O-line trending up for 2014
With the release of the ESPN 150 coming on Thursday, we take a look at the top 10 offensive linemen as well as take a quick look at the class as a whole.
Trending: Slightly upThere is no center prospect in the initial 150 like the promising and versatile Darius James from a year ago, but the initial release does include a fairly deep group of offensive tackles and guards with potentially as many as 20-plus players at those positions in the ESPN 150. The tackles are well represented with prospects such as Cameron Robinson and David Sharpe in the mix for five-star rankings, and while only one (guard Ross Pierschbacher) is among the top 50 prospects, overall this year's group of guards offers some quality depth.
Toughest call: What to do with David SharpeSharpe is a prospect who has seen his stock soar over the past two months or so, and when you click on the tape of the towering tackle prospect, you can see why. We'll let you in on a little secret: The big and agile tackle prospect will be in the initial release of the 150, but the tough call was where to slot him. Sharpe raised some debate as he is a physically gifted player who possesses tremendous upside, but there were some other factors to consider as well. He is a prospect with a bit more limited football experience having not played his sophomore year. He also plays basketball and could try to play both sports in college, which in turn could potentially hinder his ability to fully maximize and develop his talents as a football player. There was absolutely no debate about whether Sharpe belonged in the 150, but taking all factors into account, there was some debate about exactly where he should land.
Offensive line hotbed: FloridaFlorida is always home to a tremendous amount of gridiron talent at multiple positions, and the Sunshine State is home to a good crop of 2014 offensive linemen. There are a handful of offensive line prospects in the initial release of the 150, with one competing for the top spot in the state. Offensive tackle prospects led the way for this O-line group from Florida, but a guard prospect or two could also be represented in this group out of the Sunshine State.
Under the radar: OG Will RichardsonNorth Carolina is home to a talented group of defensive line prospects in 2014, but it's also home to a bit of a sleeper in the O-line class. Richardson is a big, strong prospect who can move very well for his size. He can, not surprisingly, drive defenders off the ball and help create running lanes, but the 300-plus pounder also looks comfortable and can be productive blocking in space as he displays very good agility and body control. If he can manage his weight, he could transition to the next level as a tackle, though at this stage we have him projected at guard. Either way, Richardson is a big man you'll likely hear more about over the next few months.
Top 10 offensive linemen
1. OT Cameron Robinson
West Monroe, La./West Monroe
This is not just a big dude who can push people around in the trenches -- Robinson can move very well and is capable of dishing out some punishment beyond the line of scrimmage as well. Size is not an issue, and despite his massive measurables, he actually still has physical upside as he looks to have a build that can be transformed and improved with time in a college weight program.
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