NFL Draft 2017 - Interior Offensive Line

We're moving on to discuss guards and center now. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, so please share analysis, commentary and gifs of your favorite prospects in the comments section.

Jets Needs: Interior Offensive Line

With the departure of Nick Mangold, the Jets will likely turn to Wesley Johnson to be their starting center in 2017. It's a one-year audition for the unproven Johnson, who struggled initially but seemed to settle into the role in relief of Mangold.

The Jets are more settled at guard, having re-signed Brian Winters with James Carpenter under contract for a couple more seasons. Dakota Dozier has just a year left, but performed capably off the bench last year.

While the prevailing notion is that the Jets offensive line is a mess, they actually have some pretty good depth already, although they'd perhaps be in the market for a future starter either at center or to take over from Carpenter in a few years.

First round prospects

The best guard prospects to come out of this draft will likely be those offensive tackles that can't cope on the edge and end up getting moved inside. Several of the names from the offensive tackles review earlier could fall under that category, including Cam Robinson, Forrest Lamp and Dion Dawkins.

Ultimately, barring a reach by a team at the end of the first round, it seems unlikely any interior linemen will get selected until Friday.

If there's an outside candidate, it's perhaps Indiana's Dan Feeney, who is considered by many to be the best "pure" guard prospect in this draft, despite the fact he ironically ended up playing a handful of games at right tackle last year.

Even when he was playing tackle, you got a sense of the kind of things he will bring to the guard position:


Non-first rounders

It is even less likely that any of the top center prospects will hear their name called on Thursday, but Ohio State's Pat Elflein or LSU's Ethan Pocic could go as early as the second round. Arkansas center Frank Ragnow would have been a possible first rounder, but opted to stay in school.

Elflein has been seen as a potential Mangold replacement having also been a three-year starter and team captain at OSU. However, he's simply not the same caliber of prospect or athlete, struggling in pass protection in particular.

Pocic is tall for a center at 6'6" but has some good athleticism to get out in front of runs and screen passes:


Guards that could sneak into day two include Dorian Johnson from Pitt, Isaac Asiata from Utah and Miami's Danny Isidora.

Johnson was a key cog in a well-functioning Panthers running game over the past few years. He gets out in front of this play as he is able to extend his arms to drive the would-be tackler off his spot and prevent him from making a clean tackle:


Asiata has good size and power, lifting the bar 35 times at the combine, while Isidora is athletic and disciplined (only three penalties in the last two years). Both gave up four sacks last year though.

Jon Toth from Kentucky is one of the better centers that will be available in the mid-rounds, but he posted disappointing workout numbers at the combine and couldn't improve on them at his pro day.

Late round sleepers

Aside from a cool name, small-school prospect Jessamen Dunker from Tennessee State has some excellent athletic ability. He was previously recruited to Florida but transferred following some off-field issues. He's a little raw and will need to add some strength to be able to play at the pro level.

Three more potential late-round steals are Nico Siragusa from San Diego State, Fred Zerblis from Colorado State and Chase Roullier from Wyoming.

Siragusa and Zerblis are similar prospects; pulling guards who are consistent in the run game and reliable pass protectors. Here's Zerblis and his flowing locks on the move from right guard:


Roullier is a versatile player who seems to have good instincts and moves well. He does a textbook job of moving his man out of the middle:


Center Freddie Burden from Georgia Tech could be an option as undrafted free agent. Coming from the same program that produced Shaq Mason, Burden isn't as dominating in the running game as Mason, but he went the whole season without allowing a sack or hit in pass protection. Georgia Tech doesn't pass much out of their triple option offense, though.

Finally, TCU's Aviante Collins struggled at right tackle last year and is being projected as a guard, but he's arguably one of the best athletes in the draft, having run a 4.81 40-yard dash at 295 pounds at the combine, following that up with 34 bench press reps. Somebody will take him on the basis of this alone, although he could end up as a project defensive tackle or something.

Let's have your views in the comments! Who is overrated, who is underrated and who did we not mention that interests you?