Post-Spring Analysis: Offensive Line

IT'S HARD TO truly gauge the performance of the Beaver offensive line this spring – there were only eight healthy offensive linemen. And because of that, there was less contact than normal. Further, the o-line may look considerably different by the time fall camp is done and OSU lines up for the opener. That said, there were some notable developments this spring.

We asked Andrew Kilstrom, who covered every single one of the 15 spring practices for BF.C, to lend some of his observations about the Beavers' o-line coming out of spring drills...

Left Tackle
Justin Addie
-- He did very well. And Mike Riley certainly seemed pretty high on him. If I absolutely had to rank him, I'd say he was third or fourth best guy on line out of the eight or so they had this spring. He did his best work in the run game, although the line itself didn't perform well overall until the final few practices. But that's also not to say Addie was bad in pass blocking. He did a decent job there as well, it's just that his run blocking was better. (not bad in pass blocking though)

Left Guard
Josh Andrews
-- That guy was just solid. I don't think he gave up a ‘sack' all spring. He was the clear leader of the group all spring. And when the Beavs needed a yard, they went to the left side, behind Andrews and Addie. The No. 1 player on the line this spring, for sure, was Andrews.

Center
Roman Sapolu and Jake Welch
The No. 1 player on the line this spring was Andrews and then I'd say Sapolu and Welch were next, and then Addie. Sapolu in my view had the best spring overall. But Welch came on late, and he did came on strong. What set them apart was Sapolu knew his assignments better, he didn't jump offsides, he didn't muff snaps. Welch did all of those things at times, but he also looked good. He's very strong, obviously. They're close, but right now I'd give the nod to Sapolu.

Right Guard
Mike Beaton and David Vieru
Riley said he liked Beaton's work this spring, and he played way more than did Vieru. But this is the biggest question mark on the line. Neither of these guys look like they're ready to start in the Pac-12 and win the day. Either they're going to have to make a large leap forward by the end of fall camp (unlikely in my view) or someone like Isaac Seumalo is going to have be ready. This is a real concern for Oregon State in my mind, especially if they want to get back to Riley's stated preference of effectively being a running team. It's hard to do that if you have even one position that might not have a bona-fide Pac-12 starter.

Right Tackle:
Michael Philipp
Riley never specifically said this, but my impression was he didn't think Philipp was where he wanted him to be at the end of the spring. He had some good days, he made some plays. But virtually every practice, someone would ask about Philipp and Riley would basically say time and time again, that he's not there yet. He's capable, we all saw him his first year. But at some point, potential and ceilings and all of that no longer means much and guy is where he's at. When and if that point comes, who knows. But if Philipp can get it going and play solidly and consistently, it makes accomplishing a lot of other things up front a lot easier. His performance and position figure to be one of the key o-line stories to come in fall camp.


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