Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Height: 6-5. Weight: 325. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2018): 1. 9/16/17: Nelson has blocked well for Notre Dame in 2017, showing his effectiveness as a run blocker and pass protector. Some team sources see Nelson as a first-rounder for the 2018 NFL Draft, while some others think he could go Day 2 because they think he's limited to being a guard only and lacks flexibility to play center or tackle.
7/17/17: Nelson was dominant in 2016 and could have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft. Nelson is strong at the point of attack to open holes in the ground game and athletic in pass protection. He was excellent at protecting quarterback DeShone Kizer in 2016. Sources said that Nelson was receiving first-round grades, and one national scout told WalterFootball.com that they think Nelson is a future Pro Bowler similar to Logan Mankins when he came into the NFL.
Nelson broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and did an impressive job of opening holes for C.J. Prosise. As a freshman in 2014, Nelson was on the scout team. Going into the 2017 season, he is a true senior who has really impressed NFL scouts.
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
Height: 6-3. Weight: 330. Projected 40 Time: 5.25. Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 9/16/17: Hernandez has created some buzz as SI's Bruce Feldman wrote that he's heard that Hernandez is the top guard prospect. In reaching out to some team sources, they had Hernandez behind Quenton Nelson.
Hernandez is shorter and lacks length compared to a lot of starting guards in the NFL, but he makes up for it with strength. Impressing at an all-star game will be important for Hernandez.
Billy Price, G/C, Ohio State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.34. Projected Round (2018): 1-3. 9/16/17: Price has impressed NFL evaluators, both with his work in fall training camp and in the first games of the 2017 season. They say that Price plays within himself. They like his awareness and call him an above-average athlete. He isn't overly fast or twitchy like the Pouncey brothers, but Price has movement skills and is better than average in space. The sources also like that Price handles big nose tackles well, which can be difficult for centers and is a hard-to-find talent. As a result of his well-balanced play, Price is being viewed as a prospect who could go in the early rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. One team source thought that if Josh Garnett and Laken Tomlinson were worthy first-round picks, than Price could be as well because they feel Price is a better player than either of Garnett or Tomlinson. Teams are projecting Price to be a starting center in the NFL.
7/17/17: Price had problems with penalties in 2016, including three in the season opener, but blocked well for the Buckeyes. He has size and some athleticism at the point of attack. His run blocking is ahead of his pass protection. The junior was wise to return for his senior year, which should help improve his pass blocking.
Price broke into the starting lineup in 2014, and his play has steadily improved. In the ground game, he helped open a lot of holes for Ezekiel Elliott while becoming more reliable in pass protection. Price has upside and could easily rise in these rankings during the 2017 season.
Braden Smith, G, Auburn
Height: 6-6. Weight: 303. Projected 40 Time: 5.31. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 9/16/17: Smith is a solid player who is well balanced as a run blocker and pass protector. In Week 2, he was beaten for a sack by Clemson's Christian Wilkins, a future first-round pick, but Smith also had a lot of nice plays against Wilkins and Clemson nose tackle Dexter Lawrence.
7/17/17: The Auburn offensive line came together during the 2016 season and formed a solid blocking front for the Tigers. Smith could have been their best blocker and was an All-SEC second-team selection by the conference's coaches. Smith has been a mainstay in the lineup at guard, having 27 consecutive starts. He has some athleticism, and continuing to add strength to push NFL defensive linemen is necessary for him to rise.
Martez Ivey*, G/OT, Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 305. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 9/16/17: Ivey had a mixed performance in the season opener against Michigan. It was his first game at left tackle, so he could easily get better as he gains experience. Some team sources feel that Ivey's body type and play might fit best at guard in the NFL, but clearly, Ivey deserves more time to show what he can do at tackle.
9/1/17: Ivey blocked well as a sophomore, showing improvements in pass protection and run blocking. The key for him is to stay healthy and gain experience, as he has a ton of potential. Ivey was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and validated the ranking with an impressive freshman season. He was an effective starter at guard for Florida with natural athleticism.
Ivey (6-5, 312) could use more power for the NFL, but he was only 18-19 during his first two seasons. He has plenty of time to get stronger despite having shoulder surgery after the 2015 season. Ivey is moving to left tackle in 2017 after David Sharpe skipped his senior year to move on to the NFL.
Scott Quessenberry*, G/C, UCLA
Height: 6-4. Weight: 314. Projected 40 Time: 5.29. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 9/16/17: Quessenberry has blocked well for UCLA. He was very good in the second half of the opener to help the Bruins pull off their legendary comeback over Texas A&M.
7/17/17: Quessenberry was UCLA's starting center in 2016 and did a nice job. He saw game action as a sophomore and freshman before missing the 2015 season. Quessenberry has the size to play guard or center in the NFL.
Frank Ragnow, G/C, Arkansas
Height: 6-5. Weight: 317. Projected 40 Time: 5.24. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 9/16/17: While Ragnow has been solid, Arkansas hasn't been as efficient at running the ball this year.
7/17/17: Ragnow could be in the running to be one of the top center prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over the past two seasons, he hasn't allowed a single sack while taking on excellent competition. As one can expect coming from Arkansas, Ragnow is also a tough run blocker. He is a technician who enters his senior year having made 26 straight starts. As a sophomore, Ragnow was the Razorbacks starter at right guard. He has the size to be a guard or center in the NFL.
Will Clapp*, G/C, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 309. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 9/16/17: Clapp and LSU have cruised thus far, but the schedule is about to get tougher.
7/17/17: One could argue that Clapp was LSU's best interior lineman over Ethan Pocic in 2016. Clapp has dealt with a shoulder injury, but the plan is for him to be the starting center for the Tigers in 2017. He is a tough run blocker at the point of attack and reliable in pass protection.
Ross Pierschbacher*, G/C, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 303. Projected 40 Time: 5.24. Projected Round (2018): 2-4. 9/16/17: Pierschbacher starts at left guard and had a quality start to the season for Alabama. Returning for his senior year and moving to center could be the future for Pierschbacher.
7/17/17: Pierschbacher is a tough run blocker who opened a lot of holes for Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs and Jalen Hurts in 2016. Pierschbacher has has played left guard and center for the Crimson Tide. He is a plus run blocker and should continue to improve as a pass protector. With Bradley Bozeman at center, Pierschbacher is likely to be a guard for Alabama, although he could get center consideration by the NFL.
Beau Benzschawel*, G, Wisconsin
Height: 6-6. Weight: 321. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2018): 3-4. 9/16/17: Benzschawel blocked well in the season opener against Utah State. In Week 2, he went out with a right leg injury. Wisconsin is being vague as to how long Benzschawel will be out.
7/17/17: Benzschawel had an impressive sophomore seaso, earning Second-Team All-Big Ten honors. He is a tough run blocker at the point of attack with size. Improving his pass protection for the NFL would help his draft stock. As a freshman in 2015, Benzschawel started half the games at right tackle and started a few at right guard.
Cody O'Connell, G, Washington State
Height: 6-9. Weight: 354. Projected 40 Time: 5.19. Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 9/16/17: Washington State has scored a lot of points so far in 2017, and O'Connell has been solid. He is a mountain of a defender, but his knee bend and leverage could be problematic in the NFL.
7/17/17: O'Connell is a massive guard who received a lot of accolades for his redshirt junior season in 2016. While starting at left guard, O'Connell was very effective in the Washington State offense protecting at quarterback Luke Falk and opening holes in the ground game. Typically, NFL teams don't want guards as tall as O'Connell because that height can interfere with throwing lanes for the quarterback. Thus, it would really help O'Connell's draft stock if he could show the ability to play right tackle.
Lester Cotton*, G, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 319. Projected 40 Time: 5.27. Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 9/16/17: Cotton has blocked well for Alabama. He is tough in the ground game, and his run blocking is ahead of his pass protection.
7/17/17: Cotton was in and out of the starting lineup as a sophomore. He spent time at left guard and right guard for the Crimson Tide. In the games he didn't start, Cotton rotated into the game. As a freshman, he was a backup at tackle. Cotton needs to improve his pass protection, but he has athletic upside to develop if he can lock down a starting spot.
Maea Teuhema*, G, Southeastern Louisiana
Height: 6-5. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.29. Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 9/16/17: At the start of fall camp, Teuhema was suspended indefinitely from LSU, which led to him transferring to Southeastern Louisiana. He is starting at left tackle for the Lions. Entering the season, Teuhema was a second-day guard prospect for the NFL, but his off-the-field issues could easily send him lower.
7/17/17: Early on in 2016, Teuhema started at left guard for LSU and had an excellent season opening holes for Leonard Fournette. Teuhema showed real power at the point of attack. LSU had to move Teuhema to right tackle at times, but he should be at his natural position of left guard in 2017. He is a big, strong blocker who has a mean streak.
Tyrone Crowder, G, Clemson
Height: 6-2. Weight: 340. Projected 40 Time: 5.19. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 9/16/17: Crowder has blocked well for Clemson, but his lack of length and height hurts his draft grade.
7/17/17: Crowder had some highlights and lowlights during the 2016 season. Overall, he blocked well, although there were times where he allowed some heavy pressure on Deshaun Watson, especially in the early going of the National Championship victory over Alabama. Crowder is a thick blocker who will have to monitor his weight issues in the NFL. He could be ranked higher, but is shorter and lacks some length that NFL teams desire in starting offensive linemen.
Wilson Bell, G, Auburn
Height: 6-6. Weight: 334. Projected 40 Time: 5.19. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 9/16/17: Auburn's offensive line has had huge problems this year, allowing 14 sacks across two games - including 11 against Clemson. Bell has been a backup who could start to get playing time given the weak performance of Auburn's left guard, but coaches have said that Bell hasn't earned the playing time from how he has played in practice.
7/17/17: Bell was a solid right guard for Florida State during the 2016 season and was effective at opening holes for Dalvin Cook. He could stand to improve his pass protection for the NFL. Bell had some off-the-field issues with a hit-and-run accident and arrest. He graduated from Florida State in the spring and then chose Auburn. As a graduate transfer, Bell is eligible to play immediately.
Larry Allen Jr., G, Harvard
Height: 6-4. Weight: 285. Projected 40 Time: 5.00. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 9/16/17: Allen is said to be interested in playing in the NFL, but also could pursue a career in biomedical engineering.
7/17/17: Allen has great bloodlines, but is extremely light for the NFL. He is the son of the Hall of Famer Larry Allen. Larry Allen Jr. is undersized and must add some weight for the NFL. He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore. Allen should have the upside to improve as a senior.
David Bright, G/OT, Stanford
Height: 6-5. Weight: 293. Projected 40 Time: 5.32. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 9/16/17: Bright needs to gain more weight and strength for the NFL.
9/1/17: Bright started at right tackle in six games for Stanford with four starts at left guard during his 2016 season. Bright was a solid run blocker, but he needs to improve his pass protection. Gaining weight for the NFL is also a necessity.
K.C. McDermott, G/OT, Miami
Height: 6-6. Weight: 310. Projected 40 Time: 5.29. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 9/16/17: McDermott and Miami have only played one game. Week 2 was canceled and Week 3 was moved to October.
9/1/17: McDermott started at left guard for the Hurricanes last season and was a significant part of Miami showing a big improvement in its rushing offense over 2015. However, Miami's line still allowed too much pressure on quarterback Brad Kaaya. McDermott turned in some underwhelming play in a few games. Improving his pass protection as a senior is critical for his NFL hopes.
McDermott started at guard and right tackle for Miami during the 2015 season. The offensive line had issues that season as the Hurricanes had one of the worst rushing offenses in the nation. While they didn't allow a lot of sacks, there was still too much pressure on Kaaya. McDermott could be better off at guard in the NFL.
Viane Talamaivao, G, USC
Height: 6-2. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.31. Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 9/16/17: Talamaivao is a tough blocker who has developed his body, but he lacks height and length for the NFL.
7/17/17: Talamaivao struggled along with the rest of the USC offensive line against Alabama in 2016, but played better after that. Talamaivao was banged up over the season, yet continued to play and was solid for the Trojans. A lack of length will hurt Talamaivao's draft stock even though he will be a four-year starter. He also has had durability issues in his career, and had surgery to repair a partially torn bicep in spring ball prior to his senior fall camp.
Talamaivao broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman and took over the right guard position. He had a quality season blocking for Buck Allen that year. In 2015, Talamaivao had a sprained knee that caused him to miss time, but he made eight starts. Talamaivao needs to stay healthy as a senior.
Brandon Fanaika, G, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 321. Projected 40 Time: 5.35. Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 9/16/17: Fanaika blocked well against Rice in the season opener for the Cardinal.
7/17/17: Fanaika flashed some as a run blocker for Stanford in 2016 lining up at left guard, but he only started five games. Fanaika needs to lock down a starting spot in 2017 in order to rise.
Brendan Mahon, G/OT, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.28. Projected Round (2018): 7-FA. 9/16/17: Mahon has blocked well and opened holes for Saquon Barkley this season.
9/1/17: Mahon started at left tackle for Penn State in 2016, but he struggled in pass protection, including an ugly game against Pittsburgh. However, Mahon and the Nittany Lions' offensive line performed much better as run blockers for Saquon Barkley. Mahon improved as the season progressed.
In 2015, Mahon started at guard and tackle for Penn State. His run blocking is ahead of his pass protection. At times he played well, but he needs to improve his pass protection and consistency. As a freshman, Mahon started at left guard. The Penn State offensive line allowed Christian Hackenberg to be sacked more than 80 times over those two seasons.