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Top 10 Interior Offensive Linemen of the 2022 NFL Draft

Top 10 Interior Offensive Linemen of the 2022 NFL Draft

1) Tyler Linderbaum

Key Measurables: 6021, 296lbs, 31 1/8 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1 Sack allowed in 14 games

Best Trait: Reach-Blocking

Pro Comparison: Jason Kelce

Background:

Linderbaum was a US Army All-American and comes from a strong wrestling background which is very evident on film, the way he constantly replaces hands and fights to win leverage. Named to the team leadership group as 1 of 7 sophomores in 2020. He Redshirted his Freshman year, initially starting on the defensive side of the ball before converting to offense during that 2018 season and since, the 3-year starter who has started all 36 games, without missing one – an incredible feat for an Interior O-Lineman.

Projection: 

Linderbaum is the prototypical zone-blocking Centre and offers experience in a pro-style offense which will be attractive to NFL teams. He is a Round 1 pick, and is an immediate starting Center in the NFL with potential to earn honors if he plays up to potential.

Full Scouting Report

2) Kenyon Green

Key Measurables: 6037, 323lbs, 34 1/8 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1 Sacks and 2 Hits allowed in 12 games

Best Trait: Reach-Blocking

Pro Comparison: More Athletic Jon Feliciano

Background: 

Started all 35 games at Texas A&M, hasn’t missed a single game due to injury. Started at RG for his freshman year, then LG for the whole 2020 COVID-affected season, before playing all 4 OL positions except Centre in 2021.

Projection: 

Arm length is not conducive to playing OT as a long-term position, but he can fill in and be effective if required. Projects best on the interior where he can make best use of his broad frame and power against bigger defenders, especially in the run game. Year 1 starter at OG who could be a backup OT if required. Suits a wide-zone, play-action heavy offense. Projected Round 1 Pick.

Full Scouting Report

3) Zion Johnson

Key Measurables: 6025, 312lbs, 34 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1 Sack, 2 Hits Allowed, 1.7% Pressure Rate

Best Trait: Combo Blocks and Anchor

Pro Comparison: Kevin Zeitler

Background:

Leaves Boston College as a Grad Student after starting 30/36 games for Boston College, after transferring from Davidson College where he started 19/22 games at the FCS level. Played 2020 season at LT, but in his other 2 seasons as BC, played at LG where his play-style is suited to. Johnson won many accolades at Boston College: 2x All-ACC Academic honors, All-American Second team honors (2021), First team All-ACC (2021), Third team All-ACC (2020), Second team All-ACC (2019), First team All-PFL (2018).

Projection:

Johnson is a Round 1 OG who is made for the NFL, coming from a pro-style offense but would suit a gap-running scheme just as well as he does in a zone-blocking scheme. Has the body and the technique to develop into a long-term starter at IOL for years to come, especially if he maintains that mean streak to finish reps as well as he does. Took reps at Center at the Senior Bowl and will be interesting to see if he takes any more reps there with the team that drafts him as a development to his skillset – can also play to a competent level as an NFL OT if required.

Full Scouting Report

4) Cole Strange

Key Measurables: 6047, 307lbs, 33 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1 Sack allowed, 1.7% Pressure rate

Best Trait: Complete Run Blocker + Second Level Play

Pro Comparison: JC Tretter

Background:

Started 44/48 games for Chattanooga with starts at LT and C (where he took reps and impressed at the Senior Bowl), but primarily playing at LG. Spent 6 years at Chattanooga as a Super Senior and earned 4x All-American First Team Selections as well as All-Southern Conference selections and multiple Academic All-SoCon selections over the years. 

Projection:

A potential starter or great backup at OG or Center, showed a lot of promise at the Senior Bowl against bigger DL, answering some questions about his anchor. Great player for any zone blocking scheme and can play a role anywhere on the offensive line due to his versatility. NFL teams will look to add some weight onto his frame and try to get him to at least the league average weight for an OG. Likely a late Day 2 or Early Day 3 Pick.

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties

5) Luke Fortner

Key Measurables: 6041, 307lbs, 33 1/8 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 2 Sacks Allowed, 1.2% Pressure Rate

Best Trait: Burst/Explosiveness

Pro Comparison: Matt Skura

Background:

6th Year Graduate Student who started 36/55 games during his time with Kentucky. He achieved a backup role at LG in 2017 and broke through as a starter in the 2018 season. He then started every game he played from 2019 onwards and moved to RG in 2019 before switching between the OG spots in 2020, and then Centre in 2021 where he was a Team Captain and earned Second-Team All-SEC Honors.

Projection:

Kentucky’s scheme was a mixture of gap and zone runs and plays from shotgun and under-center, which aided the versatility of Fortner and his value as a useful piece for either system at the next level. Starting Guard or Centre at the next level in either gap or zone scheme (but zone seems to fit slightly better due to his reach blocking and lateral explosiveness). Has the frame to add weight to, but needs to maintain the current speed and explosiveness he possesses.

Full Scouting Report

6) Cam Jurgens

Key Measurables: 6027, 304lbs, 33 ½ Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 0 Sacks Allowed in 12 Games

Best Trait: Second Level Play

Pro Comparison: Garrett Bradbury

Background:

Senior who started 31/32 games in his 3 years as a starter at Nebraska after making the transition from TE in his redshirt freshman year. Won multiple accolades during his time at Nebraska (Third-Team All-Big Ten – 2021, Nebraska Offensive Lineman of the Year – 2021, Academic All-Big Ten (2021, 2020, 2019).

Projection:

Light in the pants and doubts over how much weight he can add to frame while maintaining his current level of athleticism, while still having the functional play strength to cope in the NFL. Jurgens projects best in a zone-blocking scheme, but could work well in a gap scheme too with some development. Solid Day 2 pick up with great value, potentially very early Day 3.

Full Scouting Report

7) Jamaree Salyer

Key Measurables: 6030, 321lbs, 33 5/8 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1 Sack Allowed, 1.5% Pressure Rate

Best Trait: Anchor

Pro Comparison: Quinton Spain

Background:

Salyer played 47/53 games during his time at Georgia (including 23 starts; 2 RT, 1 LG, 20 LT) and was a Second-Team All American and Second-Team All SEC in 2021. 

Projection:

Doesn’t have ideal length for an OT in the NFL and his game projects well on the interior OL with his stout build, strong anchor and punch being utilized a lot more. Potential starter as OG in Year 1 who can also serve as a backup swing tackle – likely Day 2 pick.

Full Scouting Report

8) Ed Ingram

Key Measurables: 6032, 307lbs, 33 5/8 

Notable 2021 Stats: 2 Sacks Allowed, 2.4% Pressure Rate

Best Trait: Pulling

Pro Comparison: Jonah Jackson

Background:

Ingram was a 4* OG from HS and ranked 11th OG in the country. Started 45/55 games during his time at LSU and earned Second-Team ALL-SEC Honors in 2021.

Projection:

He has a frame that appears capable of adding some weight if required. Ingram projects as an immediate backup with potential to be a starter at OG if he impresses early on – currently restricted to a gap running scheme as to play in a zone-blocking scheme would require a lot of work to improve footwork and being more explosive out of his stance to gain ground laterally.

Full Scouting Report

9) Cade Mays

Key Measurables: 6046, 311lbs, 34 1/8 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 1 Sack, 0 Hits Allowed in 10 Games

Best Trait: Explosive Down Block

Pro Comparison: Zach Fulton

Background:

Started his college career with Georgia, making 18 starts in 25 games across the OL before transferring to Tennessee for 2020 where he was an instant success. He started all 17 games (6 RG, 11 RT) during his career with the Volunteers, and was named to the 2018 SEC All-Freshman team and was a Freshman All-American. Also claimed Second Team All-SEC honors in 2021. 

Projection:

Most of his games are at RT, but he projects well on the interior OL where he gets more matchups against bigger rushers to have more favorable matchups in short sets. Initial backup projection, but a player you could win with, has versatility to cover across the OL which increases value but with development to contact balance and athletic ability could see him become a starter within 1 or 2 years.

Full Scouting Report

10) Dylan Parham

Key Measurables: 6025, 311lbs, 33 1/8 Arms

Notable 2021 Stats: 0 Sacks Allowed, 1.4% Pressure Rate

Best Trait: Frontside Seal Block

Pro Comparison: AJ Cann

Background:

Parham, a RS Senior who started all 51 games in which he played at Memphis with great versatility after playing 2 seasons at LG, 1 at RT and the most recent 2021 season at RG. Went to Memphis as a TE and converted to an OL during 2018 Spring drills. Earned First-Team All AAC award in 2021 and AAC All-Academic Team (2017-19).

Projection:

Building blocks are there for a developmental IOL pick, nice compactness with strike and footwork, good work in space and shows good instincts. Simply doesn’t make a lot of errors. Needs to add weight to his frame to compete as a starter at the next level. Day 3 Pick.

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties