The pool of interior line talent available in the 2014 NFL Draft may not be as deep as other positions; however, the headliners of that group are top-tier. This group includes a late-bloomer from Palo Alto, a pro-ready Bruin, an agile mauler from the SEC, and a Razorback with great durability.
David Yankey, G/OT, Stanford Height: 6-5. Weight: 311.
A late bloomer to the offensive line, Yankey has been the first true freshman offensive lineman to see action for the Cardinal since 2000. After missing the remainder of his freshman year to injury, Yankey returned to start 40 games the last three years. He can play both left guard and left tackle, although his balance, agility, and toughness project him to be a guard at the next level. Yankey has great movement, dexterity, and mobility to go along with his natural strength.
Projected pick: #26 Cleveland Browns
Xavier Su'a-Filo**, G, UCLA Height: 6-5. Weight: 315.
Su’a-Filo was considered by many to be the most experienced and pro-ready member of UCLA’s offensive line this past year. Su’a-Filo’s impressive upper-body strength helps him to gain the initial advantage on opposing defenders. He has a good initial burst off the line and his core strength and flexibility helps him anchor himself against bull-rushes. He has shown very good lateral acceleration and balance in the pass game. Su’a-Filo has the athleticism to fit into both a power-rush scheme as well as a zone-blocking scheme.
Projected pick: #32 Seattle Seahawks
Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State, Height: 6-3. Weight: 339.
Jackson possesses the physical skills that NFL scouts are looking for in an offensive lineman. His size and surprising hustle will intrigue NFL teams running a zone-blocking scheme. Jackson takes immense pride in tossing opposing defenders like rag dolls as well as pancaking them. He is good at absorbing bull rushes and rarely surrenders more than two steps before he is able to reset himself. Jackson is quick off the line and is able to accelerate quickly to achieve full speed on pulling plays.
Projected pick: #66 Washington Redskins
Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas Height: 6-5. Weight: 310.
By starting all 50 games, consecutively, in his collegiate career, Swanson showed amazing durability. He has been the only player to do so in the history of the Razorback’s football program. He was named team captain for both his Junior and Senior seasons. Swanson has the awareness needed to make the correct line calls and has good explosiveness in his snaps. He anchors well against opposing defenders and has shown he is more than capable when it comes to sealing off defenders on rushing plays.
Projected pick: #45 Detroit Lions
While the choices are few, they are all top-tier. Teams with interior offensive line needs should easily find a good fit at this year's draft.
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