April 23, 2016 - Greg Gabriel
The Top Guards in the 2016 NFL Draft
The offensive line class this year has depth and there are a number of players who have the athletic traits to play more than one position. Such is the case with most of the players talked about here. All of these prospects will line up at guard first with some being able to play outside at tackle and others able to also play center. Vadal Alexander – LSU – Alexander is a four year starter with position versatility. He has shown durability and has started 45 of 49 career games. Alexander was moved to right tackle in 2015 after starting at right guard in 2013 and 2014. He is more suited to play guard at the NFL level. Alexander is a massive man who is well coached and plays hard. He is very strong and though he can get tall at times he still keeps his feet moving on contact and is able to get movement. In pass protection he shows a good punch, can mirror and anchor. He played at over 330 during the season and was at 326 at the Combine. May want to keep his weight at about 320 to be most effective. Cody Whitehair – Kansas State Cody is a four year starter with experience at both tackle positions as well as guard. At 6’4 – 301 with 32.5” arms, he is more suited to play inside at guard the NFL level. He may also be able to play center. Whitehair is tough and competitive with good to real good play strength. He is alert and does a real good job picking up stunts and blitzes. He shows quick hands and plays with bend. Has some explosiveness on contact and can generate movement in the run game. In pass protection he shows he has the lateral agility to stop wide speed and the recovery quickness to mirror versus counter moves. Played from mostly a 2-point stance at Kansas State so he will have to learn to play with his hand on the ground at the NFL level. Joe Dahl – Washington State – Another player with position versatility. He has started games at both tackle and guard but it has been two seasons since he last played inside. Dahl measures 6037 – 301 with 32.75” arms, so with that frame there is no way that he will play outside in the NFL. Dahl is very strong and physical and plays at a high level of intensity. He is easily athletic enough to play in space and adjust on the move. Joe plays a physical style game, always looks to finish blocks and also had a strong week at the Senior Bowl. In the run game, he has some snap through his hips and though he isn’t the biggest guy, he can play with power. Had foot surgery following the eighth game but came back to start in Washington States Bowl game. Josua Garnett – Stanford – In recent years, Stanford has put out some fairly good defensive linemen and Garnett is another one that is similar to those before him. He is productive as both a run and pass blocker, knows how to use his hands and is very alert. If there is a negative to his game, he doesn’t consistently play with good bend and he is more strong than explosive. Still he keeps his feet moving on contact and is able to generate movement. He is well coached with good technique. While he played his entire career at guard, I see no problem with him also being able to play center. Will come in and start for most teams as a rookie.