, is one thing i noticed a slight drop off in Robinson’s game. Watch the Texas A&M game against Myles Garrett and you see the top 10 potential in him; Watch the Tennessee game and you are thrown off by the difference in performance. Seems as though his play changes when playing EDGE Rushers with a variety of pass rush moves. Also MUST improve his issues with balance, has trouble keeping blocks alive while falling to the ground too often.
Ethan Pocic, LSU, 6’6 307lbs (G/C)
The Given: I like to call Pocic the “One-Stop-Shop” Offensive Lineman; has the size to genuinely play all five positions on the line. Decent experience at all five as well. What the team that drafts Pocic is getting in him is a true worker. Had a great week at the Senior Bowl, in one on one drills he held his own against all facets of pass rusher. When I watched him on film, I was impressed to see quickly he’d shoot his hands and how often they’d stay within the shoulders of the Defensive Linemen.
The Unknown/Need to Improve: Pocic has been labeled by many analysts as “not having top tier strength.” That would become problematic if a team has plans of moving him to Guard. Has to become more reliable in the running game; Sometimes due to his height loses his leverage from having too high of pad levels. Can he be great at one position or decent at all five?
Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky, 6’3 305lbs
The Given: Lamp is the guy in this group that can significantly help his case in being a top prospect by performing well at the combine this week. The Western Kentucky Guard is as fundamentally sound as this year provides. He’s shown good athleticism although his frame would suggest a lack in that department. Before his Senior Bowl week was cut short due to a high ankle sprain, Lamp showed nimble feet and quickness. A four year starter for a solid Conference USA championship team in Western Kentucky, Lamp has a solid individual resume to boast.
The Unknown/Need to Improve: The big question with Lamp is where to place him on the line. Built like an interior lineman, Lamp was a four year starter at Left Tackle. He will have to improve his ability to drive block interior defensive linemen. A good 40 yard dash time along with posting a gaudy bench press performance can improve Lamp’s draft stock.
Pat Elfein, Ohio State, 6’3 300lbs
The Given: Ohio State’s “Leader of the Line” and emotional captain of the team. Elfein displayed great work ethic and toughness in his two years as a starter of the Big Ten juggernaut. Elfein is an excellent run blocker and will make his money in this league as a mauler. The wrestling background he has allows him to play with elite level leverage. Plays with strength on top and bottom half of his frame.
The Unknown/Need to Improve: Where Elfein excels at in run blocking he lacks in pass protection. Doesn’t have the most nimble feet which will hurt him when facing the more athletic interior defensive linemen. A move to Center permanently will be able to hide him from the freakishly athletic edge rushers but also limits his versatility when it comes to being evaluated.