2012 NFL Draft: The Most Interesting Offensive Line Prospects You've Never Heard of

Welcome back. If you just joined us today, please read this article here detailing our esteemed OL Coach's philosophy within his unit.

So now that we establish Cable's own modius operandi, it's time now to assess what how the front office scout OL prospects in the upcoming draft. After all, it's not to say Cable's opinion is unwarranted: For the past two drafts, the Seahawks have not hesitated in spending high picks on offensive lineman, even to the point where their first two picks in 2011 was James Carpenter, at left tackle, and John Moffit, a guard. As I constantly assess, Carroll and Schneider believe in setting the foundation before piling on impact players - a similar belief held by Cable.

With Russell Okung and Max Unger, the line seems set for the future - a possible notion that makes me believe that the FO won't invest more high-round picks into the line this year. In fact, I can't foresee the Seahawks touching David DeCastro, Riley Reiff, or even Matt Kalil at 12. John Schneider likes his picks, and more than likely he would use these targets as leverage to trade down - and maybe even possibly selecting one of the targets later on.

That's not to say the FO won't take any Offensive Lineman at all. The trio of Okung, Moffit and Carpenter all ended last year on IR, and the latter two are unlikely to start the season 100%. And while Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan were mostly serviceable as backups, keep in mind that it is because we have that depth that allowed our continued development in the trenches. If anything, the sign that four out of five starters on the line did not manage to play a full season for the 2nd consecutive year indicates that depth and experience is key to surviving the worst.

I also think that, as assistant head coach and a key innovator in the improvement of the offense last year, Pete and John values Tom's knack for finding and coaching up potential impact players.

In finding the little ticks and tidbits on previous Tom Cable draftees, I have found two very intriguing prospects that the FO would likely target next weekend. Both of them seem Cable-lian, and again, fit the very essence of what Cable wants in offensive linemen. Both are also very underrated and seemed destined for a low-round draft status, and we all know how that worked out for the past two years.

Let me introduce you to Ryan Miller of Colorado and Tyler Hendricks of Concordia.

At the very first glance, Ryan Miller looks suspiciously like Robert Gallery back when he was an 2nd overall draft bust. They're both 6'7, 325 pounds. They both possess the ability to play inside (right guard) and outside (right tackle). They both attended a mid-western university. Gallery won the Outland Trophy for best offensive lineman, and Miller was considered a candidate. So that pretty much makes Ryan Miller Robert Gallery right?

Not on your life!

See, what Gallery lacked in athleticism and pass blocking, Miller succeeds - and then some. Unlike those of Bruce Campbell or Jared Veldheer, Miller's quickness is in his footwork, not his combine numbers. One of the things I read that raised my eyebrows was how quickly he jumps off the snap - and the speed in which he chops his feet during both run blocking and pass blocking. That to me is a plus, because if you add his size to the equation, it makes his whole body a lot more fluid overall as he plays. Miller also has good hips, and he can quickly shift between right and left in open space to readjust a block.

What's also interesting is that Miller played through two different head coaches, three different offensive coordinators and three different offensive line coaches within his five years at Boulder, and yet he started at the right side as a true freshmen and never looked back. When I scout guys like this, I set aside all the pancake blocks and highlight stuff for consistency, and Miller is a product of such success.

This guy has great intangibles - aside from wanting to play with the Broncos (Oh dear...), Miller is humble, but not to the point where he isn't confident and competitive. What does worries me is his low football instincts. As the gametape against UW show, sacking your own QB is purely unacceptable, not to mention a benching/release the next day. Still, these things, I stress again, is coachable - the potential is there, and IMO, that's worthy enough for a 5th round grade.

Miller is #73 in both videos:

Scouting Report by Chad Reuter


I have actually never heard of Tyler Hendrickson out of Concordia until my fellow 12th man, Dan Viens, introduced me as a sleeper for our MTD Draft. Dan is part of the staff for a site known as NFLMocks, so I trust his reputation as a scout and a writer for the draft.

Like the previous players we mentioned, Hendrickson is built tall - at 6'7 and 315 pounds, he's quite like the prospect of Ryan Miller and perhaps even Robert Gallery before him. What's different, however (aside from that fact that Concordia is a Division II school) is that Hendrickson was originally a TE. During his sophomore campaign, coaches asked him to bulk all the way up from 215 pounds and get big - to play left tackle.

Not everyday do you see a converted TE to OL, (and even more rarely to a LT), but again, I think this predates plenty of interest in his overall athleticism and quickness. In his pro day, Hendrickson ran a 5.13 seconds 40 yard dash and a 7.69 Three-Cone Drill, better times than fellow offensive lineman Riley Rieff and Mike Adams.

But looking at the tape you realized this guy isn't just a workout warrior. As Dan wrote in part of his interview with Hendrickson, he headlines the following fact:

"The coaches trusted me to the left side on a heavy pass-oriented team. Just that trust factor they had in me gave me the emotional push and led me to believe I could be a dominant left tackle." He said.

And dominate he did, giving up only the 4 sacks in his two years at LT.

Okay, I don't care what division or league you play in - anytime you give up only 4 sacks as the O-Line's anchor in two years, it's pretty damn impressive.

In terms of intangibles, Hendrickson is again, more consistent than flashy - but like many other D-II athletes who want to go pro, questions remain on his ability to make the transition, not to mention the level of speed and competition that he will face pretty soon. Still, Hendrickson has a chip on his shoulder - and then some (he wasn't heavily recruited as a TE even back in high school). In a separate interview with Shawn Zobel of Draft Headquarters:

Zobel: Why do you think you have what it takes to make the jump from D-II to the NFL?

Hendrickson: Determination, I came from nothing and have a lot to prove. I love having a chip on my shoulder, determination, motivation, I would do anything for anyone.

Zobel: What type of player do you think you can be in the NFL?

Hendrickson: The sky is the limit. If I can be given a chance, I need to learn and get stronger, I think that I can play right tackle. I love run blocking and pass blocking. I hope to be a chippy, nasty offensive lineman that they like in the NFL.

And again in Dan's interview:

"If I’m not drafted and I get picked up by someone, I’ll just go prove myself that I should have been drafted,"

Music to Pete and Tom's ears.

In the little film I manage to watch, a few things stood out to me on Hendrickson. For one thing, he's not as quick or fluid as Miller, but he's still able to go one-on-one with a pass rushing end or block downfield against a incoming backer on the run. He's also a great cut blocker for his size.If there's one weakness that concerns me about him it's strength. A lot of the plays I manage to see him in is purely arm push, which for a guy like him, makes sense. Still, he has a lot to work on with leverage and getting to a more powerful push with his hands. Expect a 7th round look at him from the Hawks, and if not, maybe some consideration as a UDFA.

Hendrickson is #70 for the navy team:

Pro Day Tape: