Perhaps the most inglorious position in all of football, the offensive guard plays a pivotal piece to an offensive’s execution. They serve as the mainstay on a team’s offensive line and the glue that holds the front all together. Typically not drafted in the top half of the first round, however, we saw Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack both land inside the top 10 back in 2013.
Headlining this year’s guard class is Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp. Our consensus #1 OG spent his career at left tackle for the Hilltoppers, but presents Pro Bowl potential on the inside. Had it not been for lingering concussion issues, Indiana’s Dan Feeney could’ve easily overtaken that top spot, it’ll be interesting to see how far that drops him. Other guys in this class bring that “plug and play” label. Dorian Johnson, Dion Dawkins, Sean Harlow and even Danny Isidora could all start from day one and do a solid job. If you’re looking for guys that fit in power schemes, you’re gonna want Isaac Asiata or Nico Siragusa.
If you viewed our offensive tackle rankings, you would’ve noticed we had only 13 draftable grades in the class. As for guards. we have 16. It’s a rare case to see more noteworthy guards than tackles, but that’s how this class panned out. While the tackles have more top tier guys, guards are filled with depth throughout.
Below we have compiled our consensus OT rankings between our Breaking Football draft team which includes the individual rank from each writer for each player. Let us know what you think in the comments below and follow the rest of our draft team on Twitter @MichaelJKist, @SteveDraft_ , @ZachHicks2.
Small School Sleeper: Jordan Morgan (Kutztown)
Kutztown, a small school in Central Pennsylvania, isn’t exactly known a NFL Factory, but they now have a high upside lineman creeping up draft boards. Morgan measures in at 6’2, 313 pounds with 33 1/4″ arms and a mean streak that can’t be measured. Morgan is solid in the run game but will have to improve his pass blocking technique to stick on an NFL roster.
Biggest Riser: Dion Dawkins (Temple)
Entering the year, Dawkins was barely on anyone’s radar. As the season progressed, he steadily increased his draft stock, but it didn’t quite take off until the Senior Bowl. Down in mobile, Dawkins proved to be one of the best linemen in attendance, and displayed coveted versatility as he excelled on the transition to the interior. Dawkins is now fixing to be a Day 2 pick who can play both guard and tackle.
Biggest Faller: Damien Mama (USC)
Damien Mama came into the 2016 season as one of the better guard prospects this class had to offer. Analysts finally got to the tape and now he could potentially go undrafted. Mama is overweight and has flirted with 400 pounds at different points in his life. Interior offensive lineman can sometimes get away with being a bad athlete but not this bad of an athlete.
Risk Factor: Dan Feeney (Indiana)
Feeney is a great guard prospect and may even go in the first round later this month. He is a borderline elite talent whose only limitation was injuries in college. Feeney reportedly suffered multiple concussions at Indiana which caused him to miss multiple games over his collegiate career. With players such as Bryan Stork retiring in recent years from concussion problems, it’s hard not to tap the breaks on drafting Feeney high with his history.
Breaking Football’s 2017 NFL Draft Guard Rankings
|1||Forrest Lamp||Western Kentucky||1||1||1||1|
|6||Sean Harlow||Oregon State||7||6||6||5|
|7||Danny Isidora||Miami (FL)||5||7||7||10|
|8||Nico Siragusa||San Diego State||9||8||8||8|
|11||Avery Gennesy||Texas A&M||10||9||12||13|
|16||Jessamen Dunker||Tennessee State||14||15||13||16|