July 23, 2007

Category rankings: Offensive line


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country to come up with the most extensive and accurate prospect rankings and evaluations you will find. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

Any offensive line prospect must master several skills to excel at the college level. Run blocking skill, pass blocking skill, strength, agility and athleticism are all important. We've identified the best in each category for the class of 2008.

OL rankings: Run blocker | Pass blocker | Strongest | Agility | Best athlete

Best Run Blocker
Jeremy Crabtree's take: There aren't more dominating run blockers in the nation than Brewster, Good and Steinkuhler. Those three guys really separate themselves from the others in my opinion. Brewster just destroys people, and I love how Steinkuhler gets up the field and seeks people to hit. Harmon is a mammoth of a man that also is very good.

Mike Farrell's take: This group is led by some maulers in Brewster, Good and Steinkuhler. This guy gets off the ball violently and hit the second level well.

JC Shurburtt's take: There are plenty of guys in this group that can open a hole. Brewster's run blocking prowess is a big reason why he's one of the most versatile line prospects in America.

  • Vote: Who is the best run blocker?
  • 1. Michael Brewster, 6-6, 305, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater Brewster highlights
    2. Stephen Good, 6-5, 290, Paris (Texas) Good highlights
    3. Baker Steinkuhler, 6-6, 290, Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest Steinkuhler highlights
    4. A.J. Harmon, 6-4, 308, Louisville (Ga.) Jefferson County Harmon highlights
    5. Tyron Smith, 6-6, 264, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde Smith highlights
    Best Pass Blocker
    Crabtree's take: Matt Kalil is one of the best pass blockers I've seen in quite some time. Goodman has future NFL tackle written all over him. He's so long and athletic. Tyron Smith looks like a defensive lineman with his build, but the way he locks on to pass rushers is amazing.

    Farrell's take: Goodman is the sleeper of this group. He's still learning to play but his footwork and balance are excellent.

    Shurburtt's take: A very strong group overall, led by Kalil, who has the footwork and athleticism to be special in this category. Goodman is still raw, but does a lot of great things in this department.

  • Vote: Who is the best pass blocker?
  • 1. Matt Kalil, 6-7, 281, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite Kalil highlights
    2. Mike Goodman, 6-5, 270, Miami (Fla.) Columbus Goodman highlights
    3. Tyron Smith, 6-6, 264, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde Smith highlights
    4. Bryce Givens, 6-6, 257, Denver (Colo.) Mullen Givens highlights
    5. Tyler Love, 6-7, 285, Mountain Brook (Ala.) Love highlights
    Strongest
    Crabtree's take: Trevor Robinson would have been a little higher on my list, because he's just got some amazing lower-body strength, but this is a pretty impressive group all the way around. Smith is built like no other lineman I've seen in a while.

    Farrell's take: There were at least three other prospects who could have made this list as well. This year is loaded with strong guys who play with leverage.

    Shurburtt's take: This group can overpower opponents with strength. Patchan and Smith both dominate in this area.

  • Vote: Who is the strongest?
  • 1. Matt Patchan, 6-7, 265, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood Patchan highlights
    2. Tyron Smith, 6-6, 264, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde Smith highlights
    3. Baker Steinkuhler, 6-6, 290, Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest Steinkuhler highlights
    4. Hamani Stevens, 6-2, 276, Hemet (Calif.) Stevens highlights
    5. Trevor Robinson, 6-6, 304, Omaha (Neb.) Elkhorn Robinson highlights
    Most Agile
    Crabtree's take: Kalil is so quick off the line, there's no question that he's an amazing athlete. Brewster gets up the field so effortlessly. And how about Shugarts, who also doubles as a star tight end for his team.

    Farrell's take: Most of these guys have such great footwork that they could be pulling guards in addition to tackles.

    Shurburtt's take: Kalil and Brewster both lead in this area. Both have excellent feet and move well. JB Shugarts also plays some tight end, which allows him to show off in this area.

  • Vote: Who is the most agile?
  • 1. Matt Kalil, 6-7, 281, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite Kalil highlights
    2. Michael Brewster, 6-6, 305, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater Brewster highlights
    3. Lucas Nix, 6-6, 295, Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson Nix highlights
    4. J.B. Shugarts, 6-7, 299, Klein (Texas) Shugarts highlights
    5. Bryce Givens, 6-6, 257, Denver (Colo.) Mullen Givens highlights
    Best Athlete
    Crabtree's take: Patchan could star on either side of the football on the next level. Smith is just a freak. Shugarts looks great going out and catching passes. Nix is solid all the way around, and Sanders is definitely a good pick here with his body that he's still growing into.

    Farrell's take: Shugarts plays tight end in high school and Nix plays LB in 7-on-7 action.

    Shurburtt's take: 6-7, 262 with a 40-time in the 4.55 range and a shuttle around four seconds gives Patchan the nod in this area.

  • Vote: Who is the best athlete?
  • 1. Matt Patchan, 6-7, 265, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood Patchan highlights
    2. Tyron Smith, 6-6, 264, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde Smith highlights
    3. J.B. Shugarts, 6-7, 299, Klein (Texas) Shugarts highlights
    4. Lucas Nix, 6-6, 295, Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson Nix highlights
    5. Zebrie Sanders, 6-5, 273, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont Sanders highlights




     

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