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2015 NFL Combine Preview: Offensive Line

Highlighting some of the best fits as Seahawk draftpicks on the offensive line.

Oregon OT Jake Fisher
Oregon OT Jake Fisher
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The combine clumps all of the OT, OG, and OC together in the same "group". This year’s class contains 34 listed OT, 12 listed OG, and only 6 listed OC. Clearly, as I’ve been saying all year, it’s a weak interior OL year and MANY tackles will be moving inside to guard or center. Some of these moves (eg: Cameron Erving moving to OC) we know about, but most we’ll have to project.

One quick and easy indication for where an OL player would project for Seattle is arm length. Basically, to have consideration at LT one must have 34" arms, at RT they must be 33", and at C they can be 32" range. Those are the minimum requirements. More often than not, Seattle really wants 34" arms everywhere but Center (Okung, Carpenter, Sweezy, Bailey, Gilliam, Scott all 34’s…not to mention prior Hawk picks/UDFA: Rishaw Johnson and Michael Bowie). Justin Britt (and Breno before him) is the exception here, which is yet another reason to wonder about him moving inside to LG. An interior OL of Britt, Unger, and Sweezy would be exceptionally athletic, and presumably fantastic in the run game.

In terms of Seahawk OL needs…they potentially don’t need anyone as a starter. I’d expect Carpenter to walk in free agency and then Alvin Bailey gets a shot at LG. Keep in mind, Bailey actually tested better than Britt (approx 129 pSPARQ to 115 pSPARQ), and both tested better than Carp. But, so far, Britt has shown the better work ethic and ability to maintain good weight. Maintaining weight was arguably the downfall of Michael Bowie, could add to case for Carpenter walking, and could be a negative on Bailey.

Either way, Seattle has enough in-house options to relegate OL to day 3 of the draft. The potential day 1-2 exceptions:

TJ Clemmings will test through the roof and Seattle would bite in the 1st if he implausibly dropped.

One of the few players that Seattle has been connected to is Ty Sambrailo, but he seems to be projecting in a way that would put him squarely between Seattle picks. Gonna be an awkward reach, or they miss him completely. I’ve read mostly poor reviews of him from the Senior Bowl, but every bit of tape I’ve actually watched of him from that week of practice, he was winning his 1v1 matchups. Downside on Sambo, for me, right now is that he’s probably only an OG in the NFL. Could be this year’s Zack Martin.

I, personally, would make an exception for Jake Fisher as early as #63. Hell, I might have gone #31 if I thought the Seahawks thought they needed an OT more than I think they think they do. I worry a little bit that the 63rd pick is essentially a value wasteland. My intuition tells me trading off of 63 (either up or down) makes more sense than trading off 31. But, if you're not fighting your draft board, I think Fisher is one of the few players that is a good fit at 63.

I think Fisher’s tape is awesome…the athleticism is there, the nastiness and finish are there, the value projection is there. The question on Fisher is if he tests better at the combine than he did at his Junior Day.

Essentially, for the Seahawks, I’m looking more for one or two day 3 value picks on the OL. My guess is we’ll take an OT that moves to LG earlier, and could also look for an OG/C combo player in 6th-7th range. I’m not really convinced that the OG/C player we’d want is even at the combine, so I’ll quickly move on to a LT/LG type.

If the Seahawks stick to the James Carpenter mold of LT/LG, Donovan Smith is 6’6"/341 with 34" arms out of Penn State and currently holds early 4th round projection. Jeremiah Poutasi is around 6’6"/320, would look very good at LG, but is potentially going to cost a 2nd-3rd pick. Darryl Williams from Oklahoma is 6’5"/334 and has almost 35" arms but some expect him to go day 2. And Williams’ teammate, Tyrus Thompson, is roughly 6’5"/336 with plenty of length and a 6th round projection. These three will top out around 105 pSPARQ and should be considered less athletic, more road-grader types.

More athletic, less length players that I’m interested in include Duke’s Takoby Cofield (#344 overall), Kentucky’s Darrian Miller (massively underrated at #678), and SDSU’s Terry Poole (#292). All three of these guys are in the neighborhood of 295-305 lbs and each 6’5" tall, but won’t have a chance to stick at LT. You probably like to see them run a 5.05 or faster.

There is really only one true OG that I’m interested in this year and that is Texas A&M’s Jarvis Harrison. 6’4"/344 with 33 ¾" arms. He’s kind of this year’s Alvin Bailey. I think his tape his 3rd-round worthy, but the 344 pounds (and some in-season team suspensions) are problems. Current projection is 7th round, and I’d probably pay it, but if he ends up an UDFA you prioritize the crap out of him.

Nice all-around player that seems to get lost in the shuffle: Florida’s Chaz Green. 6’5"/310 that has played LT and RT but also missed 2013 with injury. I had him back in the September 16th edition of Gems but he’s still going under the radar at #365 overall.

The guys I really have no clue on as I haven’t studied them prior: VT’s Laurence Gibson, Coastal Carolina’s Chad Hamilton, Memphis’ Al Bond, NC State’s Rob Crisp.

(Edit: Okay, I lied. Or I couldn’t wait. I had a hunch, so I took a look at Chad Hamilton. An FCS Conference All-American 1st teamer for the second time in 2014 at LT, in addition to being on the All-Academic team. 2014: he was only whistled for three penalties and, over CCU’s 433 pass attempts, only allowed two sacks this season. He’s going to measure in short (6’2"ish), but hopefully he’ll have good length for his size. He will not be an OT in the pros, but with that all-academic nod, he might be an interesting Center candidate. His athleticism is nice. Here he is at LT wearing #73…note the lateral movement at 5:14:

Hamilton is only projecting as #523 overall. Could likely be had as UDFA.)

Lastly today, though we won’t have numbers on him for a couple days beyond the OL testing, it’s always worth thinking about the Seahawks converting a DL to OL again. This year, I’m going out on a limb with the Canadian DT Daryl Waud. At 6’5"/295 and with 33 ¾" arms, he is just about identical to JR Sweezy (6’5"/299/34" arms) at the time of his drafting.