Draft Daily: Ten Offensive Linemen Who Could Fit
Between now and the draft, we’ll zero in on one prospect a day with an Eagles slant. If you have a player you want covered, let us know on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page.
In 2012, the year before Chip Kelly landed in Philadelphia, the Eagles’ offensive line was a mess.
But that was mostly due to injuries. There was still plenty of talent with guys like Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans on the roster.
Kelly is now in his third offseason as the Eagles’ head coach, and he’s really only made one major addition up front: drafting Lane Johnson fourth overall.
With Herremans gone and Peters and Mathis getting older, offensive line is an area the team is expected to address in this year’s draft. Rather than go player-by-player in separate posts, we decided to take a look at the class as a whole.
Below are 10 offensive linemen who could be Eagles targets.
La’el Collins (6-4, 305), LSU – If the Eagles take an offensive lineman in the first round, ideally the prospect will compete for the starting right guard spot immediately before eventually transitioning to right tackle down the road. Collins is a guy who could fit that description. He was a three-year starter and a team captain, playing left guard as a sophomore and then moving over to left tackle as a junior and senior. The Eagles have already shown interest and hosted him for a visit, according to Aaron Wilson.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com thinks Collins is best-suited for a power run game, but he has athleticism (spider chart here), versatility and experience. The question for the Eagles is whether they see him being able to eventually play tackle. If the answer is yes and he slips, they could have interest. Collins is expected to be a first-round pick.
T.J. Clemmings (6-5, 309), Pittsburgh – He began his college career as a defensive end, but made the switch to offensive tackle two years ago and was a team captain in 2014. He has great measurables (35 1/8-inch arms) and tested very well at the combine. He doesn’t have experience playing guard, but Clemmings could start his career there and then transition to tackle. If the Eagles trade down in the first, or if Clemmings falls to the second, he could be an option.
Cameron Erving (6-5, 313), Florida State – You’ll notice versatility come up quite a bit in these write-ups. Erving played left tackle for two seasons before he was bumped inside to center in 2014. Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post thinks Erving could start at any one of the five offensive line positions. When compared to other guards/centers, he has elite athleticism (spider chart).
Analysts seem to think he’d be better served playing on the interior in the NFL. For that reason, I don’t think the Eagles will consider him at No. 20. But if Erving slips into the second round, he could be an option to start at guard and back up at center.
Jake Fisher (6-6, 306), Oregon – We did a longer piece on him last week, so we’ll try to keep it short here. Fisher has off-the-charts athleticism and would obviously be able to pick up certain aspects of the Eagles’ scheme quickly, having played at Oregon. He is a tough player to project because heavy zone blocking teams will have him rated higher than other teams. Could the Eagles take him at No. 20? I think they could. But they also could probably trade down or maybe even wait until the second round to snag him. Fisher would compete at right guard immediately and eventually move to right tackle.
Cedric Ogbuehi (6-5, 306), Texas A&M – Analysts seem to be split on Ogbuehi. He has good size and very long arms (35 7/8 inches). Ogbuehi has experience playing left tackle, right tackle and right guard. Zierlein called him a “gifted athlete” who excels at getting to the second level. The concerns are his functional power and core strength. Ogbuehi is recovering from a torn ACL. He could be an option on Day 2 if he’s still on the board. But there seems to be a pretty good chance he gets taken in the first round.
Hroniss Grasu (6-3, 297), Oregon – He started 52 games for the Ducks, all at center. The Eagles have seen first-hand how tough it is to find a reliable backup center. If they’re convinced that Grasu can play guard at a high level, suddenly he becomes a very attractive option. Grasu brings athleticism and a high #culture rating. He is expected to be a Day 2 pick.
Ali Marpet (6-4, 307), Hobart – The Eagles have not been big on drafting small-school prospects under Kelly. They seem to like to reduce the variables during the draft process. And not being able to account for level of competition (Division III) is a significant variable. But given Marpet’s elite athleticism (spider chart here), he would appear to be a nice scheme fit for the Birds at guard. Some analysts think he could have some value at center also. Marpet is a name to know on Day 2.
Mark Glowinski (6-4, 307), West Virginia – There’s a lot to like about Glowinski. He started his college career playing tackle and then moved over to guard where he started for the Mountaineers in each of the past two seasons. He has great athleticism (spider chart here) and would appear to be an excellent scheme fit. He’s expected to be a mid-round pick and could certainly be on the Eagles’ radar.
Donovan Smith (6-6, 338), Penn State – He has the measurables (34 3/8-inch arms) to play tackle, and that’s where he started 31 games for the Nittany Lions. But Zierlein thinks he could be better suited to play guard. The Eagles have reportedly had him in for a visit, and Smith could get a look in the mid-to-late rounds.
Terry Poole (6-5, 307), San Diego State – He’s a guy the Eagles could take a late-round flier on. Poole played right and left tackle with the Aztecs, but could get a look at guard in the NFL. He tested really well at the combine, and the Eagles reportedly had him in for a visit. Poole would be a projection pick. He’s not expected to go off the board until Day 3.