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NFL Combine: Scouting the Offensive Linemen

Posted Feb 23, 2013

An in-depth analysis of the offensive linemen who worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine.


Ricky Henne’s Take: It’s easy to see why the offensive line is considered by many pundits to be one of the deepest positions in this year’s draft class.  The first thing that stood out to me was the athleticism of this unit.  A record number of six linemen posted sub-5.0 times, led by Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead (4.71) and Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson (4.72).   The unit also showed good strength, with 11 players besting 30 reps on the bench press.  In the drills specifically designed for the offensive line, I was extremely impressed by Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher.  Before the Senior Bowl, he was projected as a mid-first round talent.  Now, his stock is sky-rocketing.  A few NFL experts I spoke to here said they see him being a potential top-5 pick, and based on what I watched out of him on the field today, I wouldn’t argue with that.  I was most impressed by his feet, which are extremely nimble for a 6-foot-7, 306-pounder. Lane Johnson was also another standout, ranking near the top in nearly every metric.  But even ignoring those noteworthy stats, Johnson wowed me in individual drills with his quickness and high motor. Another player that impressed me was Alabama’s Chance Warmack, who some consider the best pure player in this year’s draft. Even though he posted a lackluster 40 time of 5.49, I was a few yards away in the stands when he did his broad jump.  Even though that is a skill not usually associated with a guard, the number one thing I noticed was the power he generated from a standing position.  He absolutely exploded off the line for 110.0 inches, the seventh highest for a lineman.

Ryan Schuler’s Take: The theme of the day for the offensive linemen was athleticism. And the prospects did not disappoint.  Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher, Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack and Texas A&M’s offensive tackle Luke Joeckel confirmed their projected spots as the top offensive linemen available in April’s NFL Draft with their performances on Saturday, but several prospects stuck out in my mind.  The top story coming out of the offensive linemen group is the 4.71 40-yard dash run by University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead. His time is the fastest official time ever recorded by an offensive lineman at the Combine. Armstead is as athletic as they come and in my mind will likely see himself taken on Day 2. Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson was not far off the all-time mark with a time of 4.72 seconds officially and a vertical leap of 34 inches. Johnson, the No. 3 rated offensive tackle by NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, is predicted to go in the top 15 and could be selected by the San Diego Chargers at No. 11. Yet, the player that stuck out most in my mind was North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper. Rated the No. 2 offensive guard behind Warmack by Mayock, Cooper looked the most fluid during shuffling drills, keeping his hips low and moving side to side and back and forth without struggle. Cooper posted the 10th fastest time in the 40-yard dash with a time of 5.07 seconds, very impressive for an offensive lineman, and 35 repetitions in the bench press, tied for second most in the group. 

CLICK HERE FOR TOP PHOTOS OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE PROSPECTS WORKING OUT

TOP FIVE PERFORMANCES

40-yard Dash
1. Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 4.71
2. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma – 4.72
3. Kyle Long, Oregon – 4.94
T-4. Alvin Bailey, Arkansas – 4.95
T-4. Vinston Painter, Virginia Tech – 4.95

Bench Press
1. Eric Herman, Ohio - 36
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina - 35
3. Lamar Mady, Youngstown St. - 35
4. Reid Fragel, Ohio St. - 33
T-5. Zach Allen, N.C. State - 32
T-5. T.J. Johnson, South Carolina - 32
T-5. Vinston Painter, Virginia Tech - 32

Vertical Jump
1. Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 34.5
2. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma – 34.0
3. Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin – 31.5
4. Vinston Painter, Virginia Tech – 30.5
T-5. Reid Fragel, Ohio St. – 30.0
T-5. Garrett Gilkey, Chadron St. – 30.0
T-5. Earl Watford, James Madison – 30.0

Broad Jump
1. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma – 118.0
2. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan – 116.0
3. Reid Fragel, Ohio State – 113.0
T-4.Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 112.0
T-4. Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas – 112.0
T-4.David Quessenberry, San Jose St. – 112.0

3-Cone Drill
1. Jeff Baca, UCLA – 7.26
2. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma – 7.31
3. Brian Schwenke, California – 7.31
4. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M – 7.40
5. Braden Brown, BYU – 7.43


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