2012 NFL Draft: Ranking the 10 Best Offensive Linemen
The 2012 NFL draft is loaded with quality players along the offensive line, but there are 10 players who stand out above all the rest.
This year's draft class is a very diverse group that features another potential All-Pro tackle in Matt Kalil, one of the best guard prospects ever in David DeCastro and an elite athletic center in Peter Konz.
With the first round of the draft only hours away, let's take a look at the 10 best offensive line prospects.
10. Kelechi Osemele, G/OT, Iowa State
40 Time: 5.36
Projected Round: 2
Kelechi Osemele is a prospect who has a ton of upside.
Osemele played left tackle at Iowa State, but he has the skill set to move to guard or right tackle. The Iowa State prospect will be a project if he stays at the left tackle position because of his poor footwork. I project that a team with a need for a guard in the second round will draft Osemele.
Osemele is extremely athletic for his size, and he specializes in run blocking, which are two key skill sets that every successful guard in the NFL needs.
9. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
40 Time: 5.40
10-Yd Split: 1.84
Projected Round: 1-2
Mike Adams really hurt himself at the combine after he tested positive for marijuana and had an extremely low number of bench press reps (19).
Many scouts are questioning his work ethic after he failed to improve on that number at his pro day, but he still has the potential of being drafted at the end of the first round.
Adams is a much better run-blocker than he is a pass-blocker, which may entice some teams to move him over to the right tackle position.
8. Amini Silatolu, G/T, Midwestern State
40 Time: 5.43
Projected Round: 1-2
Amini Silatolu is a very intriguing prospect.
The tackle hails from tiny Midwestern State—but don't take him lightly.
Silatolu is a strong prospect who's an excellent run-blocker, attacks defenders and finishes plays. Pass blocking is certainly not his strong suit, but that is something he can pick up with experience.
It's hard to imagine Silatolu playing tackle at the next level, which is why I have the Division II prospect going to the 49ers with the 30th overall selection.
He would join an already great group of offensive linemen, and he would be able to compete for Adam Snyder's vacant spot at right guard.
7. Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
40 Time: 5.39
10-Yd Split: 1.75
Projected Round (2012): 1-2
Kevin Zeitler was one of the main reasons for the success of the Wisconsin offense.
The senior did a fabulous job paving running lanes for stud running back Monte Ball, and he also did a great job at pass protecting for Russell Wilson.
Zeitler is a lot more athletic than most scouts give him credit for, as he does a great job of getting to the second level.
The guard also played very well against the Big Ten's toughest competition, which included Penn State's Devon Still and Michigan State's Jerel Worthy.
6. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Projected 40 Time: 5.18
Projected Round: 1
Jonathan Martin was projected as a potential top-10 pick before the 2011 season started, but he was inconsistent at times in the pass-protection department last season.
Martin still projects as a first-round pick, and I could certainly see him falling to the New York Giants at No. 32.
Martin would be able to immediately improve the league's worst rushing offense of 2011 while providing above-average pass protection.
5. Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
40 Time: 5.15
10-Yd Split: 1.76
Projected Round: 1
Cordy Glenn really improved his draft stock at the NFL combine.
The guard showed off his strength will 31 bench press reps. He was even more impressive on the track as he displayed his excellent speed and quick bursts with a 5.15 40-yard dash time.
Glenn continually went up against the nation's top competition, and he was very consistent towards the end of the season after a rough start.
Glenn will be drafted as a guard at the next level.
4. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Projected 40 Time: 5.58
Projected Round (2012): 1
Peter Konz was the anchor of one of the nation's best offensive lines in 2011.
The prospect is the best center in this year's class, and he could go as high as the mid-20s in this year's draft. His combine performance certainly hurt him after a mere 18 bench press reps, but scouts remained impressed as they looked at game film.
Konz played well against top competition, and he's an excellent run-blocker who does a great job at sealing and getting to the second level.
3. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
40 Time: 5.23
10-Yd Split: 1.71
Projected Round: top 25
Riley Reiff is a very balanced offensive lineman who has the ability to execute at a high level in both the running and passing games at the next level.
Reiff's stock fell quite a bit after a disappointing showing at the combine, but he will still be a top-25 pick. The tackle is the second-best prospect at his position in this year's draft, which may cause a team to take him earlier that his value suggests.
A team like the Arizona Cardinals at pick No. 13 makes the most sense.
2. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
40 Time: 5.43
10-Yd Split: 1.82
Projected Round: top 15
David DeCastro is the best guard prospect that we've seen in years.
The guard had an excellent scouting combine, and he was even more impressive on the football field. DeCastro is a great pass-blocker, but he may be an even better run-blocker.
The Cardinal took advantage of his athleticism by pulling him out on sweep plays and allowing him to get to the second level of the defense.
The Kansas City Chiefs appear to be the team for DeCastro at the 11th pick.
1. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
40 Time: 4.99
10-Yd Split: 1.70
Projected Round: top five
Matt Kalil is everything that you want out of a franchise left tackle.
Kalil was a dominant pass-blocker who has the size, strength and athleticism to become one of the league's best for many years to come.
Kalil had a great showing at the combine as well, after he benched 30 reps of 225 and ran a sub-five-second 40-yard dash.
The Southern California product should be drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.
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