Monthly Archives: December 2016

My Best Guards and Centers 2016

Guards:

1. Dan Feeney – Indiana: Feeney is finally a senior and he has probably been the best Offensive Guard in the country for the past 3 seasons. The man is just good at about 6-4, 310. Great at both run and pass blocking. This season he had some problems with injuries and missed a couple of games. Then, Indiana also had problems with injury to their Right Tackle and Feeney showed his talent by moving over to the Right Tackle position and showing well. I still believe he is the best Offensive Guard in the country.

2. Braden Smith – Auburn: Last season everyone was talking about Auburn Left Guard Alex Kozan, but I was more interested in Right Guard Braden Smith. He was not the bulkiest of Offensive Linemen last season, but this year he has grown to 6-6, 300. Smith just dominated Robert Nkemdiche last season and I even contacted draft experts to watch the footage of that game and see if you still think Nkemdiche was the top prospect in the country. Nkemdiche had some success against Kozan, but Smith destroyed him. Now, Smith has been noticed by the big guys.

3. Ben Braden – Michigan: Braden actually finished the 2016 season at Left Tackle because of injury to their starter Grant Newsome. Braden has excellent size at 6-6, 320 and excellent strength

and feet. Braden is also a physical specimen that doesn’t carry around a bunch of fat.

4. Dorian Johnson – Pittsburgh: Johnson is much like Braden, a very physical guy at 6-5, 315 and very little fat. He teams with Left Tackle Adam Bisnowaty to form a solid left side for the Panthers. Johnson is equally good in run blocking and pass protection.

5. Wyatt Teller – Virginia Tech: Watch the tape of the Clemson game and follow Teller up against Tiger true freshman sensation Dexter Lawrence. I liked Teller before that game, and I liked him much more after the game because Lawrence is Clemson’s 4th leading tackler as a Tackle and a true freshman. He is super talented, quick and tough and Teller more than held his own. Teller is 6-5, 310 and again much like Braden and Dorian Johnson. He’s a physical specimen that has great strength and feet.

6. Jason King – Purdue: Purdue is obviously a bad team, but that doesn’t mean every player on the squad is less than satisfactory. King is a tough 6-4, 310 guard with good quickness and strength. He is from Little Rock and apparently the home state Razorbacks passed on him. Purdue has had many problems and King is a senior so he will miss out on new coach Jeff Brohm.

7. Zach Bailey – South Carolina: Another really physical guy that stands 6-6, 310 as a sophomore this past season. He’s a very physical and quick talent with a bright future.

8. Viane Talamaivao – USC: At 6-2, 315, Talamaivao is different than most everyone else on this list and he looks really short playing right next to 6-9, 360 Right Tackle. Talamaivao has started for 3 seasons for the Trojans and he has plenty of experience. He has plenty of quickness, nice feet, strength and a mean streak.

9. Quenton Nelson – Notre Dame: Yes, the Fighting Irish had a terrible season. But, Nelson is still a good player. At 6-5, 325, Nelson is one of the more impressively built Offensive Guards in the nation and he is very good as a run blocker and a pass blocker. He has great feet and great quickness.

10. Maea Teuhema – LSU: As a Guard, the giant Teuhema is a beast and a road grader. The Tigers

used him at Tackle some and as a Tackle, he looked like a Guard. He is listed at 6-5, 315. Teuhema was 325 as a true freshman and a freshman All American at Left Guard and then they started moving him all over the place.

11.Damian Mama – USC: Besides being on the All Name team, Mama is a talented Offensive Guard that came in with Talamaivao and started immediately as a freshman in 2014.

12. Billy Price – Ohio State: For several seasons, Price has been called the strongest player on the team. A 4th year junior, Price is 6-4, 315 and has improved steadily over the past 3 seasons. He has played along side steady Rimington award winner Pat Elfein for 3 season.

13. Freddie Tagaloa – Arizona: The Wildcats were awful this past season, and part of that may have been injuries. Tagaloa might not be the best Offensive Guard in the country right now, but his potential is off the charts. He is huge guy at 6-8, 315 and very strong. He is rough around the edges

right now and as a senior he is out of time on the college level.

14. Augie Conte – Virginia Tech: I love both Virginia Tech Guards and Conte earned more post season honors than teammate Wyatt Teller. Conte is 6-6, 305 an he is an athletic Offensive Lineman.

15. Jashon Robertson – Tennessee: The Vols best Offensive Lineman in my opinion and a good run blocker. At 6-3, 305, he is almost small compared to some of these other guys. When on the field, he has been mostly consistent for the Volunteers.

16. Nate Herbig – Stanford: True freshman Offensive Guard that helped stabilize the new Stanford Offensive Line after a rough start. A giant of a man at 6-4, 350 from Kalaheo, Hawaii, with a tremendously bright future. He’s a road grader as a Guard blocking for Christian McCaffrey.

Jake Eldronkamp – Washington

Alex Kozan – Auburn

Tim Lynott – Colorado

Martez Ivey – Florida

Hjalte Froholdt – Arkansas

Josh Boutte – LSU

Alex Bookser – Pittsburgh

Centers:

1. Ethan Pocic – LSU: I like his size and his quickness at Center. Pocic, from Lemont, Illinois, is 6-7. 305 and has been a two year starter at Center after moving from Right Guard where he started as a sophomore.

2. Pat Elfein – Ohio State: Elfein won the Rimington Award as the nation’s top Center, but he only

played there one season. Elfein was a two year starter at Right Guard for the Buckeyes and an All Conference player there before being moved to Center. At 6-3, 300, Elfein is a good run blocker, but he’s also a good all around player.

3. Michael Dieter – Wisconsin: When last year’s Center, Dan Voltz, went down to injury, redshirt freshman Michael Dieter came in and was very impressive. He possesses excellent strength, smarts and quickness and at 6-6, 325, Dieter is the typical Wisconsin Offensive Lineman. Obviously, he’s a great run blocker playing in the trenches for the Badgers.

4. Nico Falah – USC: Quarterbacks get all of the credit and sometimes deservedly so. Sam Darnold gets most of the attention when the talk comes of the improvement at USC as the season progressed. But, Nico Falah becoming a fixture up front was also helpful in the Trojan turnaround. Falah is the new kid on the block up front for USC surrounded by long term starters. He’s 6-4, 280 with excellent quickness.

5. Frank Ragnow – Arkansas: It seems like Ragnow has started forever, but he was still only a junior in 2016. In recent seasons, the Razorbacks have had a big, physical Offensive Line and this year was another huge group led by the 6-5, 320 Minnesota native at Center.

6. Jay Guillermo – Clemson: The Clemson Tigers had a beast at Center in 2015, but he was a senior and lost to injury early on. Guillermo took over and led the Tiger Offensive Line through an

undefeated regular season and making it as far as the national title game against Alabama.

7. Tyler Orlosky – West Virginia: Not as big as some on this list, but he’s still 6-4, 295 and one of the nation’s best Centers. He started a few games during his freshman season and every year after that.

8. Jon Toth – Kentucky: Very consistent 6-5, 310 Center for the Wildcats and he’s a big reason for Kentucky finishing 7-5 and earning a bowl bid for the first time under Mark Stoops.

9. Alex Officer – Pittsburgh: One of the nation’s better Offensive Lines in 2016. Officer is a huge Center with his 6-4, 335 body. Officer started his Pitt career at Center, but he moved to Guard in 2015. He was back at Center for this year.

10. Austin Golson – Auburn: Golson started off at Ole Miss, but transferred to Auburn. He had to sit out 2014 because of the transfer, but he started at Center in 2015 and again this past season. He is 6-5- 315 and a talented player.

Nick Nowakowski – Utah

Freddie Burden – Georgia Tech

Brandon Kublanow – Georgia