2019 Preseason All-American Projections: Guards

By Charlie Campbell
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Heading into the 2019 college football season WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises and the stars of next fall could be the headlining players next April in the 2020 NFL Draft.

First-Team Guards:

Ben Bredeson, Michigan

Bredeson broke into the starting lineup as a freshman and has been a mainstay at left guard since then. He has been a strong and consistent blocker for the Wolverines. Bredeson has good size and is a polished blocker who has been developed well at Michigan. The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder could be one of the best guards in college football in 2019 and earn a lot of postseason honors.

Shane Lemieux, Oregon

Lemieux has been a good left guard for Oregon over the past three seasons, making 38 straight starts. He has been one of the top guards in the nation and Pac-12 over that time. In pass protection and run blocking, Lemieux is a well-balanced lineman who is productive in both phases. Lemieux (6-4, 317) has a high-profile quarterback to protect, so if Lemieux continues to play well, he should get noticed and acclaim as one of the top guards in college football.

Second-Team Guards:

Kevin Jarvis, Michigan State

Jarvis (6-4, 317) had a strong debut for Michigan State in 2017, starting 10 games as a freshman. His strong run blocking and steady play saw him break into the lineup sooner than normal under the Mark Dantonio coaching staff. In 2018, Jarvis played well at right guard, but missed four games with injuries. If Jarvis can stay healthy in 2019 and continue to develop, he could be one of the best guards in college football.

Jonah Jackson, Ohio State

Jackson is a Rutgers transfer who should help an Ohio State line that lost a lot of experience to the 2019 NFL Draft. Jackson received some Big Ten honors before deciding to transfer for his senior year. Jackson played mostly guard at Rutgers, where he also took some snaps at center. That versatility and experience could help him to rise as a senior, and he should get plenty of notice playing for the Buckeyes.

Third-Team Guards:

Ben Cleveland, Georgia

In 2018, Cleveland continued to help Georgia run the ball, as he is a big body who is effective at the point of attack. Cleveland broke into the starting lineup during the 2017 season and flashed. In the ground game, Cleveland was a force to help open holes for Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. The 6-foot-7, 340-pound Cleveland is a massive guard who has real strength, and he should have another good season opening holes for D’Andre Swift.

Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

Leatherwood has rotated into the game for Alabama over the past couple of seasons and has done well when given the opportunity. He played on the inside and at tackle, including time against Georgia in the college football playoff at the end of the 2017 season in replacment for an injured Jonah Williams. With other veterans having moved on to the NFL, Leatherwood should break into the starting lineup as a junior. Playing on the inside would be his best fit, and he could become a quality starter at guard.

Honorable Mentions: Ohio State’s Bradon Bowen, Clemson’s John Simpson, LSU’s Damien Lewis, Michigan’s Michael Onwenu, San Diego State’s Daishawn Dixon, Indiana’s Simon Stepaniak and Boise State’s John Molchon.

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