Re-Ranking: Offensive and Defensive Trench Warriors

It’s time to talk about the big uglies in the middle! (Photo: US Presswire)

Last week we unveiled our new offensive skill positions rankings and while we intended to release this much earlier sometimes life gets in the way. Needless to say its here now and ready for you to enjoy. There are more than few suprises in store for you, so make sur you read all the rankings and notes.

Offensive Tackle:

2013 Class-

There is a thought that this class lacks many, if any, true LT prospects for the NFL. That could lead to a very depressed market come April and give a very interesting year with no OT’s taken high like we normally see. Now I see at least two and maybe three to four LT prospects in this class and we shall see what becomes of them as the season begins its wind down.

Most Intriguing Prospect: Dallas Thomas, Tennessee, #2 2013 OT

There was no bigger hater of Dallas Thomas coming into this season than me. I thought he was slow footed, had poor technique, and was barely a RT prospect. I could not have been more wrong, watching Thomas live in Georgia Dome v. NC State and two more times since then it’s clear that the small sample I was using to judge Thomas (v. Florida, 2011) was the exception and not the rule. Thomas is a LT prospect who is currently playing inside for the Vols. He’ll move back outside in the NFL.

To view the 2013 Top 20 OT’s Click Here!

Other 2013 OT Notes:

-Mark Jackson (Glenville State, #4 2013 OT) is a heck of a prospect especially for Division II. He has great length, athleticism, and strength but few have seen him since he plays at a small college even for Division II. Jackson’s dominance at the Division II level is a nice sign for a prospect who started out in the FBS.

-A Top 10 sleeper to watch from this class is Lane Johnson (Oklahoma, #10 2013 OT) I was tempted to rank him higher but really want to see how he does this weekend facing ND DE’s Kapron Lewis-Moore, and Stephon Tuitt.

-5 of the 20 OT’s ranked are from the FCS level or below, but none may have as much potential as Terron Armstead (Arkansas Pine-Bluff, #14 2013 OT). Armstead is a mammoth OT who literally swallows defenders who are trying to rush against him. If he shores up his technique he has incredible potential.

-Staying with the small school theme, there has been a lot of buzz about Rogers Gaines (Tennessee State, #20 2013 OT). I want to watch more before moving him up further but I don’t expect to keep him this low for long.

2014 OT Class-

Unlike the senior class there is little doubt about if there is a LT prospect in this punch. Not only are there LT’s but there are some potentially dominant RT’s that help make this class look like one that you cannot pass up on. Add to that the relative weakness of the senior class and we fully expect to see a large numbers of juniors leave school early.

To view the 2014 Top 10 OT’s Click Here!

Most Intriguing Prospect-OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami, #6 2014 OT

Henderson was a former top recruit who has had an up and down career at Miami. There were rumors early this summer that he was in trouble at Miami, but those amounted to very little. When Henderson is at his best he’s a long armed and athletic tackle who take on some of the best in the country. What he struggles with is the physical brand of football that is needed against power rushers. If Henderson can put it all together he’ll quickly move up these rankings.

Other 2014 OT Notes:

-Both DJ Fluker (Alabama, #3 2014 OT) and Jake Matthews (Texas A&M, #4 2014 OT) are RT’s in college but there is a growing contingent among talent evaluators that both may be capable of being LT’s in the NFL. If a team believes that that could really elevate their stock.

-Justin Pugh (Syracuse, #5 2014 OT) is technically a redshirt Junior, but he was also on the Senior Bowl watch-list that was released this summer. Pugh could declare early this year but still enjoy the benefits of playing in premier all-star games like Washing RB Chris Polk did last year.

-Bethune Cookman is known as one of the strongest HBCU programs in the country and year after year they produce NFL caliber talent. Next year will be no exception as Terrance Hackeny (#10 2014 OT) will be among their featured prospects. The long Hackney has great athletic traits but needs to continue to get stronger and add bulk. He’s got a high ceiling and is somebody to keep a close eye on.

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