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2021 NFL Draft Interior Offensive Line Rankings Re-Evaluated

As we move through the pro days and hear the noise of outlandish forty times and verticals through the roof, I have personally gone through and done more research on every position.

The Football Scout 365 Big Board

Don't forget to check out the full Football Scout 365 NFL Draft Big Board.

After Further Review NFL Draft Edition On YouTube

You can check out our Football Scout 365 After Further Review NFL Draft Edition on Youtube. We have five shows so far, three covering the QB position where I break down and connect the dots between player skillset and what the player displays on film in relation to such buzzwords like arm talent, arm angle, pocket presence etc.

Go To The NFL Draft Guide To View More Content by Clicking Here.

What I look for when evaluating an IOL.

For the most part, you scout all of the offensive line positions similarly with a few variations. Everything begins and ends with how a player moves, observing the prospect's first few steps when in pass pro, their athleticism and ability to get to an area to block in the run game, hand usage, and strength.

Pass Blocking

Some prospects are raw but athletic and need polish, vs. some who are very technical but lack strength or athleticism. As a pass blocker, how well does the lineman use his hands? Does he stick and move like a boxer with good footwork (punch defender). How does he handle a bull rush or players who use a wide array of hand combos to disengage? Where are his eyes? Is the prospect flat-footed at times or consistently on his toes?

Run Blocking

Can the prospect get a good push or move a defender? Can he leverage the defender with his size? Does he play with a good bend (bends at the knee, not at the waist)? When moving the defender, does he distribute his power from the legs up? Is the prospect's hand placement in the correct area (inside shoulders, thumbs are pointing up)? Does the player finish, and is he consistent in all of these critical areas?

Scheme Fit

The scheme fit matters; some guys are more comfortable in a zone-blocking scheme than, say a power, or gap scheme; some are good at both. Some are good with straight-up man blocking one on one; it varies with the run game as a general rule; Gap schemes are more effective if your offensive linemen are not physically as strong as the defensive linemen help deal with stunts and twists. Zone Schemes are great ways to feature a runner with great vision and punish fast-flowing linebackers.

2021 NFL Draft IOL Rankings

Okay, so let's dive into the IOL rankings;

1) USC IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker 6-4 300 lbs Potential Upside Player

Tucker is our top interior offensive lineman due to his versatility. He played tackle and guard while at USC; he excelled at both. He plays with good athleticism and shows good bend. He has the power to punch defenders back in the passing game, reset and punch again. He knows how to handle a bull-rushing defender and handles space well. As a run blocker, he gets good push and uses his lower body in combination with his punch to strike defenders and move them. He fits any scheme at the NFL level.

2) Ohio State IOL Wyatt Davis 6-4 310 lbs Potential Upside Player

Davis is a big, wide body who plays with a good bend, consistently maintaining his posture through contact and not losing leverage. His hands are consistently where they need to be, inside the defender's shoulders with palms in, thumbs up. He possesses good lateral ability in combination with his ability to get to the second level and attach to defenders in space. He fits any scheme and has the versatility to play on either side of the center. He is also as NFL-ready as it gets.

3) Alabama IOL Landon Dickerson 6-6 326 lbs Potential Upside Player

Dickerson is a versatile player; he has experience playing every position upfront. He settled in at the center position at Alabama, where he won the Rimington award in 2020 as the nation's top center. He possesses good strength as a blocker; he does not have great athleticism, which must be considered at the next level. He is a strong interior run blocker. He is an intelligent player who projects as a center in the NFL, with the ability to move to guard as needed. Outside of his strength, his ability to stay healthy might be where Dickerson runs into snags come draft day.

4) Oklahoma IOL Creed Humphrey 6-4 312 lbs Potential Upside Player

Humphrey is a wide specimen who plays with good leverage at the point of attack. He wins within the A gaps on the offensive line, which might be a limiting factor in his draft stock. He does exhibit good bend at the knees and shows good hand placement consistently. He has a lot of games under his belt, having started three years with the Sooners, so he brings a lot of experience to the NFL with him. He is functional enough to play in a zone, gap, or hybrid man style scheme at the NFL level and does possess NFL starter quality traits.

5) Ohio State IOL Josh Myers 6-5 312 lbs Potential Upside Player

Myers is not a versatile lineman like some of the other interior guys, but he can be adequate if needed to move into a position other than center. He is a wide-body, who is not overly athletic, wins with good lateral mobility. Still, his quickness needs to improve to become versatile enough to play another position on the offensive line when required. Though I have a lot of faith in Myers and what I have seen him do, it all boils down to his ability to continue developing.

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