Alright ladies and gents, this is my final position preview before the Breaking Football crew and myself head off to enjoy our first (of hopefully many) trip to Mobile. It’s all still fairly surreal and probably won’t settle in until I’ve stepped off the plane.
It has been a blast getting to watch all of these talented offensive linemen in anticipation for the Senior Bowl and it should only serve as a springboard to scouting the rest of the 2018 class leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft in late April.
The center class headed to Mobile features a group of big names that have reputations carried over from 2016 and some fresh faces ready to throw their name in the ring for the chance to have some lucky quarterback place the back of his hand on his undercarriage.
Frank Ragnow – Center – Arkansas
Frank Ragnow*, even after suffering a season-ending injury in the middle of the season, still graded out as PFF’s top center in 2017, doubling up on his top spot in 2016, as well. Prior to his injury, Ragnow had started the last 33 games of his career, only missing 43 total snaps in his career.
Former coach Brett Bielma, who coached quite a few offensive linemen who were drafted in the first few rounds at Wisconsin, said Ragnow is right up there with the best of the best. If you’ve seen any of Ragnow’s film in the last two years, none of this should come as a surprise. Ragnow is a gritty, powerful man at 6’5 and 315 pounds. In his game at AT&T Stadium against Texas A&M, Ragnow could not be budged by the Aggie interior defenders.
I don’t think I saw one play where Ragnow was beaten or even pushed back in the run game. If Ragnow is anywhere near 100% at the Senior Bowl (as of now there hasn’t been word he is not participating) he should eat up defensive fronts all week long.
*Editor’s Note: It has been finalized that Frank Ragnow will not suit up for the Senior Bowl, but will participate in team interviews.
Scott Quessenberry – Center – UCLA
Scott Quessenberry stood out to me initially when I watched him play against the very dangerous front of the Washington Huskies. After all, Washington DT Vita Vea is arguably the top interior defender in the entire draft class while fellow DT Greg Gaines is another handful all on his own.
Q-Berry displays the necessary quickness out of his snap, fusing his first strike and first step into perfect harmony. He looks very natural when catching and passing off stunts/blitzes between him and his guards. Quessenberry is also able to hold his own surprisingly well against some of the behemoths at nose tackle even though he may only tip the scale at about 300 pounds.
My only knock is that he has a tendency to drop his head occasionally before engaging in pass pro which has caused some defenders to take advantage and allow some unnecessary pressure on his quarterback Josh Rosen.
Mason Cole – Left Tackle – Michigan
After the Michigan offensive line was hit by graduation following the 2016 season, Mason Cole was tasked with transitioning away from his natural position of center to man the blind side for whomever ended up under center for the Wolverines. This was extremely unfortunate for Cole as it put him in uncharted waters where he wasn’t able to let his skill-set flourish.
Cole is a large, looming player at the position with the mass to make it difficult for interiors to get past him. His footwork works much better in a phone booth than out on the edge. He also plays with the mean streak. For this evaluation, I had to give much more weight to his 2016 film as his 2017 tape doesn’t do him any favors and portrays a player completely out of his element.
Austin Corbett – Left Tackle – Nevada
A left tackle for the last two years that’s projected to transition to center at the next level. Austin Corbett is an impressive young man who actually started out as a former walk-on. In fact, he was a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy (Top Former Walk-On) this year, as well as the Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman). Thankfully for him, he’s got some nice physical talents to go along with his smarts.
When I first popped on film of Corbett, he looked a tad uneasy as he was challenged early on by speedy edge rushers. As the game rolled along, you could see Corbett’s level of comfort increase along with the chip on his shoulder. He started finishing blocks more consistently and his pass protection tightened up.
All in all, he looked pretty solid out at tackle. Seeing him at center during the Senior Bowl will be my first glimpse of him kicked inside but I expect him to do well there after watching him up to this point.
Bradley Bozeman – Center – Alabama
Probably one of the most underwhelming of the offensive lineman invited to the Senior Bowl. As an Alabama offensive lineman, you are usually justified in holding them to a higher standard than the rest of the prospects. After all, they are usually uber experienced players with big games and championships littering their resumes.
In the case of Bradley Bozeman, I was just…disappointed. For a man standing at 6’5′ and 315 pounds, I’d have expected Bozeman to be more of a bully than he showed on film. Too often he is blown off the line of scrimmage and allowed premature pressure to get to Jalen Hurts. He also lacks the hasty get-off from line of scrimmage and shows no “oomf” behind his punches.
As a whole, the Alabama offensive line is an impressive unit. But when I isolate Bozeman from the bunch, he does not stand out in any facet on his own.