When you have a young quarterback, it’s incredibly important to have a stout offensive line. Especially when you have a pocket passer with limited mobility like Mac Jones – it’s crucial to keep him upright as often as possible.
Will the Patriots improve this position group in the draft? I sure hope so, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m looking at the top prospects in each position group leading up to Thursday – and today we’re going through the offensive lineman. Check out all of our pre-draft content HERE:
As you know, our partners at BetOnline.ag have draft position bets posted for all of the top prospects. Below I take a look at the top offensive linemen in this years draft, and give my pick on where they’ll be drafted:
Evan Neal Draft Position
The Scoop: Evan Neal had been the consensus number one overall pick for quite a while before the Jaguars franchise tagged OT Cam Robinson. The Alabama product paved the way for Heisman winner Bryce Young and the powerful Crimson Tide offense in 2021, and is going to make an organization very happy on Thursday night. I still think there’s a chance Jacksonville takes him at 1, and I highly doubt he falls out of the top six.
The Pick: UNDER 6
Ikem Ekwonu Draft Position
College: NC State
The Scoop: Another reason why Evan Neal fell down draft boards was due to the rise of Ickey Ekwonu. Ekwonu is a 6’4″, 320-pound tank who can play up and down the offensive line and wreak havoc as both a run and a pass blocker. My gut still tells me Neal goes before him, so I’d take OVER 4.5. It won’t be much farther down than that though.
The Pick: OVER 4.5
Trevor Penning Draft Position
College: Northern Iowa
The Scoop: The narrative around Trevor Penning has gone up and down over the course of draft season. Once a renowned pro prospect, Penning has slipped a little bit due to an average Senior Bowl showing and a deeper dive into his game tape. I still think he’s a first round pick due to his size and potential, but it’ll be in the back end of the first round.
The Pick: OVER 15.5
Tyler Linderbaum Draft Position
The Scoop: Tyler Linderbaum from Iowa is the second best interior lineman in this class. The 6’3″ 291-pound center can be an anchor in the middle, and his frame allows him to move up and down the line. The best interior lineman will be snatched up early, which will benefit Linderbaum. I like under 28.5.
The Pick: UNDER 28.5
Zion Johnson Draft Position
College: Boston College
The Scoop: The BEST interior lineman is Zion Johnson. The 2021 All-American guard from Boston College is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches, and is a surefire first round pick. He’ll go in the top 24 with ease on Thursday night.
The Pick: UNDER 24.5
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